Do you know that part of you that constantly finds you did something wrong? That you somehow managed to blow everything up again?
Well, I have some good news and some bad news regarding that… The good news is that it can be silenced. The bad news is that it requires time, work, care, diligence and to know that there are no magic wands.
Let me explain in a very generic way how this voice of judgement is created. As we grow up, we have these demands thrown at us – “be a good boy” or “be a good girl”, “sit straight”, “say thank you”, “say please”, “don’t do that” or “do this” and so on and so forth. What this does to us, is that we learn the social conventions and rightly so. What it does to our inner world though, is that we learn to reprimand ourselves so that we refrain from having the same shaming experience twice. Unpleasant eh? Well, hell yes.
This becomes a ferret wheel of a certain kind for us that we can’t escape. We try to avoid and try to fight this inner voice. No use! We need it in place because the danger is too great if we actually do as we please. And if by any chance, we escape the voice of judgement, it has somehow the power of inducing guilt and telling you that “I told you so!” And we go about life, fighting dissatisfaction instead of going for satisfaction which has a slight (read HUGE) difference.
This inner character is the archetypal judge. Some people might experience a greater difficulty with this character than others. Nature and nurture play a part in how we internalise things and how we put certain mechanisms in place to keep ourselves safe in a hugely complex and uncertain environment.
So this explains the story behind the voice of judgement. But what about emotions?
The judge goes hand in hand with the accused. How can you have one without the other? Emotions that are connected closely to these characters are harshness, aggressiveness, fear and guilt. They are part of a powerful duo that keeps your inner energy clogged.
So coming to our original question:
How can I stop the voice of judgement in my head?
This requires some kind of awareness work. It can be therapy if things tend to get overwhelming. Mindfulness, practising gratitude or any spiritual practice that you might have in place might also support you in dealing with this voice of judgement. Please keep in mind that it will not help you being overly direct with this voice as you will get into an internal conflict. Acceptance that this voice of judgement is part of you is essential in understanding its demands and how it is triggered. Also finding a way to accept yourself and the inevitable “mistakes” or “mishaps” (that life is all about and which are by the way a great way to learn) is also helpful and a way to silence the inner critic.
Don’t forget that there are always benefits and advantages in everything we do. Think about what would happen if people were suddenly going berserk not following conventions – not a pleasant sight. However, if we were able to trust ourselves that we know what we need to do and let ourselves off the hook for a little while – that decision could really go a long way. And it adds up. You can let go of the voice for a few moments at first and after a while, you might find that this voice has been quiet for many hours or even days.