January 30, 2017 Carole Levy

Over the head of somebody else

It is terribly incorrect to have a wise master offering such uncaring advice, but the joke made me laugh! If my own fear of being judged can be recycled in a little bit of dark humor… is that so bad?

That being said, perhaps “the cloud over the head of somebody else” is a metaphor for what we tend to do with our fears. We have a hard time tolerating our experience when it’s hurtful, so we recycle our hurt in a way that ultimately hurts others.

In an eco-system world, everything is connected. The cloud of fear that burdens others’ lives impacts my life too.

It reminds me of a joke we had in France at the end of the 80’s, when the Chernobyl nuclear disaster happened, and we thought that the radioactive cloud had stopped at the French border.

Clouds don’t stop at borders and our emotions leak onto others. The good news is that if one of us breaks through a fear, it also leaks in a positive way.

In conclusion, in an eco-system world, the best we can do for ourselves – in addition of suspending our judgments–  is to wish for others to free themselves from their hurt and to be as safe and happy as possible.

Reflective questions: When do you fear being judged? How do you release your emotion? Do you have a constructive practice for recycling your fear?

Comments (8)

  1. Bill

    Hi Carole, I usually fear being judged when I am down a path I am not routinely familiar. I get more sensitive about doing or saying the wrong thing. I don’t know if I have a release or if I bury it deep. Perhaps I will tell a familiar joke to calm my nerves and have everyone thinking I am funny. I know that I have often gone to that well quite a few times in my life. As far as handling it constructively, I try and breathe, pause, and have an exploratory conversation with myself. Sometimes it happens in the moment but usually it happens when the moment has passed. I can’t say that I feel completely fine by the end or that I don’t have regrets about my behavior but I appreciate the brief reflection nonetheless.

    • Hi Bill, your description is very self-aware! I recognize my own cracking jokes pattern to deflect the fear of being judged. I like your exploratory conversation with yourself!

  2. Kim

    Thank you for this. I needed it today after some difficult interactions with people at work who have a different political viewpoint from mine….

  3. Suzanne

    I fear being judged when I judge myself. When I fear being judged, it’s usually my own mind chatter spinning off its usual tape. Knowing this, I can stop the tape and say, “is this true? Is it kind?” Being kind to myself, I can differentiate between the old tapes and my conscience, and choose to act accordingly. This is also how I can suspend my judgments of others, for the only faults I can find in others are the things that I am most hard on myself about.

  4. Rick

    Thank you! Always read then re-read a time or two or three your reflections. Reminds me of the truth I need, and the courage to reflect and connect with the truth and then better to others through it.

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