Within the belief that personal worth must be proven is the illusion there is a set of standards by which self-value is measured.

Human beings have an inherent urge to understand. We also often have the need to interpret and to judge.

In this experience is the push to determine that which will protect and enhance, and that which might threaten or harm.

This motion of assessment is influenced by personal perspectives and life history. Beliefs, emotions, thoughts – in short, all of a person is brought to bear in every moment of understanding and explaining life experience.

In living an Outside-In life, external assistance and authority is sought in determining the difference between threat and support, between failure and success, between good and bad.

Coupled within the motion of Power-Over and all pressure points, the belief holds that there is a set of standards which if followed will keep life safe, the family fed and housed, and a prosperous future guaranteed. Mostly importantly, following these standards proves personal worth.

Be this kind of person. Do these things. Follow these beliefs. If you do, then your needs will be met, and you will be considered good and worthy.

Thus, standards are beliefs and ideals used to judge self and others. However, in attempting to define the moral good, these standards, especially in the form of –isms like racism, can become tools of discrimination and critical judgment. Manipulated, they give support to the agendas of Power-Over while flooding Mass Consciousness with impossible demands for perfection. Depending on how they are defined and implemented, standards can become excuse for defamation and violence. Simply, US who follow the standards are better than THEM who do not follow. What begins innocently or naively assessment can become an influential manifesto of hate.

However, if personal worth is intrinsic and needs no proof, what happens to standards and the inherent judgment within?

In the face of intrinsic value, the inherent need for understanding doesn’t disappear. What disappears is the necessity to use harsh judgment to determine value, maintain power, exert control, or demean others.

Within a sense of positive self-worth, assessment of self and other can be made within self-presence and personal resiliency instead of the illusion of restrictive or judgmental standards.

Living from Inside-Out, demeaning judgment can transform into the reflective assessment of self-introspection.

Without the need to prove self-worth, judgment and criticism can be replaced by understanding and empathy.

Release the illusion of the need for standards with this simple action:

Begin within, seek to find understanding through discernment.

My Experience with the Illusion of Standards

As young children, most of us experienced firsthand the learning of right and wrong. I know I did. With two younger sisters, I learned not to hit, not to hog the toys, not to lie, not to interfere while others were talking.

In short, I was learning how to be a good girl. How to be liked and accepted. How to fit in and be part of the group – whether that group be at home, at school, at church, or within the community.

In the learning, I was presented with the standards of moral behavior to show what was good and what was bad. These standards appeared everywhere around me. In the cartoons and shows on television, in the schoolbooks I learned to read, the stories people told about others, and the behavior of my family and friends.

As I learned to blend in with the group, the ideal was respect and kindness. I also learned that academic progress, sports excellence, or good looks were acceptable avenues where one could stand out without much worry of retribution or danger. Inability in school, physical incapacity, and appearance flaws were certain to receive unkind words and cruel actions from classmates, siblings, and sometimes, even teachers, other adults, and parents. Lacking in either respect or kindness, the double standard apparent and hurtful.

Like most, I learned to absorb these standards and their conflicts into the fabric of my being, using them as guidance away from the “bad” parts of me towards the forms acceptable to society. I learned different was unpleasant. I learned challenging others was bad. I learned I was lacking.

Even though my life was peaceful and prosperous, I was afraid of not being enough to achieve the standards set for me. For in the process of learning acceptable standards, I had also learned judgment – not just of others but also of myself.

I was not a straight-A student and I was not a varsity athlete. As a child I didn’t have an acceptable body, had trouble walking, and couldn’t breathe properly.

No one needed to tell me I was deficient. I knew. I knew because I had learned the standards and could measure myself. I found myself lacking. I found I missed crucial parts of approved and proper existence. Each day which went by, more bad accumulated and less good was evident.

I was, however, a good girl. I did what I was told. I worked hard at school. I learned to ignore the bullies. I learned to inhabit two worlds.

One world was out there– the world beyond me at home, in school, society, and the world. The second world was inside my head – how I dealt with me and the experiences of out there. Within me, part of me was content with me. However, the part in dread of out there pushed me to be better, to be more like others, to excel to be accepted like I knew I should. 

To be good, I felt I needed to eliminate the differences I felt in myself. Part of which were easily remedied by changing my appearance, studying harder, running faster, and catching up.

The problem was that there was something in me which I liked but which I knew instinctively made me very different than my perception of others. I could not figure out how to change this difference. Instead, I tried desperately to hide it, to pretend nothing was out of sorts, that nothing was wrong with me. I felt if I could act as if nothing was wrong with me, I could avoid exposure as a fraud and as the failure I felt myself to be because of this something.

Looking back, across the peaks and valleys of my life, I now know that I was not and am not a failure. I did not fail myself. I’ve learned I am smarter than any academic test could ever measure. I have learned my body is capable beyond the needs of field sports and award competitions. I have learned harsh criticism strips me of self-love and self-acceptance. Like all people, I am the beauty of my experience.

Most importantly, I have learned to embrace my differences because my differences are what make me, Me – a unique, capable, and wise human being. I am – beyond the standards of social judgment and familial prejudice.

All the experience – the pain and pleasure, excitement, unkind words and the poems of my gorgeous heart – all of it has integrated into the wholeness I am today and have always been.

For I have released the illusions of all of those standards, and their embedded fear and control which have attempted to keep me down, safe from the unknown, subservient to a social standard which does not see my differences contributing to the circle of the greater whole.

What makes me different is what makes me, ME. My silly laugh and my ability to be aware of future possibility – my differences do not separate me. All of me in here contributes to the connection with out there.

In accepting my differences, I recognize we are not all alike, we are not all made from exactly the same mold.

I’ve learned that my world finds safety within inclusion. I don’t need standards to measure who can be my friend and who I make enemy. We are all connected. Some people get my jokes better than others. My differences resonate with some but not with all. That’s okay.

Putting aside the tyranny of my own self judgment empowers me to see others as I would have them see me: learning, laughing, and loving.

When I find peace within myself, I feel more confident I will connect peacefully with the out there. In the connection, out there and in here are no longer in conflict and the risk of exposure disappears entirely.

In the peace, without the compulsion to measure up, I am happy to be me.

In all moments, I have learned to begin in here with me. For in here is where I begin to understand out there without the hindrance of harsh judgment and judgmental standard. Inside-Out instead of Outside-In.

No one needs to measure up to illusion.

We are all here doing our best. When we seek to understand beyond judgment we are seeking to live within loving connection. 

No longer held back trying to meet demanding standards, I am present to me and open to understanding you.

The Fallacy of Illusion of Standards

Within the belief worth must be proven is the illusion there is a set of standards by which self-value is measured. These standards form the basis for all the pressure points to be evaluated and judged.

To be evaluated as worthy, personal production must meet the standards of valuable service and worthy existence – whatever standards are utilized. 

However, intentionally to maintain fear, power, and control there are either no clearly defined standards or multiple sets for US and THEM, for the powerful and the disempowered. The search for standards maintains the judgment of Blind Production and the delusional control of Power-Over.

The illusion offers standards as necessary to know how to live life, prove worth, and judge others. In Power-Over the balance of standards is always in favor of the dominating power structure and establishes the inequality of US vs. THEM. Once dominance is attained, the power structure will behave at will even when behavior is not within the standards which brought ascendancy. Standards are not for those with power, standards are a form of coercion over those out of power.

In Power-With, standards as judgment are not required. Instead, the structure of power exists as choice among equals where each individual is sacred. The system of choice is a balance between the needs of the individual and the needs of the group. 

Standards are lose predominance and rigid judgmental structure falls away in favor of agreement, value, and guidelines. This allows a fluidity based on context and value as well as individual and collective behavior and exchange. Thus, the judgment of better or worse is irrelevant and unnecessary.

When Blind Production ceases to hold dominance, the focus of life shifts from proving worth to the experience of expression, balance,  and growth. Tied into judgment, your view personal perspective was suspect. As you begin to loosen the control of Blind Production and understand the Illusion of Standards, awareness and assessment begin to step forward and offer guidance as a way beyond the incessant pursuit of living up to you-know- not-what.

As you move into the trust of personal truth, you find that your awareness offers you a strong sense of your value and worth through the energetic motion of resonance. No longer trying to align with the chaos of the outside you are learning to find strength and peace within.

The Illusion of Standards creates a belief in a preferred measure for determining worth or value. More than quantifying value, this pressure point reinforces, perhaps even instills or creates, a need for judgment. A bit of a chicken and egg issue of which comes first value or judgment. For example, is worthiness present only within judgment and thus judgment is a necessary part of human relationships? Or, if value and worth are intrinsic, what is being measured within judgment?

Essentially, the illusion is the purpose of the standards. Perceived as a way to determine value, standards perpetuate the use of judgment as a way to mistreat, devalue, or demean almost anything, and especially people. Standards justify mistreatment by defining value. Whatever is defined as lesser value often receives less respect and less honor the that judgment of higher value. The illusion hides the mistreatment under the guise of a need to determine or perceive value.

To understand how the illusion works, begin with the foundation of power dynamics: agreements. Whether by formal or informal means, an agreement is a consensus which guides exchange between two or more people. Agreements, both conscious and unconscious, form the basis of all human exchange. Most of the agreements we abide by were created before us, over generations of human experience. As we grow, we learn these agreements while we learn that not everyone is in agreement.

For Power-With, the basis of any agreement is that each person will gain equivalently from an exchange or at least one will not fare worse than another. Consent is present; coercion is not tolerated. There is no effort to take over or dominate any party to accept the agreement. If there is a perception of imbalance, everyone works out the issues for all to benefit.

The agreements made through Power-With are based on trust. There is a willingness by all parties to trust one another. There is also trust that if the agreement is not followed or broken somehow, everyone will deal in good faith and remedy the situation in a way which works to the benefit of all involved. When agreements are respected, trust is reinforced. With trust, there will be interest in new agreements and continued exchange.

However, not everyone respects agreements. They may ignore parts or the whole often because they don’t see merit for themselves in the agreement. Maybe the agreement was made long before or without their input. Maybe they don’t trust others or the agreement to be beneficial.

Further, there will be those whose purpose is to not respect the agreement, or the people involved. Their intention is to manipulate the agreement to their benefit only. They have no interest in maintaining equality. They have no interest in sharing any benefit. Manipulation is to their benefit only. Manipulation chokes trust and pushes fear.

Essentially Power-Over chooses to either ignore or undermine any Power-With agreement. There is little benefit and limited dominance which can be attained by acting with respect. Breaking down the connection of trust is of benefit and will expand influence and control. The standards are used in retaliation and proof of the failure of the other side to maintain the agreement in an appropriate and beneficial manner. Power-Over turns the spirit of the agreement against any who disagreed.

Taking this a step further, Power-Over defines the qualities or characteristics of those who are acceptable to enter into agreement. These defined elements become the standards by which all exchange, relationship, experience, and most importantly, people are measured to determine value and inclusion in the chosen group. Consciously or unconsciously, those who are included agree to follow and duplicate the actions, thoughts, and beliefs of the power hungry.

With standards in place comes the acceptance of judgment instead of discernment.

Within this discussion, discernment is awareness of difference. Discernment observes, witnesses, and draws no conclusion about intention, agreement, or value of any difference. Discernment feels no need to do so because its focus is now. What Is in this moment, and the relevant agreements. A person in discernment may have personal response to what is observed yet is able to keep the personal awareness separate from exchange with others. In other words, difference is not perceived as a reason to react, defend, or attack.

In contrast, following accepted standards: judgment assigns value based on difference. The determined value, aligned with these standards, determines the position of the difference on a scale from acceptable to unacceptable, from good to bad. The standards created by Power-Over are created to the benefit of Power-Over and the intentions held now, plus whatever will accrue more influence and control in the future.

All power exchange is held against the standards and judged accordingly. Nothing can escape judgment because this is the requirement made by Power-Over in all of its agreements and exchanges. How dominant people interact is guided by the illusion that the standards determined value. Hidden behind the illusion is the agreement which permits the authoritarian power to behave however it wishes using judgment to power’s benefit to treat whoever however.

If you are judged defiant, the power structure has permission to attack. If you are judged to be a lesser human, Power-Over can do anything it determines including throwing people in jail or taking their lives. Vigilantism, mob rule, and structural bias are all examples of permissible behavior within the judgment and standards of Power-Over.

Within this agreement, standards are illusion to hide the truth of mistrust, disrespect, and dishonor the powerful and the authoritarian perpetuate to their exclusive benefit.

Standards justify mistreatment by defining value. Standards support assigning value to difference based on the needs of only one power structure. Standards take advantage of the consequences of broken agreements. Standards subvert trust, worth, and belief wanting to exchange yours for the dominant power.

The issue with agreements is what happens when they are not followed either intentionally or unintentionally. There are those who desire to bend both agreement and consequence to their exclusive will and desire. This is an excuse and an abuse of connection. This is disrespect for any who do not support their standards. This is the path of Power-Over.

Power dynamics come down to dominance or equal exchange. One way to say this is the difference between the honesty of WIN-WIN or the manipulation of WIN-LOSE. Power-With operates within WIN-WIN and Power-Over will always choose WIN-LOSE. 

The difference rests within the concepts sharing or stealing (meaning taking what is not yours). The need to protect and survive comes when the power dynamic is skewed to WIN-LOSE. 

Here stealing is justified to protect the interests of the powerful and their supporters. Win at all costs is the demand and the requirement which takes on life or death ramifications. The acceptable standards determine who is included on the winning side.

In this scenario, trust becomes a scarce commodity within human exchange. The accepted standards subvert trust inherent within the individual and between people.

Whereas the preference for WIN-WIN will try to deal with people directly, as individuals without the labels and prejudice harbored by the acceptable standards of Power-Over. Conflict, when it arises, is not a moment to steal control. Instead, this is a moment to share connection and look for common ground and a path forward where personal power is maintained by all involved. In this shared approach, trust is reinforced and valued as a positive outcome to any interaction.

Daily Life within the Illusion of Standards

In daily life, standards create labels used to judge and defend reaction to or treatment of others. More importantly the labels create distance between people, dehumanizing everyone.

Instead of seeing your cousin Ronnie or your neighbor Shelly, you see an illegal immigrant, a dumb Republican, a crazy liberal, a welfare mother, a privileged white man, a murderous woman. The labels are predetermined standards just waiting for your use to separate you from connection with the very real person you have just judged. Blinded by illusionary standards, the labels feel comfortable and comforting – a way to live easier in the face of whatever is creating fear within you. You seek others with your same labels confident that this is someone you can trust to be in agreement with you against them.

Standards and labels are so ingrained into our interface with the world, it’s hard to see around their rigid edges. It’s hard to even know they are present creating and clouding each and every lens you use to see the world.

The presence of standards reinforces the need to use them in judgment of self and others. Every relationship is processed through the lens of judgment, holding the real person at arm’s length and often only seeing the labels attached to the person.

Human nature wants to understand everything. Because our agreements come to us from the history of the planet, standards are enveloped in the myths of existence and the sacred stories of spiritual tradition.

Mary, who told me she had been a child bride within a polygamist community, said, “What finally helped me break free was asking if what happened to me when I was fourteen was okay with me.” She went on to explain she was 31 before she had the courage in the very depths of herself to even think in this direction. She began to feel defiant and knew defiance of any kind was forbidden. Her very real fear was God would see into her heart and mind, and report her to her husband.

“I know now this is not how the divine works. But back then, this was the way the community worked. The slogan was God sees all, reports all.”

While this may seem like an extreme example, it does demonstrate how agreements work with standards to control behavior and belief. Mary knew just a thought which defied the rules of her community could, in judgment, condemn her. 

She said, “To question meant I had to see a path beyond what had been defined for us all as the moral good.” Mary had to enter forbidden territory and question the standards she was commanded to obey.

“By focusing the first question on me alone I was able to free myself because I didn’t then need to work out the implications of my answers for anyone else.” At 32, Mary found help from a domestic violence center to leave this group and start a new life.

Other clients have appeared with similar experiences of authoritarian rule within their home lives. From physical and sexual abuse to emotional and psychological manipulation, these women and men have faced the illusion head-on and refused to endure the mistreatment excused by judgment and harmful standards.

One of them said to me, “I spent my whole life hearing I was an abominable sin because I was female. I felt like I would never be good enough. Until one day I came across a book at the library by Maya Angelou. Before I had even read a word, I felt my world shift. Then her words and her experience helped me find my way out. Helped me find me.”

Another client, raised Muslim in a mostly Jewish community, told me how he was bullied at school and stopped often by police to be searched and detained for no reason other than he and his family were different and labeled dangerous. 

“My grandfather counseled patience and non-resistance. My father counseled quiet defiance against oppression. I found my own path between the two by choosing to become a lawyer focused on immigrant rights in my country. Personally, I choose to seek understanding with each person I encounter regardless of religion or country of origin.”

Every person dealing with the limitations of standards placed upon them have the same internal push: Am I ever going to be good enough? Facing judgment which dismisses or denies intrinsic personal worth brings on feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and fading confidence. When this judgment comes from your surrounding community or within the structural system of your society, there is overwhelming encouragement to give up yourself and believe in your lack and your failure. Then it’s easy to believe it’s all your fault because you did not follow the agreements of proper behavior. Whatever is deemed wrong with you is held as your responsibility and, thus, the failure to conform is entirely on you.

At this juncture, you have a choice to make. You can choose denial of self, acceptance of the judging standards, and find your value from outside-in. You can also choose a denial of self in which you completely disassociate through addiction or social withdrawal. You can also choose a path to gain Power-Over proving your worth through domination and c

Everything which makes humans superficially different has become a standard of judgment and division. Race, age, religion, political affiliation, country of birth, gender identity, financial position, and skin color. The newspaper you read. Your brand of computer. Your car, your house, the school your kids attend. Who you’ve married or divorced. On and on and on. Standards divide. Standards cause harm. Standards diminish us all.

Eager to hang out with the right people, the assessment of vibration has become a standard of judgment. “Now that I have become spiritual, I need to be careful of aligning only with high vibration people. Can the akashic records tell me how to find these people?”

This is a question (or a form of it) I have heard many times period I understand people want to find friendship and feel support. In a time where folks feel isolated and separated, trying to find an opening is difficult. Where discernment focuses on awareness of difference, judgmental standards this is the person and only identify labels and accusations of judgment.

High vibration and low vibration are new jargons of innuendo for good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable. Just another way for one group to elevate themselves over others. Just another way for people to narrow their world, limit connection, and reinforce a habit of discrimination, judgment, and polarization.

Just as Christians are forgiven, jury Jews endure and Muslims are of Allah, religious discrimination is born from the illusion of standards. No matter the standards perpetuated there is a spiritual perspective which grants the faithful space to steal and engage in win lose. They’re not every religion, faith, or spiritual tradition supports this type of human engagement, wars have been fought, political actions defended, people imprisoned and murdered in the name of religious based standards.

What was the answer about finding high vibration people?

“Let go of the label high vibration because it creates a limit within you that’s not you. Next feel inside for how you feel happy, joyful, peaceful period now find a group of people doing something you enjoy. You’ll find you will naturally gravitate to those who bring forward your inner sense of happy. And who that will be will most likely surprise you. It works because you are no longer focused on finding (which is energy pushing away from you) and have shifted to enjoying yourself (which is energy moving toward you.)

“My husband tells me I’ve become fat and ugly.”

“My wife tells me I’m lazy and good for nothing.”

“My boyfriend things I need to lose a few pounds.”

“My girlfriend tells me I need a a better job to marry her.”

These statements are all related to standards because they are full of labels and innuendo. Now, we don’t know the other side of each of these statements. However, each one was expressed as a sense of judgment, of a lack of understanding, of a determination that one person was not good enough, unworthy. Each person who reported one of these statements felt denied, judge, less than. They felt there was no other choice than to follow the inherent demand buried within the accusation.

When relationship gets buried behind the jargon of standards, then people don’t need to show up, don’t need to be honest, and find an excuse to be distant and unkind. The relationship is now of falseness, of assumption, of judgment. Each person talking to a false picture of the other, seeing only that which reinforces the assumption and the judgment.

However, when you release your judgment on you, you stand a much better chance of releasing judgment on others and developing relationship based on honesty, mutual support, and open communication.

Let’s talk about release!

Releasing the Illusion of Standards

The key to letting go of the illusion of standards is to begin within.

Within your perception of yourself is where the illusion of standards are buried deepest.

Within your perspective of you are the judgments and beliefs which have built up over time period absorbed unconsciously, these bits have become an unknown filter for everything you think about yourself and how you interpret and interact with everything outside of you.

This is not easy work period this is not work which is quickly accomplished. This is not work you finish.

Instead, by beginning with N what you are doing is initiating a new way of interacting with you and a new approach to out there

To loosen the hold of false standards, you get to know you. Plus, you are willing to acknowledge what is you and what isn’t you, what works for you, what limits you.

This approach allows awareness to bubble up. Usually, you’ll begin with the obvious and the stuff that can no longer remain varied and unattended. Sometimes there will be deep pain at the realization. Sometimes the release brings joyful relief.

Looking into your happens in small steps as you continue living your life. Little by little you become aware of judgments you have on yourself brought on by beliefs given to you by others as your truth.

Almost doing a jigsaw puzzle, you will have pieces here and there which help you both let go and bring together the threads of you and to a beautiful tapestry of self-worth, self-choice, and self-responsibility.

This weaving together offers you the opportunity to decide what stays and what goes, what’s you and what is no longer you.

From hard earned experience, let me caution you of two big obstacles which arise within you as you do this personal work.

The first is the ugly head of harsh self-judgment. As you do your work, awesome awareness will arise as well as stuff which is nothing but disappointing and frustrating. You get irritated with you for a million possible reasons including, but certainly not limited to:

·      I should have seen this earlier?

·      How could I be so stupid or thoughtless or blind?

·      Why did I believe this garbage?

·      I shoulda, coulda, woulda been smarter, acted faster, responded better.

·      I can’t believe I didn’t XYZ.

Amazement with self can quickly morph into judgment of self. Getting out of the judgment can be sticky because you are still working out who you are and who you want to become. However, this is an excellent moment to create a new habit of how you can respond to disappointment and the tendency towards self-judgment. 

Look at self-judgment as the moment to learn about you. Think of the judgment as a gift of awareness. The reaction of self-judgment is almost always about what has been. When self-judgment arises, the opportunity is in this moment. The potential is in how you decide to step into your future. 

The past only predicts the future when you refuse to release and make a new choice. What has been is information you use to consciously choose what you want your life to be and become.

As you do this work, you will begin to see the external standards you have based your life upon. You will be faced with decisions. You will be faced with hard moments and joyous release.

This brings us to the second obstacle you will most likely encounter: the other people in your life. This includes family, friends, and coworkers – anyone you interact with on a frequent basis. 

This release process changes you – specifically, how you deal and interact with others shifts you. You essential self is always there, yet now, how you respond can have both subtle and not-so-subtle shifts. 

When you get clear with you, folks around you may not respond well. There will be those who liked you because you were blind to yourself. They liked taking advantage or making demands. They liked handing out scraps for you to make do with. They liked you unaware so they could be unaware. They liked you not doing your work because they are unwilling, frightened, or too angry to do their work.

These seemingly well-meaning people will gently or not so gently suggest, or accuse, you of being selfish. You are no longer doing what they expect or demand of you. You have turned their world upside down and it’s your fault. 

Now you are clearly seeing and experiencing the standards others used to control you to get what they want. Through their accusations you can get a sniff of their disdain you are no longer bound by their standards and their demands.

You can step into the old habit of judging, rolling out all the old standards you are working to release. You can get your dander up and launch into a preachy mode of all the things they are doing wrong.

Or you can try something new. 

Remember, just as you don’t want them controlling you, you can’t control them. However, as you shift and make new choices for yourself, very quickly you’ll find out if the people in your life can shift to the new you. If that’s not possible, then you may find you’ll need to step back from the relationship. Family in particular can be extremely difficult because the relationships have been in place for years and are not always open to change.

In any case, here’s a moment to discuss boundaries. As you begin within, your sense of awareness clears, your ability to be present to self and others expands, and self-clarity opens. Now’s the time to be clear about the need to define what is acceptable for you and what is not within relationships. Defining boundary is being clear about limits within you and for you, and limits within relationships.

As you do your work, setting boundaries will become easier to identify and clarify. As you do this work of beginning within, boundaries will also help you unearth more false standards to release and move beyond.

All of life is more a spiral path than a straight line. The turn of the curving path returns you often to an old topic of release. You are now ready to dig at a deeper layer and let go of what is now outdated and no longer beneficial.

When this happens, don’t despair. This isn’t you not getting something done back when. Instead, this is a new opportunity to get clear, let go, and move on, no longer burdened with whatever baggage just released.

All of this personal work will have the effect of making it easier for you to live in the world despite whatever standards are pushed at you.

Having taken this step, here’s the moment to consider the difference between judgment and discernment. 

Discernment is awareness of difference. There is no judgment. There is no conclusion made without direct personal contact with another.

Most importantly, the difference between judgment and discernment is assumption. Judgment assumes it knows everything about the situation or person. Judgment is stuck in the belief and illusion of the right standards. Judgment seeks to inflame, to intimidate, and to bring down whatever and whoever is not up to acceptable standards.

Discernment does not make assumptions. Discernment observes and notices where difference or similarity is present. Instead of drawing conclusion, discernment observes and witnesses. Developing the practice of discernment begins by letting go of the knee jerk reaction of judgment. This release opens space to allow you to make a different choice for yourself. 

You will find as you go along it becomes easier to deal with people who push at your boundaries. Instead of harsh reaction, you move toward lighter emotional response. The emotion buried in judgment pulls at particular standards to make you feel bad and unworthy. The emotion can drive you to react, feeding the judger and encouraging additional attack.

Moving away from judgment, both received and offered, creates space for you to choose how you will respond, if at all. Discernment is space for you to take stock of what is and how you want to respond.

As you look back, within the perspective of discernment, you find you have been letting go of the labels of judgment on both yourself and others. You’ve begun to understand there is more than one explanation for anything. You found your connection within and your connection with others. You’ve begun to see and experience this connection outside of judgment and false standards and stories. You become real to you and you begin to see a real person instead of a collection of labels, assumptions, and judgments. In doing so, there is a new sense of freedom which emerges, and you are no longer carrying the burdens of responsibility for the whole world. 

When you begin witin, all matter of personal stuff shifts. Releasing the falseness of standards helps you evaluate your life and what is important for you. In turn, this helps you to decide how these shifts can be brought into your relationships. 

You can only release your baggage around standards. You can’t force others to do their work. However, in doing your work, you find a way to step back from the demand for direct interaction which isn’t for you. Instead, setting boundaries becomes the path forward knowing it’s no longer your responsibility to tell people how to behave. It’s not even yours to figure out why they do what they do. 

Discernment is the path within any relationship because fixing everything is no longer your responsibility.

As you move forward, affirm:

Begin within, seek to find understanding of self and others through discernment.

Five Questions To Do Your Work: Illusion of Standards

Question 1: Within the illusion of standards, what no longer serves, resonates, or is in alignment with me?

Start with how you judge you. Observe your critical voice and make note of the comments, accusations, and expectations. These are the words which arise from the standards you hold unconsciously. 

Focus on one phrase or sentence and ask:

·      How does this serve me? 

·      Does this feel aligned with me? 

·      Does this make me feel better about myself dash does this resonate?

Go through your list asking the same questions. Or when the critical voice spouts more or when someone says something derogatory or judgmental, ask these questions.

Question 2: What fear is holding me back?

Within the Illusion of Standards, fear is often related to a judgment you have labored under throughout your life. Buried deep, often the judgment is failure to measure up in some manner. 

The fear is there to keep you stuck. The fear wants to keep you unquestioning, reacting, caught in the emotions the fear raises up within you. However, the fear holds the awareness of the standard or judgment ready to release and move on. 

Don’t run from the fear. Instead, lean in and listen to the words of the fear and feel into your path forward. Essentially, your motion forward is in the direction the fear is trying to hold you from choosing.

Question 3: What releases this fear?

Release will be easier when you refrain from self-judgment about the fear. It’s a situation of self-judgment because of self-judgment. 

The habit of self-judgment is to pile on. To release, work on releasing the habit to avoid creating more judgment.

The most frequent judgment at this juncture has to do with timing – specifically why now and not eons before?

What do you do with this? First, take a deep breath and step back. One more deep breath before proceeding. 

Timing is judgment which comes from the drive of perfect action and its tendency to create judgment in hindsight. Life happens when life is ready to happen. You can choose to begin within an open awareness. However, the inexplicable is what brings forward awareness. 

You exist at the edge of this amazing unknown. Thus, when a cool awareness or a troubling fear arises instead of judging yourself for faulty timing, celebrate the motion forward from the unknown of whatever is revealed for you to savor and explore.

Question 4: What is my truth?

Gently hold yourself and breathe in your awareness. The kernel of truth is within and will emerge as you move beyond resistance. 

Truth is a flow inward. Sometimes you hear its voice. Sometimes you feel its call. Sometimes truth unfolds within, and you know. Laying down judgment makes hearing truth easier. There’s less blocking motion inward. 

Deep breath in and you can feel your truth within.

Question 5: What is my next step?

You know! You’ve stepped into the flow of your life. Like the ocean’s tide, your flow moves within and connects you to the transcendent flow of truth, awareness, and essential being. 

By releasing illusion and judgment, your next step is within you – where all your life begins.

Illusion of Standards is an excerpt from my book, To Do Your Work. To read other excerpts from this work-in-progress, start here.

To learn more about the concepts within To Do Your Work, begin with this article: The Spiritual Practice of Personal Power.

Headshot of Cheryl Marlene, Spiritual Guide in the Akashic Records

Cheryl Marlene, Akashic Mystic, is unafraid of the tough, the raw, and the real aspects of doing deep work. She is the world’s authority on the Akashic Records and consults in the Akashic Records with clients around the world through readings, research, and Akashic Future for futuristic business leaders. Student learn to access the Akashic Records through ZENITH, her comprehensive four-level learning program, and her signature classic, Akashic Records Masterclass. In the field of consciousness, she is known as a futurist, innovator, and master teacher who delivers life-changing lessons with warmth and humor. Her powerful exploration is cutting edge -- providing you with deep insight today to ignite your vision for tomorrow.