Liberating Yourself Whenever You Feel Judged
I don’t know when exactly it started.
Lately I’ve been feeling naked when I’m in public. I’ve been feeling extremely self-conscious. Right after I say certain things, I begin to feel strange. Guilty almost. For instance when I say, “To me, making money is really fun! It’s a puzzle to figure out how to optimize things. I love puzzle games.”
At this point, I stop and some people look at me funny. I begin to feel judged and I’m not sure how much of it is real or just me projecting my insecurities.
I begin to ask myself if it’s wrong to feel this way or if my statement itself is wrong. Maybe it’s my tone or the way I said it. Then I start to backtrack and find a million reasons to justify to people why I said what I just said.
As all this is happening, this naked feeling arrests me and I’m vulnerable to feeling judged. When did I start feeling so self-conscious?
I start to run the numbers through my head. When I’m stripped of everything, the one thought I keep coming back to is the story of Buddha and the pestering man.
The man, wanting to annoy Buddha, keeps shouting insults at him. Buddha calmly then asks the man, if you give a gift to someone and the person refuses to accept it, who then owns the gift?
The pestering man looks at Buddha and replies: “The gift giver of course.”
Buddha then smiles and says, “Then if you insult me and if I refuse to accept it, to whom then do the negative thoughts belong?”
With this, the pestering man walks away dumbfounded.
Feeling judged is a condition I can accept or reject. I’ve chosen to embrace who I am.
It’s an extremely liberating feeling that clothes me whenever I feel naked.