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#48 - Easily Our World’s Greatest Challenge

By KC Johnson

Image of a flower with petals expressing judgments
Image by John Hain in Pixabay

  What Would You Guess It Is?

No, it’s not war, although that is a significant challenge, at least for the soldier on the front lines being shot at or the citizens being displaced, maimed, and killed. 

It’s not alien invasions, although having a reptilian chasing anyone would get our attention and make us pray for this movie to be over.

The loss of a lover or a place to live might drive us into a depression or even facing any other life changing event can seem to be our greatest life challenge. 

These are huge issues that certainly disrupt our lives and can cause pain, suffering, and nightmares.  But these pale in comparison to facing our deep down fears exposing our frailties to ourselves and the world.

The Answer Is Judgment!

Do you remember being asked by some critical adult, “What is wrong with you, why can’t you behave?” or “You should have known this or that…” or even having to answer even more cutting judgments like, “You are never going to amount to anything,” and “You aren’t smart enough to figure this out!”

When you hear these horrible, untrue attacks against you, you will probably begin believing there really is something wrong with you.  Then you begin criticizing yourself.  You will likely even build your life around these destructive attitudes, the most damaging consequence of all to your well-being.  

Your sense of self is where you hold your deepest thoughts about who you are.  It becomes the source you rely on for viewing your world, for reacting to others, and for how you think about yourself.  It develops in your earliest years when every experience is magnified as you try to make sense of what is happening to you.  Your responses to these early experiences become your sense of self .   

The fears you you developed as a young child are not something you magically grow out of or conveniently forget.  The nurturing you received as a child stays with you and shapes every aspect of your adult life.  But a fully nurtured child also holds onto the loving touch, holding, and acceptance as being part of a family. 

Support and love also becomes your sense of self.  However, few of us leave childhood without harboring some degree of traumas and our sense of self will store conflicting views of who we see ourselves being and provide us with conflicting behaviors as adults.

Hearing those critically judgmental comments that get stored in your sense of self repository changes the way you view your constantly evolving identity.  Judgments led you to feel incomplete and unloved.  The more you believe these judgments and these untruths the more deeply you hold onto these damaging thoughts and energies.  What you believe about yourself has deeper consequences than just changing your personality.  Every thought you have also changes your body and influences the world around you.


“All that we are is the result of what we have thought” - Buddha

You are truly a powerful being and your thoughts are the driving force behind your personality, your health, and the shaping of your world.  Feel your visceral reactions to these two statements, “I am weak and a loser,” and “I am strong and have amazing inner strengths.”

When you believe you are weak, defective, or a lost cause the first statement may ring true.  You likely struggle with depression, have doubts about yourself, and you may feel being ‘stuck’ in a life that doesn’t fulfill your needs and desires.  Even your body can change shape giving you hunched over shoulders, an uncertain gait, headaches, weight issues, and re-occurring illnesses.  You seldom maintain an optimistic thought and you spend more time defending yourself from people by not letting them get emotionally close to you.  You may develop many techniques preventing close friends or lovers from discovering your deepest fears.

And whenever these inner fears are in danger of being exposed your deep down Inner Child screams, “don’t hurt me, don’t uncover my fearful memories, don’t expose me as inadequate!”  At this point your sense of self has firmly adopted the criticisms about you, completely overriding any healthy self-thoughts you may experience.  Even when hearing positive feedback about you will often trigger the positive comments as untrue.  You can succumb to the entrenched earlier ‘programming’ you received from others many years and decades earlier.


Man holding sleeping infant to his chest
Photo by MagdielI-lacoquis on Pixabay 

It is all about your Inner Child feeling safe!

Judgment is the tool your little child created to protect itself from feeling unsafe.  It may be the only tool it knows how to use.  Every one of us created micro-voices or micro-selves during our earliest years as we tried to make sense of our world of adults with their own fears and inadequacies who provided us with insufficient nurturing.  Your various micro-voices adopted their own specific techniques to respond to the different threats you experienced.  Your Inner Child sought refuge behind behaviors that may have included striking back, becoming sullen, using subterfuge . . . . any behavior that made your child feel in control and safer to some degree.  These were important and necessary survival response at the time they were adopted, and they can remain valuable defensive tools into adulthood until the unsafe feelings dissipate.

But when you have firmly adopted within your sense of self the judgmental criticisms as your true self-identity, then releasing those dysfunctional judgments becomes exceedingly hard to do.  Even years after the threats have ended, you will probably continue reacting to others from that old view you adopted when you were young.  You may have learned a new healthier sense of self with friends, but revert back to your childhood behaviors when you interact with parents or similar childhood-type of experience as an adult.

But your sense of self does not have to be a lifetime self-identity.  There are techniques for starting the change process.  It can take time.  Think of how many micro-events you experienced over your youthful years based on judgments that built the protective emotional barrier your child hid behind.  Thousands of these micro-events, critical words, physical experiences, and even many more self-judgments all built the barriers that have to be revisited before they can be released.  Even as an adult you likely have continued re-enforcing your childhood protective measures whether they have been needed or not.


Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.                                                                                                     -  Stephen R. Covey


By believing you are a vibrant, strong, fully capable human being you open yourself to a healthier body, stronger relationships, and you become more energetic and creative.  You shed the destructive judgments sent your way over the years and pay attention to your stronger inner sense of self.  Those age-old judgments sent your way are not who you are, they never were.  They were reflections of who those people were at that time.

And here is the crazy simple remedy to changing your life:  Every thought that you have changes your life path ever-so-slightly, and the more intensely you repeat a thought the more it changes your course! 

By developing your own mantra that repeats what you desire, or by using someone else’s mantras, you begin the change.  Making your mantras reflect a healthier, happier desired self sends messages to the universe that will start the change process.

Another critical inclusion to your mantra is giving thanks for your existence, appreciate your soul, and give gratitude for your experiences that are your life lessons you learn from.  “What, be thankful for the abuse I am suffering or have suffered.  Life has been so unfair.  I can’t be thankful for the crap I have been living with all these years.”

True, your pain and suffering may be intolerable and you may not be able to make it go away as quickly as you want.  Just remember, you are nothing but a bundle of energies that communicate with all of the other universal energies surrounding you.  The universe sends you experiences that reflect what your thoughts dwell on, and perhaps on fulfilling a life lesson that may make no sense at the moment.  Focus on what you want, that is the energetic language the universe speaks.  That is how you will heal yourself.  No one can do it for you.

Imagine planting a garden and feeding the plants poisons and giving the weakened plants limited water.  Or imagine having a sweet kitty or cute little puppy and then neglecting its needs to be loved and cared for.  Your lack of compassion and care are signs of being in ‘dis-ease’ within yourself.  Those examples can be more easily understood than doing essentially the same thing to yourself.  You see the foolishness of those actions bringing you unwanted results, yet you often ignore your own critical needs for self-healing chalking up your situations as out of your control.  It all is 100% within your control . . . . in time.


Why is it so difficult to explore your fears?

Your Inner Child has spent years protecting itself from painful experiences.  For lack of a better analogy your Child created micro-voices (Drs. Sidra and Hal Stone developed Voice Dialoguing techniques) that still holds on to the negative energy memories from hurtful experiences during your childhood.  These micro-voices are tasked with fending off perceived threats such as being judged or being hurt by others’ actions. 

You respond in predictable ways to threats because from childhood on you have practiced your responses.  Even when your reactions to threats seem unproductive your micro-voices will keep using the same responses because that is what they know, what they have practiced using.

Just try yelling at most people in a threatening way and see their reactions.  That’s their micro-voice’s practiced protective behavior.  Some may shrink away from the threat, some may start fighting back, some may argue, and some may look bemused and either try to understand why they are being yelled at or they may shrug their shoulders thinking the yelling person has a problem and just leaves the situation.

To begin releasing your fearful micro-voice energies you will need to make your Inner Child feel safe  enough to let down barriers.  Your Child and the micro-voices it created have been carrying your painful memories for all these many years.  And if you never feel safe enough to explore your inner fears, you will carry the negative energies and responses for a lifetime.

Your sense of self is tied to your strongest, most forceful micro-voices.  This is your dominant personality that generally  guides your daily activities.  But you have many micro-voices, some strong and dominant, some small and passive, some that are judgers, others can be explorers, warriors, negotiators, teachers,  your creative voices, and dozens more.  Together they make up your personality and they are the tools you use to respond to your daily experiences.  But you will have a dominant voice that is used for most situations.

But no one voice or no small band of micro-voices can be called your sense of self, or who you really are.  Each voice has a narrow role it follows to protect your Inner Child and can’t speak for your entire personality, or your true self.  They use judgment to fend off attacks and develop a safe image for the rest of the world to see.  That image is a thin projection of what your Inner Child and your micro-voices want others to see, the outer public self.

You have to develop a relationship with your aware self, what some call the voice of your soul, to be able to purposefully create your true self.  Your aware self does not judge, does not criticize, is not fearful, and it is the residing place for a love of yourself.


How to develop a healthy sense of self.

Developing a healthy sense of self requires determined work to help your many micro-selves let go of the fears accumulated from childhood and even during adulthood.

“Why is it so difficult to explore your fears?” and the corollary question is “What can you do early in your life to overcome the fearful emotions that hold you back from seeing the beauty life has to offer you and each other.”  These aren’t idle musings.  Every decision you make is filtered through your fearful micro-voice lenses composed of fearful energies.  Ask ten people to witness an emotionally charged event and their descriptions will all be quite different.  They are not watching with ‘true eyes’ but instead seeing through their individual, unique micro-voice selves.

I’m proposing that it is possible to let go of enough of your emotional fears, that are wrapped around your many inner voices, to begin seeing the world through eyes not burdened with emotions and distorted by excessive self-need.  Not only is it possible to do so, but I believe that is your true purpose in life to love every moment without fear, without judgment, without conditions.  The intention of your soul is to present you with continuous experiences designed to fulfill this purpose to learn how to love every moment.  And the side benefit is that this becomes the path for discovering genuine happiness.

This process for self-discovery starts with very small changes.  By just asking questions, reading from the many thousands of books written over the centuries about universal truths, journaling for yourself, and talking to others about sharing these truths, you will have started moving towards greater happiness. 

My sense is that none of you really need to seek the answers outside of yourselves, you have the perfect guru within you at all times - your deep inner voice.  That is the voice of your soul guiding every one of you at any moment when you are willing to listen.  It’s like you have this huge database of all universal thoughts at your fingertips, yet since most of you don’t trust your ability to access this holiest of information resources, you go searching in far-off lands for answers you already have within you.

As you discover new ideas you begin changing just a little bit.  Your life begins to slowly change in new directions.  You begin having very different opportunities presented to you.  You begin recognizing the value of your experiences as your teachers.  You begin making very different decisions both for yourself and for all of your communities that you live within.  You literally change the world into becoming more loving as you listen to your soul’s suggestions and follow your new path for self-discovery.

Why is this so significant for the world?  In order for you to build healthy, caring, loving, supportive, and compassionate communities for yourself you need to be clear about what you want and need.  By being  honest about what you need, want, and lack within yourself you can seek the community of friends and acquaintances that meet your needs.  You are literally changing the world by creating these connections. 

The direction your country evolves into reflects your ability to change, to give and take lovingly, and to let go of the need to judge others.  By sharing and giving of your energies and time to help others in any way you are re-creating your world. 

The world is a reflection of our collective progress in releasing our fears and committing to healing others around us.  Our planet is crying our for healing, just as our collective Inner Child identities are crying out to be loved and accepted.  The level of fear our Inner Children have directly impacts the state of our natural world.


If you are trying to help others heal, you are healing the world.  Without this ability by the majority of your citizens to reach out to help others, no matter the country, no matter the leadership, no matter the challenges, you will be unable to stop the slow evolution towards the more autocratic, selfish, dumbed-down belief systems that destroy people and prevents them from managing themselves and living a much happier life.  It all starts with you releasing your fears and judgments.  And loving every moment. – kc

1 Comment

Jan 15

Judgement a barrier to instinctual reactions. When we judge others we hold on to what they have done long after the time has passed. An old story holds two monks with a vow of celibacy on a pilgrimage. They come upon a river and a woman unable to cross. The older monk picks up the woman and all three cross. After setting her down, the two monks continue on their way. The younger monk asks, "How could you break your vow to have picked up that woman?" The older monk says, "I left her at the riverbank. You've been carrying her all this time." Why hold on to the poison of another's judgement if we are truly trying to heal…


About US

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This blog has been a work of love developed over the past ten years and finally brought to life through the dedicated tech help by Soren, who was originally my physical therapist and now is a time-limited partner who managers two other martial arts training centers. Being an old gay guy I struggle to function well in the blog-a-sphere so this presentation will be a bit rough at first. Feel free to lend your ideas.


Since my teen years I have believed that through appropriate touch we can heal ourselves. But the journey to better understand my own dynamics and gain enough awareness to be able to write about our complex humanness only coalesced after I had an opportunity to be in prison. There I had time to do deep self-examinations about why I was who I am and how I could translate that into helping others make discoveries for themselves. I do not claim to be a professional therapist or counselor.


But I do believe there are others in this world who might benefit from these ideas presented in this blog platform. Having grown to the point of releasing nearly all of my fears and can now truly say that I love every moment and feel in partnership with my soul, I feel that others may benefit from my travels. Being non-judgmental I welcome your insights, whatever they may be, and I will strive to help everyone find greater peace in their lives. and Hoshow, LLC.


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