Michael's Journal, News, Visionary Mind | February 4th, 2008

What follows is an excerpt from a very early draft of my upcoming book, i Stand (sub-title yet to be determined). Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Judgment Walls As A Tool of the Positionary Mind

The young child is adored by her parents. In their eyes she can do no wrong. She is precious, perfect. Even when she messes her diaper, she’s a little miracle.

Her parents seem to be all powerful. They can get the cookies down from the top shelf. And they’re all knowing too. They know how to tie shoes and count to 20. Her parents are her grasp on reality—what’s what, who’s who, and why things do what they do.

Then one day, mom comes home after being stuck in traffic and sees the house a mess. She hasn’t had any time to herself in a long time. She’s been giving so much, working so hard, and now the house is a mess again.

Around the corner comes the adorable little girl, so happy to see mommy, and in that instant she sees the glare in her mom’s eyes, hears the shriek of her voice and her towering presence over her. The little one is petrified.

She cries out, her whole world is upside down. The one who knows everything, the one who gave her life, the one to takes care of her, the one who she depends on for love and survival is suddenly a threat to her existence—or so it seems.

What is she to do? What can she do?

As the child grows older, she learns a few basic strategies to deal with this pain.

She learns ways of finding separation from her parents’ eyes and voice, so she’s not hurt by their looks of disapproval, or the subtle mockery in their voices. Eventually, as she begins to form her own identity among her peers, she becomes more self-conscious and the extra shaming from her parents only adds fuel to the fire.

She stays in her room a lot. She puts on her headphones and listens to music. She spends a lot of time with friends, who understand her and approve of her. She leaves the house a lot, finds other things to do. She covers her ears and runs out of the room, when necessary.

And there’s another way she finds separation. She erects walls of judgment. If mom is a psycho basket case, then when mom’s yelling at her, it sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher. Waa Waa Waa Waa Waa Waa Waa Waa. And, it doesn’t hurt as much that mom disapproves.

Any kind of judgment works. Maybe mom is too old, too conservative, too tight, too out of touch, too controlling, too manipulative, too mean, too ___________________.

What works is that mom’s looks and words of disapproval don’t hurt as much anymore.

Then, when she’s in school and the cool group of girls laugh at her, she learns to look down on them. They’re stupid, or preppy, or arrogant. Again, any judgments will do the trick. It works for the girl’s mind, because it’s less painful to be in their presence or to think of them.

As the girl dates, and is rejected by the guy she adores. It hurts. Judgments help give her the strength to let go and move on.

But over time, the girl has erected a set of emotional and mental walls that begin to keep her separate and alone, a virtual prisoner in a self-made jail. And she’s getting really good at it. She knows how to shame someone just with a roll of her eyes. Inside, though, she’s hurting. She just may not know how much she’s hurting. Others may not know. Until she starts to find ways to medicate herself or find approval among peers, who are also hurting.

By this time, her parents have little influence. It hurts them that their daughter won’t open up to them fully. It hurts that she says mean things to them. They raised her, supported her, sacrificed so much for her, loved her through it all—and now she’s so distant, and sometimes as cold as ice.

They don’t know what to do. They too are hurting deeply. To be rejected, even hated by their flesh and blood, by the little precious baby they gave birth to. What could hurt more deeply? Silently her parents blame themselves, and each other. And, of course, when their daughter looks at them or speaks to them in a disrespectful way, they sometimes lash out—further fueling their daughter’s pain, and justifying her fears that they don’t love her, don’t see her, and don’t understand her.

Sometimes the young girl may try to open up and explain. And her parents, assuming they understand and wanting to help, offer her advice–from behind their own judgment walls. And she feels it. She can’t hear their words, because she senses their disapproval. They think they’re listening. She knows they’re not.

And so the separation grows ever wider. At some point, a comfortable distance of separation is reached, and everyone comes to accept each other. “Such is life,” they say. And they give up on the impassioned dreams and desires for deeply intimate, loving family bonds. Sure, they laugh together, visit each other, talk to one another, and everything’s fine.

But there’s no vision for it being any other way.

Their Judgment Walls keep them from being able to see and speak to the heart of the other.

Judgment Walls are an integral tool of the Positionary Mind. Judgment Walls limit our vision, but they keep us protected from being hurt—or at least it appears that way.

Over the years, the separation caused by the walls brings far more suffering than the pain of being judged in the moment.

Judgments, however, can be a powerful way to force yourself and your views on others. They can be used to have people do what you want, because they fear you, or fear being judged by you. Whether we realize it or not, most of us are judgment Jedi’s! We can swing our sword of our judgment in the blink of an eye.

Many people have become very successful in today’s Positionary World using Judgments as tools and weapons. It’s obvious to see in those who walk all over others to get their way, but most of those they walk over, no doubt stand in judgment of them.

So, how do we protect ourselves from our parents’ and other authorities’ judgments of us? By building our own walls of judgment, which in turn hurt them. Of course, they then make their walls even thicker which hurts us more. And, on and on it goes….

Why are our parents and other authorities in our lives often so incapable of really seeing us and speaking to our hearts? Why do they use fear, guilt and shame to enforce their views on us? Why are they so distant? Or, so intrusive? Or, so insensitive? Or ______________?

Consider that they grew up in the same crazy world we’re living in now. They faced the judgments of the world, to be who they have become. Inside each adult is a wounded child, longing to be seen and honored for who they truly are.

If you’re ready to end the craziness of the Positionary Mind, and collapse the walls of judgment that keep you separated from the ones you love, I invite you to take an application for the iStand Experience, formerly the VisionForce Boot Camp. NOTE: The application deadline for the Spring Session is tonight, Monday February 4th at 11:59pm.

Please leave your comments below:


  1. Nancy

    Feb 4th, 2008

    It is always best to tear down the walls of judgement because if you don’t…you can’t grow.

    It is best to keep your friends always and never make enemies of them by being judgemental.

    If I have been too judgemental sometimes, when I wasn’t trying to be…forgive me.

    My friends are always my friends no matter what they may perceive of me. Maybe they are the ones being judgemental ….HA! HA! TEEZE>>>TEEZE!

    If they knew me, the person “I AM” they would know they would never have anything to fear. As for the story, I can’t help how that person was…maybe she needed someone special to talk with her…someone like you!

    I talk of LOVE and I mean it!

    Your Friend,

  2. Peter Clarkson

    Feb 4th, 2008

    An attempt at editing.

    Angela had been working far to long and the burden of having to provide for her little daughter Angelina had proved to be more than she could handle by herself. Alone with here thoughts felt that the pressures of having to provide, of being both hunter and gatherer for Angelina was too large a burden to share with anyone but herself.

    This is a story about the life of a single mother.

    Coping strategies for parents who have not been given a second chance by the social order within which they have been thrown like a kid into a flood and told sink or swim by their peers. That is a really hard line to take. But that is the everyday reality for lots of single MOMS. OK what are the circumstances that occurred before the above scene came to your attention?

    Whatever the beginnings are we need to define simply what the terms of endearment are before we can ever rise from the pit of despair or is that the pit of empathy or is it the pit of pity. Whatever it is it is a void that the vast majority of members of the general public avoid. The general hysteria of going about ones daily work, to please the boss, the co-workers and the general public whom your business is there to serve. Is it hysteria? I believe it is. IF so then we ought to understand hysteria much better than we do.

    Etc. Etc. Etc.

    If we use our voice to tell a story we can tell that story from the perspective viewpoint of each of the characters within the drama. Each character brings to the conversation their peculiar idiosyncrasies. It is how we deal with the particulars and the universals of that idiosyncratic diversity of intentions that we gain any form of social understanding.

    I assume that the underpinnings of the descriptive function that languages perform is LOGIC. I know a little bit about LOGIC, I am a mere amateur logician a mere amateur aesthetician a mere amateur semiologist and mere amateur anthropologist and lastly to the thumbs up a mere amateur cultureologist. That is a peculiar mix of traits that is a peculiar list of attributes. I listen to the radio a lot instead of going to earn a living in the workforce, this has left me poorer than a church mouse. The pickings are slim. Not much gets eaten in a church let alone dropped on the floor for us mice. Starvation diets produce anxious care and anxious care produces a state of hysteria and a state of hysteria makes ones spirit, ones emotional state feel ill, feel not so well at all and so one gets angry, one goes into a pathological state of mind and ends up in a state of psychosis ready to be carted off in a straight jacket. One would have to be a Houdini to get out of that double bind, the straight jacket that the present day social order has put mankind in. Am I in the right to question the present day state of affairs or not?

    What is the solution to this problem?

    Pete Clarkson alias TruthInArt alias Paparazzo of Plagiarism

  3. Alla Jessie Kerr

    Feb 4th, 2008

    The Judgement Window is an elegant tool. I possess a graduate degree in counselling and have done extensive work in the field of conflict management and mediation. This lovely little tool eliminates the need for superfluous language. I have used it and shared it with others since learning about it. Elegant thinking!!!!

  4. peter van dyk

    Feb 4th, 2008

    WOW, and Hi,

    what an amazing piece of writing, and a very accurate descripition of how we learn the ”roles” we need to measure up to so that we can get the love we deserve, and need. this is pretty much what I have been teaching men for the last 17 years, what was done to them when they were little and vulnerable, the wounds inside that are not noticed or healed create thier ”coping” mechanisms later in life. The belief systems that our parents and the society have passed on to thier children come back in all kind of destructive ways…… violence to others and violence to ourselves.The ”white elephant” in most of us has to do with the gender roles we are just begining to un-do. Bless us and the generations before, we are just starting to understand how beliefs, that are mostly unconscious and false have set us up …………in solidarity, and love peacePeter

  5. Srini V Srinivasan

    Feb 4th, 2008

    Dear Michael,

    Continuing on from what you say in our book (in inverted commas below) is a bit I have added. It is some of the thoughts I have had, which I am working on expanding and refining further, for a book I am considering writing – GRACE (Growth and Resurgence Achieved by Community Empowerment).

    “Why are our parents and other authorities in our lives often so incapable of really seeing us and speaking to our hearts? Why do they use fear, guilt and shame to enforce their views on us? Why are they so distant? Or, so intrusive? Or, so insensitive? Or ______________?

    Consider that they grew up in the same crazy world we’re living in now. They faced the judgments of the world, to be who they have become. Inside each adult is a wounded child, longing to be seen and honored for who they truly are.”

    The wounded child inside has never learnt to LIVE; it has been so busy surviving in a world it sees as hostile. But, surely, this child received an education! Didn’t that education help alleviate the past, heal the wound and help this child grow and live? Obviously not. It received the education from other wounded children, who, themselves facing judgments and using judgment as a weapon of survival, were not capable of helping it develop and grow. Also, the ‘education’ it received was nothing more than ‘training’ to ‘fit in’ and serve the system created by other wounded children. This cycle will go on and on until some few who have managed to break the shackles of this cycle intervene with enlightening education of the afflicted.

  6. Alice Aird

    Feb 4th, 2008

    Michael, I love this piece of writing and feel very aligned with your work and the comments I have read here. I see your methods as a very hopeful sign for humanity. We are seeing human creativity put to creating the inner tools that are needed to transform us individually and how we relate to each other. Isn’t that fantastic!

    I highly recommend the book Parenting for a Peaceful World by Robin Grille for a very full and moving understanding of the history of the treatment of children and how the treatment of children affects the societies we create. It’s a book that helps us to drop our judgments and see that as you say, we are all damaged children. I felt such compassion for everyone after reading that book. Robin’s view that extensive psychotherapy is needed to over come the damage i do not share. that’s why i get excited about tools that enable rapid shifts in our way of relating to ourselves, each other and the world.

    The good news is that we know so much now about how to parent children with kindness and respect to ensure they develop empathy and creativity ( and Robin Grille covers this subject fantastically) – and we are learning how to create a healthy growth environment for ourselves and each other to heal the damage that we have received in childhood. Your tools are so valuable for that.

    Thank you for your stand for humanity! You are inspiring me to be stand up and speak out more widely about tools such as yours. I am a life coach and feeling called to become a pubilc speaker about these topics.

    warm regards, Alice

  7. trine

    Feb 5th, 2008

    the immediacy and accessiblity is great.

  8. gina

    Feb 5th, 2008


    That was intense! I loved it! It was interesting , as a parent, to be put in the position of my kids and yet to remember myself in that position as a child at the same time. These are words to which everyone can relate.

    Bravo! I can’t wait to read the rest of the book. My mouth is watering now :-)


  9. Sean

    Feb 5th, 2008

    I was considering why read another story, lets face it, I now can write endlessly my own… Then I realised the blessing of entering for a short time anothers world, it helps us recognise things we missed, things we’re still ‘hooked on’, or have burried away… Sometimes it is easier for it o come to us this way than from directly within, it gives a sense of space and safety…

    As I read now, I am fully aware of my entire being as I perceive it, feelings, thoughts, pictures, I then simply watch what conflict exists and then relax…

    All kinds of powerful releases of blocked energy occur, strange pulses, warmth, and peace is soon revealed.

    The trick is completely immersing and associating with the character and at the same allowing your own fulleset ‘inner’ experience to reveal your own truth.

    Consider a book may take a person a lifetime for a person to create, and you get to have this hyper-speed evolutionary perspective from anothers point of view, over and over from different creators…

    Flippin marvellous:)

  10. PALI

    Feb 5th, 2008

    Hello Michael

    The excerpt really moved me – I was that little girl and so was my daughter until I realized one day that I had become my ‘mother’ and its been really hard to deal with. Although in my 40′s now I am still ‘stuck’ being that girl inside but am slowly finding ways of getting ‘unstuck’. I have a problem expressing my emotions/feelings and am unable to speak from the ‘heart’. The excerpt took me back years and brought up a lot of hidden emotions. Your book I think will benefit a lot of people and I look forward to it.

  11. Jediah

    Feb 13th, 2008

    Byron Katie showed me how to deal with Reality in ’99…..”www.the work.com” works…it stops all the stories I think to jump into and causes me to investigate my thoughts….”the Work”also seems to eliminate the “taking it personally’ syndrome. Perception is always, all ways, a personal choice. Children can learn this process without the need to read anything. All it takes is the memory of 4 simple questions which, in my experience, live “rent free” in my brain and easily evict 99% of drama from my life = “TRUST, the uni-verse (the one song of love, no matter how strident the notes may sometimes seem)is user friendly”….all the rest is a collection of offered opinions, which may, or may not, remain validly important to me…I have the right to investigate my thoughts and choose my own actions= that’s real freedom.

  12. Naoko Hoshino

    Feb 15th, 2008

    Let me know when your book is published, I really look forward to reading it! It would also be a wonderful book to translate and publish here in Japan.

    Translator & Interpreter, Japan

  13. Cheryl Jones Latimer

    Feb 18th, 2008

    It is Feb. 18’08 11;57pm elmira, Michigan time…
    I missed the deadline…I became seperated in the seperation that dis-connected my Vision from my heart. It was in the instance I saw something. I saw something after reading this article of Michaels Skyes…What I saw was I was “Faceing the Mountain” one day a long time ago…& than their was this unbeleiable situation is which my spirit seemed to be crushed and in the crushing in order to survive their was seperation. You see I was seperated from someone I love whoms Vision was like my Vision, whom also carried The Torch & the Flame, but then in a distance I was lost without my friend…Every time I see The Mountain, as I walk closer in Vision The Force of seperation overcomes me. I see now that to move through life re-connecting the connection of Unity in the Heart that the Power in the Passion for Life can thurst me forward to be delivered into the Spirit of Being Alive that shall break forth and walls of sepperation break into nothing at all because The Light Blazes into the darkness & the darkness cannot put it out…The walls of seperation is when we turned the Light of Vision off….thank-you Michael skye for after reading this article the Light came on…
    I arrived at “awakening” like the “Break of Morning” as the waves of the ocean tide gentley break through the misty fog and morning sunshine…

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