any psychic process that controls you gets much of its power from being unconscious. Therefore, the first phase in regaining control of your own heart and mind is to make the particular process as conscious as possible. By being curious and willing to be in touch with what you are already experiencing, you are becoming more aware of the psychic activity of self-judgment.

Self-judgment is the constant valuation of yourself according to standards learned in the past. It manifests as attacking and engagement. The more you become conscious of the inner activity of attacking and engagement, the more you realize that almost any mental activity used to stop judgment ends up supporting rather than ending it. This is because the effort to stop the attack is initially motivated by the experience of yourself as the victim of the attack-that is, the child. But as you have seen, acting from that selfimage of the child-victim always leads to some form of engagement. In other words, real disengagement requires disidentifying from the child self-image so that you can be truly effective in stopping the attack.

Disidentification is implicit in the process of defending against attacks. A true defense does not function in support of any selfimage, whether child or judge. It is independent of the mind. But what does this mean? And how do you stop identifying with who you think you are, with the familiar images that define you?

Spiritual seeking is a recognition that there is more to life than what you are aware of in your familiar daily existence. You sense that you are more than just a physical body and the drama of your personal history. You find yourself questioning the definitions of self that have been given to you because you want to know the deepest truth of who you are and why you are here. You feel deep pain in being separated from the sense of wholeness and aliveness that is your birthright. You long to reconnect with the depths of your soul.

It is the response to the suffering created by this separation that you were tapping into when you imagined yourself in the department store at the beginning of this chapter. It is the movement beyond the child’s engagement with the parental judge that you are activating by viewing your child from a distance. In doing so, you can recognize what was missing in the scene-the deep desire to protect your connection with what is most essential in your own humanness: the flow of your soul.” – Byron Brown, Soul without shame, a guide to liberating yourself from the judge within.