Judgement, Forgiveness and the Art of Getting Out of Your Own Head

 

I’m not judging people, I’m judging their actions.
It’s the same type of distinction that I try to apply to myself, to judge, but not be judgmental. 

~Jeff Melvoin

 

Hey y’all. Did you miss me? For those of you who noticed I was silent last week, my apologies for the unexpected hiatus. If you didn’t notice, that’s fine too. I have not yet achieved the position where I take myself so seriously.

To save space, I won’t get into the eleventy billion things going on in my little corner of the world. I will say that this column is written nearly real time. And by the time I realized it needed to be written, it was really too late. And honestly, it wasn’t something I really wanted to make time for. So I made the choice.

I felt a bit guilty about that. Moreover, I got a bit nervous about what folks would think. I don’t know about you, but I can recall in full living color almost every mistake, misstep, small fault, discrepancy, deficiency, perceived or otherwise, that I have ever had. I assume that every one else does too. Ridiculous as it sounds, any moment that I fall short creates a whirlwind of judgement calling up every past moment where I wasn’t quite enough. It’s a fun time. Really.

I have made a conscience decision to alter that natural response. It is not the easiest thing I have ever done and it takes a fair amount of effort and intention. However, a big bonus is the effect it has on my ability to deal with people. Because I have learned so much about being kinder to myself and the truth about perception and reality, it is far easier to extend the same latitude to others around me.

Today, I encourage you to tell the witch voice in your head to take a hike. This nag is useless. We are all imperfect people. We all make mistakes. Sometimes we are fortunate to do them in private. Sometimes the whole world is watching. Either way, we aren’t the first person to screw it up. And outside of ourselves and folks who are just looking for a reason to pull you down, no one really remembers all that other stuff anyway – they are too busy remembering their own. Understand the nag will return. That voice is kinda persistent that way. It is not another statement of failure, but another chance to exercise strength. These tough moments are not evidence of failed person, but of the humanity that makes us resilient.

Thanks for the coffee,

*Photo Credit to Tim Hyde

Comments

  1. My mean self-talk comes from my inner troll. She is a ruthless judge who keeps a viligent watch on my every mood.

    She’s sort of a bitch.

    I’ve been working on quieting her rants for a while now. And I must admit, I have come a long way. I don’t know if it’s age, experience or a dwindling lack of concern about what other people think. Regardless, I’m happy to say she my troll doesn’t shout at me quite as much as she used to.

    Part of self care and self compassion (for me) is hearing the mean self talk, then recognizing that it’s all just a bunch of limiting beliefs and emotional blocks that keep you stuck. It’s all crap. And crap stinks. So I step around it and move on.

    But we all have “one of those days” sometimes ….

  2. She is sorta REALLY a bitch…I think we have sisters in our heads 🙂

    I think my issue all centers around ego and desire for others to be happy, a more specifically, happy with me. It pains me to think I have let someone down or didn’t live up to my potential or agreement. Usually when I feel that way, I have legitimately under-performed. However, I usually see the deficit as a much larger chasm than it is. And my fall is almost always the result of fear and loathing

    I think I am learning that a duck is built for water to roll off its back for a reason – it is healthy for the duck to function that way. I am thinking more like a duck. I am not, cannot and will not ever be perfect. And nobody else will either – at least we are all in good company 🙂

  3. Hi April,

    “The nag is useless.” – love that.

    It’s true that no one remembers our mistakes as vividly as we do, but I find it nearly impossible to get my subconscious to get with the program. As useless an exercise as rehashing old flubs and fluffs is, it’s an exercise that is practiced daily. (I wish that my sit-up routine was as regimented). 🙂

    Ray

  4. Ray 🙂 Thanks so much for coming by!!

    It is a tough activity. I have found that some days are easier than others (just like workouts) and even the tough days are easier than the earlier days (conditioning).

    It ain’t like breathing, but nearly as important. I have found that releasing the judgement is helpful. In the great words of the penguins…”Smile and wave, boys. Just smile and wave.”

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