Since judgment is a silent presence in our minds, it is difficult to seek and destroy. Few people would remain impassive if they were called a fault-finder. As a matter of fact, the first time someone made me notice that I was judgmental towards others, I felt hurt. Who, me? I don’t criticize! And yet I did: not only did I judge others, but I especially judged myself.
Everything always starts within ourselves. If we judge other people, it is because the root of our problem is self-criticism. If we listen to what we think, we would often not hear anything else but “I’m not good enough” “I made a mistake” “I’m ugly,” “I’m stupid.” It is actually a ruthless and cruel attitude towards ourselves.
Don’t be fooled by people who always criticize others: they are actually talking about themselves. We always only speak of ourselves. Our self-criticism never gives us a break: we’re never good enough, handsome enough, busy enough. We often compare ourselves to other people, but we are not them! Our life is ours. It doesn’t matter if our neighbour has 4 children and an impressive job: if our dream is to live alone and sunbathe in the garden in our spare time, let’s do that and accept who we are with joy!
However, in order to do so, we have to get rid of our false expectations. We may have been leading a very expensive life: got a penthouse, a Porsche and work ourselves to death to earn the money to keep all that. If this is what we really want and we’re happy with it, that’s perfect!
But, if we suddenly undergo a crisis and nothing seems to make sense anymore, that is because the goals we set in our life were not ours. We chose them without really knowing what was in our soul. And just at that moment, our inner critic ruthlessly gets into action and tortures us with a never-ending list of all the reasons why we are not up to our false goals. Don’t worry: that annoying judge is nothing more than our own mind. We have therefore the right to tell it the phrase that sometimes Italian mothers (ironically!) tell their children: I made you, I can destroy you.
It is not a very complicated task, since it is just a way of thinking and, in order to undo it, we have to become aware of the moments when we criticize our actions and simply stop doing it.
It takes a good amount of self-respect and it is essential to understand what we truly want to be happy, here and now. Let’s be compassionate with ourselves and our mistakes because, after all, we are human! Merry Christmas.
Cover picture by Fabrice Van Opdenbosch