MARCH 29, 2016
“What Say You?”
Last week I was
in a huge hall with hundreds of others who were summoned for jury
selection. The night before, I reviewed the jury selection process
online and reflected on what it might be like to be responsible for
another person’s life and fate. What’s it like to be another person’s
led me to examine judging in everyday life, outside of the formal
judicial process. Like, how often do we judge others albeit unwittingly?
Through the course of my counselling practice (which includes both
working with people and working on myself), I’ve observed that the depth
by which we judge others is simply a reflection of how much we place
guilt and blame on our own selves. On a level that might sound
surprising, the lens through which we regard others serves as the same
mirror we view ourselves in.
clients who express difficulty in moving forward in life, I have found
that there always comes a point where they confront their own judge,
that inner voice that whispers they’re guilty of not being good enough,
not deserving, not worthy. I empathize with them fully as I, too, have
plunged into my own dark depths of listening to my inner judge and that
debilitating inner critic that isn’t on my side. Yes, that part present
in many of us that judges our thoughts and actions, shames us into
striving to please others just to be accepted, or questions what we’re
capable of. That voice that hisses conditional acceptance: “I will like
you only if …” Thoughts that pound out many reasons to believe we need
to work harder, achieve more, show more proof of success – all to prove
to ourselves that we’re good enough.
Good enough for
what? The answer is often swift: Good enough to be worthy of love and
acceptance. We can be are our own harshest judge, our personal
detractor, the cruel commentator of our lives – finding fault at every
turn, withholding love and acceptance until we become perfect. After all
these years of striving for perfection, I’ve never achieved it, until I
realized that the wall strengthened by my own self-judgment was exactly
what kept me from moving forward in my life in the ways I wanted. Have
you felt the same way?
I continue my
personal work in releasing my judge and critic. It’s taken a long time
to recognize that their words have never served me; it was time to end
their grip on my life.
Thus began the
road to self-acceptance and self-compassion, my journey to finding
peace. I’m still working on believing my own words as I affirm that I am
worthy, good enough, and deserving … beyond a reasonable doubt. I’m
slowly having me on my side and does it feel lighter! I prefer – and now
choose – to listen to the voice of my inner cheerleader, my personal
internal champion who can acknowledge how far I’ve come, and that in my
perfect state of imperfection, I am worth loving me.
Who do you find
yourself with 24/7 – your inner judge and critic, or your inner lover? I
think it’s time to excuse and dismiss the one who’s not in service of
your happiness and well-being.
One last thing
about last week. Serendipitously, about an hour into the jury selection
process, we were all excused. Just like that. No longer needed to serve.
No longer needed to judge.
©2016 Copyright Margie Santos