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A couple nights ago I opened up to my husband about some of the judgements I had placed upon myself. As my best friend he knows me better than any other human alive. He looked at me in disbelief. He was confused that I would be so harsh on myself. He did not see what I was seeing for he saw with an eye of love. 

Why is that we are often our harshest critics? I once heard put this way 

If you talk to your best friend the way you talk to yourself, would she still be your friend?

Are you guilty of such practices?  Unfortunately I can be. 

Last week I wrote about the harmful affects of judging others.  Today I want to discuss how we can began to overcome judging ourselves

We get to learn to be nicer to ourselves. We often judge our worst against another’s best. We see our faults as if they were big red marks written on our chest making it difficult to see the beauty that is also within.

Is it acceptable to see yourself with that same kind of love and kindness that we hope to give out to others?  Not only is it acceptable, I believe it is essential for true lasting happiness. Patricia Holland put it this way

We must be patient with ourselves as we overcome weaknesses, and we must remember to rejoice over all that is good in us. This will strengthen our inner selves and leave us less dependent on outward acclaim. When our souls pay less attention to public praise, they then also care very little about public disapproval. Competition and jealousy and envy now begin to have no meaning.

 

As we give ourselves permission to live with and love our imperfect self we give way to judgements of others. It’s a two fold blessing.

How do we not only remember this but learn to truly apply it in our lives?

1. You must seek divine guidance.

God sees you as you really are. Your glorious potential mingled with your imperfections. He does not see them as two separate parts.

Go to Him in prayer and ask that He open your eyes to the good that is in you. And then, this is the beautiful part, expect He will answer you.

Write down the thoughts that come. Even if it seems small and insignificant. When you think you have written everything down, ask in prayer, “Is there more?” Be still and let the thoughts come.

2. Ask those who love you most

Go to your spouse, your best friends, your children, and yes even your mother. Ask them to share the good they see in you. You might be pleasantly surprised by what they have to say.

Here is the tricky part. You can not, under any circumstance, discount what they say. Even if you don’t see what they see you say “Wow. That’s so nice of you to say those things.” Or “Thank you so much, I really feel your love for me”

Anything new you find out, add to the list you have already started.

I did this several years ago and it was entertaining to hear what my children had to say my talents were. The younger ones saw how I served them, I was good at making food and reading to them. The older ones were a little more helpful.  I discovered things I had never before thought of as a talent and I was grateful for the people around me who loved me so much.

3. Express gratitude.

Now that you have compiled your list read through it a couple of times. As you see the talents that were given to you, specific for your life, again get on your knees and express deep gratitude for what God has given you.

When we complain about what we do not have or who we are not, in essence, we are telling God His ways are not good enough. We are questioning His will as if we somehow know better than He does.

In contrast, by expressing our deep gratitude we are allowing His goodness to be felt and seen in our lives. And with that goodness He can raise us up and make us into the person we truly have the capacity to become.

I have seen in my own life the difference that can be felt when we let go of personal judgment. We began to see the magnificent in those around us. And our hearts can be filled with a greater sense of love.

Embrace who you are, faults and all. For when you do, your light can be a beacon of happiness and joy. Drawing others in, allowing them the freedom to shine right alongside you.

SUSAN

1 Comment

  1. I love your talent at expressing your thoughts and deep feelings. You have always been great at saying what is in you heart, deep down.
    Love you,
    Dad

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