Let That Judgment Go, It’s Only Hurting You

Why is it that we are always the harshest and most unforgiving to ourselves?  Anyone else feel that way?  As a self – proclaimed type A person and perfectionist, non – judgmental is an extremely hard skill for me to practice. My running motto is often – “do better, try hard, do more” AND YET we are human and need grace.  This month I have had to rely on my non – judgmental skill as I caught myself being pretty hard on myself.

Recently, a close family member of mine informed me that they were struggling  with feelings of depression and suicidal thoughts.  I was shocked because I had no idea that they were suffering or that they were not feeling like themselves.  Immediately my brain went to “how could YOU not have know?”, “you’re a therapist and you couldn’t see the signs?”, and “what kind of therapist are you if you can’t even recognize mental health in the people you love?” Talk about some harsh criticism from myself.  Those thoughts were so quick and automatic and did they really help the situation I was in?  Absolutely not, what was needed in that moment was not a scolding of self but rather for me to be present in that moment with my family member to be a support.  Those judgments were only wasting my time and taking away my mindfulness and yet stopping them was easier said than done.

Judgments arise so quickly and automatically that we don’t even realize what is happening.  We are trained from a young age what is good or bad and how to “measure up.”  It is a practice to rewire our brain to stop making judgments our automatic thoughts.  The first step is just having the mindfulness that in that moment we are being judgmental.  Once we are able to notice the judgments then it is possible to take that step back and start to reframe with compassion or just the facts.  Sometimes it can  be easier to practice non – judgmental as if we are talking to a friend.  Non – judgmental is hard especially when we are applying it to ourselves and yet judgmental only increases our suffering while decreasing our self worth.

May is the month of spring and the start of a fresh new environment.  Take this month with me to start trying to be kinder with yourself.  I am being intentional with notice when judgments come up and where they come from.  Then I am working to be gentle with myself because realistically no one is perfect, we ALL make mistakes, and if we can accept that life gets a little easier.  Here’s to being kinder to us all!

Let That Judgment Go, It's Only Hurting You

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