Isn’t it strange that we don’t trust medical advice except from doctors, car advice except from mechanics or legal advice save from solicitors – yet we can think any idiot is right if they say we’re rubbish!
A stranger laughs at our clothes and we wilt in shame, or a colleague calls us lazy and we go mad with guilt. Why do we give these people such power?
Thebettermanproject posted a phrase some weeks ago I think is perfect for this situation – Do not judge this person, for you do not know what trials they have been through.
We worry so much about what other people think of us, or how they will view our efforts and achievements. Yet no-one can know what went into those efforts.
A wobbly chair may look like the result of a crap carpenter. Then we learn that the person who made it is trying to recover the use of their arms after an accident. The ‘crap chair’ is in fact pretty miraculous.
In our own lives we have often overcome so many ‘invisible barriers’, difficulties others will never know of or may never understand. No-one has the right to judge another person because they cannot know the whole of their story. We do not need to take unkind thoughts seriously, we need not be hurt by them. With such judgements it is as if the critic opened the book of our life at random and pointed at a single word – then ridiculed us for that word.
Look in your heart. Have you always tried to live well, kindly, lovingly? Yes! Then forgive your mistakes and admire your convictions. Have you ever sought to deliberately cause harm? No! Then forgive your mistakes and admire your efforts.
Judge yourself not by your possessions, not by your circumstances or even by the results of your actions but by the quality of your dreams and desires – for we all make mistakes in translation. If others judge you it is only because they can’t bear to look at themselves.
I keep serene
so that the surface is calm
as a mirror
All you see is reflection
and when you point at me
you point in your direction
You mock the depths of my sea
while seeing only the skin of me
and only shame yourself