Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Hazards of Pointing Fingers

It seems like people jump at the chance to criticize you when you do something out of line, out of character or just plain old stupid. They are quick to tell you how disappointed they are, and sometimes people even take it as far as accusing you of committing this error or lapse in judgment with the intention of hurting them personally. Talk about adding insult to injury! I’ve been on both sides of this. Haven’t you?

When I’m already beating myself up about making a bad decision, the last thing I want to deal with is someone scolding, accusing, belittling and judging. Back up off me. When there is no consideration to how I already feel about what I’ve done; shame, guilt and anger build up inside of me and I build this wall up to protect myself. This wall only leads to me feeling alone and misunderstood. Over time, these kinds of experiences can lead to inertia. When we are faced with challenges everyday, we become afraid to take a leap because of the ugly recall we have about the last time when things didn’t turn out well and “the whole world” was watching as we failed to deliver.

Like I said, I’ve been on both sides of this plight and I’m taking a close look at myself to evaluate how I treat people in my life when they disappoint me. Above all else, I’m learning that other people's mistakes HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ME.

People do the things they do because they are living out their own lives and the unique lessons they have to learn. Who am I to say that they shouldn’t have done that thing or made that mistake that was so inconvenient for ME and not in MY plan? Guess what? We’ll all be a lot happier when we realize that people do what they do until they have the experiences and growth to want do things differently. Who am I to try and dilute those necessary experiences with my own version of how things should go? Constructive feedback certainly has its place, especially in loving relationships, but this communication should be loving and productive – not judgmental.

Likewise, we must recognize our own lessons and find the blessing in them even if no one else does. People will talk. But no matter what you do, you must never lose sight of the fact that it is YOUR lesson. Who cares what anyone else thinks or believes; you are the one living your life. There is nothing to feel guilty, ashamed or angry about when we make mistakes. When we expect that these kinds of lessons are inevitably going to come, and we are ready to face them – then we are welcoming growth into our lives. Otherwise, we resist, we are immobile and we don’t prosper.

Trust that if the unexpected or undesirable happens, it was supposed to happen and you will be stronger and wiser because of it. Rather than focusing on what "they" will say, hold on to what you have learned and remember how hurtful it felt to be criticized the next time you start to criticize someone else.


Chic Mommy, Cool Kid said...

WOW! That's a powerful post, Sis! And one I can certainly relate to. As a former (I'm claiming freedom from this) control freak--I have had a tendency to judge anyone or anything that has been disruptive to my plan. I recognize now that this is totally unfair and have a better understanding of the fact that things don't always go according to plan and we have to just learn the lesson and keep it movin'. A great affirmation that works for me is "I choose to accept this situation as it is, I forgive myself for my negative response to it, and I release it."

GG said...

Good one. I'm learning to breathe my way through it all. even when Ravy dumps my brand new grapeseed oil down the drain and refills the container with water. just breathe....:)

Chic Mommy, Cool Kid said...

LOL!!! Uh-oh!! Moments like those are definitely 'mommy learning opportunities'. yikes!

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