This is my second post related to the theme of improving my body, mind and soul. Last week I wrote about an appreciation for my body here. Today I’m writing about my intellectual and emotional health and sometimes my lack thereof. Everyone has a little bit of crazy in them and I am no exception!
I was raised in a Roman Catholic household. “Judge not less you be judged,” was something I was taught as a child. In my youth I couldn’t understand how this could apply to me. I wasn’t a Pharisee! I wasn’t judgmental! I felt the same way about the comparison of faith and a mustard seed. Luke 17:6 “And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be though plucked up by the root, and be though planted in the sea; and it should obey you.” I kid you not…I could never understand why the trees did not obey me and why I couldn’t move mountains. I was a very imaginative child. Decades later and my feelings have changed drastically about these lessons. Judging is something we all do every single day. My faith? Probably not half the size of a mustard seed. Yeah no moving mountains here! Move along folks!
We judge ourselves, our friends, kids, spouses and neighbors. Even the most innocuous conversations can turn sour and judgmental if you’re not careful. The truth of the matter is that more people need to focus on themselves (myself included). A recent article written by Martha Beck highlights an exercise that will really shine light on your friendships and relationships. The article Six Steps to See Yourself More Clearly, will make you think, but only if you are brave enough to look into the mirror.
In this article she says that “our subconscious minds cause us to obsess – perseverate – about people who mirror something in ourselves that need our attention.” In other words, the negative traits we see in other people are usually the things we need to fix in ourselves. Look in the mirror…that’s your competition! Nothing taught me this lesson more than a conflict I had with a friend recently. I called her judgmental, and in doing so I slid easily into the role of hypocrite and judge.
This conflict made me realize that I need to keep my mouth shut and worry about my own emotional health and issues. Eleanor Roosevelt once said “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” No truer words have been spoken.
Have you ever had a conversation with someone and have just felt “icky” afterwards? That’s your subconscious mind and heart telling you that something is wrong. Listen to that little voice in your head and change your responses and actions accordingly. Some of the women I admire most are women who are very careful not to engage in gossip. Their strong sense of character is also their most endearing personality trait. I enjoy these friends. We laugh and talk and share details about our lives, our experiences and our goals. Time is truly wasted when you focus on anything else.
The only person I can control is myself. How I react to comments, what I put on social media, and the quality of my interactions with others are all determined by me, myself and I. When it comes to my intellectual and emotional health, my focus will be to look inward.
Mirror mirror on the wall….that’s my competition!