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Don't Be Too Quick to Judge Yourself

Posted: 08/22/2012 7:23 am

"I intend to be a better friend with myself." | Support Cathy's Intent

Cathy's intent reminds me of an excerpt of a poem by William Wordsworth:

There are in our existence spots of time,
That with distinct pre-eminence retain
A renovating virtue, whence, depressed
By false opinion and contentious thought,
Or aught of heavier or more deadly weight,
In trivial occupations, and the round
Of ordinary intercourse, our minds
Are nourished and invisibly repaired

When I first read this poem many years ago, I assumed the "false opinion and contentious thought" that Wordsworth writes of only came from external sources, like a rude stranger or maybe a jealous coworker, and that the "spots of time" were treasured moments given to us by our friends and loved ones. But after reading Cathy's intent today, I realized that in many cases we are often our own harshest critic. The negative thoughts and feelings that are inflicted upon us might also come from inside of us too. While honest self-reflection is healthy and can lead to positive change, it's also important to be kind to ourselves and remember the things we do well. Just like we aren't too quick to judge a good friend, don't be too quick to judge yourself either. Instead, recall the "spots of time" that help nourish and repair you when you aren't at your best. Think about a moment when you excelled or helped someone you cared about. How did you feel about yourself in that moment? Hold on to that feeling and take it a step farther by fostering that feeling in yourself and in others through the actions you take today.

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