Judging others and self – thoughts on recovery

Matthew 7 (NIV)

Judging Others

 1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

   3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

I have to say that one of the most difficult things about my recovery process is letting go of judgments.  Judgments about myself as well as about others…especially the judgments about myself.  I think that’s kind of where step 1 continually brings me.  I have all these beliefs and opinions about the kind of mother, employee, friend, partner, and woman I think I should be based on all my accumulated knowledge, experience, and skill.  After all, I’m 42 years old, have some college education, and have attended and participated in countless forms and varieties of counseling, courses, classes and programs – secular and faith-based.  I should know better, do better, and be better.  There are key people in my life who agree with that assessment.

The unfortunate fact of the matter is I’m not, I don’t, and on my own, I can’t.  It grieves me no end to come to that realization.  Despite my knowledge, experience, skill, etc. I still find myself caving into depression, insecurity, codependency, and food.  I still find myself not speaking up when I should and sitting still when I should be taking action.  The worries, fears, and uncertainties are still stronger than my faith and my desire for recovery, for the moment.  That faith and that desire is growing stronger. However slowly, it IS growing.

There are pieces of me that are missing and disconnections inside of my mind and soul that I’m just discovering that make it feel as though the transition from where I’ve been and where I’m at to where I want to be is a task of greater proportions than navigating and crossing the Grand Canyon would be for me in my current state of physical and mental health without any tools, preparation, or assistance.  Judging myself for that seems ridiculous once I see it in those terms.

Once I realize the futility and ridiculousness of judging myself, I can now comprehend the folly of judging others, especially those whom I know well and have intimate experience with and understanding of.  The knee jerk reaction to the things that the people I love and care most about do and say that triggers pain and hurt in me and in those around us, is to judge and say that individual is a bad person who is whatever label comes to mind.  In reality, that person is as broken, wounded, and missing pieces the same way I am.  Yes, it’s hurtful and it would be REALLY nice to be able to tell it like it is without being concerned about the ramifications and repercussions.  The reality is that if I have to accept that I’m powerless to change under my own steam and will without the help and intervention of a Higher Power, then I have to accept the same truth about the other people in my life.

So, for today, Lord, help me to accept, forgive, and let go of my judgments of myself and others.  Help me to accept and forgive the judgments of others, because YOU are the only qualified judge.  Whenever I’m hurt, help me to turn to you as a child does to her parent for help and healing of the pain.  Help me to not strike out in word or deed when I’m hurt and to seek forgiveness from you and to make the amends when I do cause hurt.

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