I have realized something about myself in the last little while that I am not such a fan of. I tend to be extremely critical sometimes. Often I am hyper critical about myself, and other times (these are the more frustrating times) I am critical of others. I have been working it – consciously working on it – for a while now. This past weekend, I spent a long weekend with my Mom and my 3 big sisters having a girls’ retreat. It was so much fun! I sometimes struggle with my personal criticisms when about to gather with them, because they are so good in many of the ways I struggle. I often go into those times feeling like I am so inferior to my sisters on so many fronts. I take it way past humility and deep into the realm of self doubt and hopelessness even. This weekend I was determined to just keep embracing who I am and not worry too much about what they would think of me, and I mostly succeeded. It was better than I have ever been able to do that before.
Then came the really frustrating moment. It was not a moment when I was filled by self doubt, but a moment when I started thinking, “Well, why don’t they just do it like me? It’s so much better my way.” There were a few things we discussed that I realized that was my initial reaction to the things they were sharing with me. I would struggle and pray for help to be able to focus on all of their GREAT attributes, without feeling lousy about myself. Then I added the prayer to be able to remember the wonderful things about myself without turning those thoughts into negative ones about my sisters as well. Most of the time, it was really easy, but there were a couple of moments when it took more prayer and effort to keep that balance where it belongs – right in the center. Respect for myself and respect for my sisters – without condition.
I re-stumbled upon this great video tonight and it reconfirmed the things I had already learned about this topic. I love this story, and love the video a ton! It is so classic! I am so grateful to have a hubby like the one in the story that manages to help someone improve, while still maintaining that kind of respect. I am determined to keep trying, until I get this something that I can be honestly perfect in. Good thing I am only in my 30s, it might take me a while, but the journey has begun. I will wash my windows and look at myself through uncluttered mirrors as well!