“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”
Is it just me or are you also hearing from people whose rhetoric is so polarized that they appear to believe they have no need to consider the thoughts of others. Some of these folks seem to appear to be listening but have closed their minds to the point that they seldom really hear. It is like a blind man who no longer has any interest in seeing as he is comfortable with his inability to perceive the world around him. I recently read that one of the primary causes of this intellectual myopia is the ego need to convince yourself that you are always right. These people seem to believe that if they forcefully profess their imagined superiority they will prove that their rightness is well founded.
I use to feel anger when I encountered these folks, especially those who were borderline verbal bullies but now I just feel sorry for them. I doubt that many of them would follow Dr. Lisabeth Saunders Medlock’s advice and spend time learning about themselves. Here is what she wrote:
5 Ways to Tell the Truth about Ourselves
Stop shaming and blaming.
Most people see self-evaluation as a negative process, but there is an alternative. We can learn to see shame or blame as excess baggage and just set them aside. We could acknowledge and even regret our mistakes and shortcomings while accepting ourselves completely. We can begin working with our list of weaknesses by celebrating them. The more successful people are, the more likely they are to be open to looking at their flaws. We can love and accept ourselves and still work really hard to change ourselves.
One powerful way to move from shame to acceptance is to forgive ourselves. Before practicing new skills and new ways of being, it's wise to clean house. We don't need to beat ourselves up before we re-invent ourselves. We can be totally honest with ourselves and, at the same time, be gentle. While admitting our mistakes, we can treat ourselves with care. After all, everyone makes mistakes.
Let go of the past, but learn from it.
We can focus on what we have learned from our past, without getting caught up in repeating our mistakes. We can discover a way to move forward without feeling rotten about the past. We can change the way things are without having to be upset about the way things have been. The past is over. There is nothing you can do to change the past. It is also important for us to let go of who we were or what we did in the past if that is not what we strive to be in the future. This means we have to believe we can change--we can engage in new ways of being and doing.
Face your fears.
We all have them and they are responsible for holding us back. To identify our fears we need to pay attention and become an observer of ourselves. We should be paying attention to what we fixate on and what we ignore, how we make judgments about situations and how we interpret other's behavior, and the internal dialogue that is going on when the fear strikes. We need to get to know our mindset- especially patterns like learned pessimism or helplessness and other limiting or negative self statements. Mindset is based on our core beliefs. When we say we are afraid, underneath is a belief we have about ourselves- I am not skilled enough, good enough. etc., or a belief about the world--there is too much competition, people won't like what I have to offer, etc. When we can let go of fear we can release ourselves in powerful ways.
See the connection between strengths and limitations.
Most people place strengths and weaknesses in separate, unrelated categories. Another way to perceive them is as being closely related. Often the things about ourselves that we label as weaknesses are simply examples of taking our strengths too far. A person with a passion for organization can become obsessed with details and lose sight of overall goals. A person who listens well may forget to speak about his own thoughts and feelings. These are just a few examples. The point is to remember that our assets and liabilities may all be part of the same personal account.
Of course the first step is deciding that opening our minds to alternatives is worth the effort. If many disagree with you it is worth considering that they may have valid points. If everyone agrees with you most of the time it might be time to worry about living in an environment so protected that you are never challenged by what might be better choices.
It is difficult to find truth when it is seen through lenses clouded by hate.
Heard at the senior center:
My supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size.
My secrets are safe with my friends because they can't remember them either.
"If you listen when you hear and look when you see then you will never be deaf or blind to an opportunity."
She said: "I've got 3 TVs, cable, & a satellite dish; I have 3 phone lines in the house, a cell phone & one in the car, plus a pager. I use 2 computers, 3 ISPs and a fax. I subscribe to two daily papers & one weekly one. I watch both the local & network news every evening. And my kids have the nerve to tell me I'm out of touch!"
"If you were arrested for being kind........would there be enough evidence to convict you?"
The banker had called the man in to talk about his account. "Your financial affairs are in a big mess! Your wife constantly overdraws your account. She is behind in her charge accounts at the department store, and her check stubs are all added wrong. So...why don't you talk to her about it?"
"Because...." said the man, "I would rather argue with you than with her."
"Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain -- and most fools do."
She said: I pulled into a crowded parking lot and rolled down the car windows to make sure my golden retriever had fresh air. She was stretched out on the back seat, and I wanted to impress upon her that she must remain there.
I walked to the curb backward, pointing my finger at the car and saying emphatically, "Now you stay..... Do you hear me?... Stay!.. Stay!"
The driver of a nearby car, perhaps noting that I am a blonde, gave me a strange look and said. "Why don't you just put it in park?"
You must arrange in advance for pleasant memories.
The customer in the Italian restaurant was so pleased that he asked to speak to the chef. The owner proudly led him into the kitchen and introduced him to the chef.
"Your veal parmigiana was superb," the customer said. "I just spent a month in Italy, and yours is better than any I ever had over there."
"Naturally," the chef said. "Over there, they use domestic cheese. Ours is imported."
“Judgments prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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