Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. I am happy to see that you decided to stop by to visit with me. Happy New Year to you and your family. God bless you all. Yesterday I attended a New Year’s day get together with a group of friends. We meet yearly at this couples home on New Year’s Day — January 1. I was glad to see and spend time with my friends, however there were several people — that move with in our circle of friends — that I had not seen in quite a while.
To make a long story short, I found myself reacting toward one of those individuals.
As I interacted with that individual I interpreted their facial expressions and behaviors as being critical, belittling and judgemental of me. Consequently, I found myself reacting to them. I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated and angry toward them. Rather than confronting the situation and the individual, I decided to detach physically and move to a different area of the house, where I could examine our interaction.
Through doing a quick moral inventory of myself I became aware of what I was experiencing. I discovered that I was experiencing a sense of shame because of their critical look and behavior, which I took personally. In response, I felt afraid, inadequate and alienated — alienated from them and from myself.
As I continued to process our interactions and why I was experiencing a sense of shame I had an awareness. What dawned on me was how I initially interacted with the individual after they arrived at the party. I remembered watching them with a critical attitude. Upon further examination I then realized that my critical attitude — toward the individual — arose from the resentments that I held toward them from previous interactions.
My next thoughts revolved around a spiritual principle — judge not lest you be judged for the measure that you give out will be returned to you. I then realized that I was receiving back — from them — what I was measuring out to them through my critical demeanor.
Not only was I receiving a critical attitude — from them — but I discovered that I had opened myself up to the fruit of criticism and judgment: minimization, marginalization and alienation. Alienation from them and from myself. I found that through being critical — of them — my judgment boomeranged back to me. My critical attitude toward the individual in essence became a self-inflicted wound.
When I judge other people or myself I inadvertently minimize, marginalize and invalidate who I am and what I bring to the table of life. When I judge other people or myself I practice abandonment.
Over the past several days — as I have continued to look for the lessons brought about through my interaction with the individual at the New Year’s Day party — I have been able to grow from the experience. The incident reminds me that I need to keep the focus on myself when I am irritable, restless and discontent. In the process, I need to own and address my resentments when I find myself reacting to a person or a situation. I need to avoid being critical of other people and myself to avoid self-inflicted wounds.
I need to give people the dignity of owning their perspective of me with out taking their perspectives personally. When I am restless, irritable and discontent I need to keep the focus on myself. I need to own and address my resentments and I need to practice live and let live.
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