I’VE SPENT A LOT OF TIME JUDGING MYSELF. I’ve spent a lot of time telling myself that I need to be better. That I need to make more money. That I need to look better, feel better, and do better. Always the judge. I’ve spent a lot of time trying desperately to prove myself to others. I wanted people to think I was just amazing, doing great things, and making a difference in the world. When I succeeded, I felt on top of the world. And when I failed, I felt as though the world had dropped out from under me. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to be different things to different people. Acting the chameleon, pretending I liked things I didn’t like, believed things I didn’t believe, and laughed at things I didn’t think were funny. And why? Because I wanted to prove to the world and to myself that I was okay. I wanted to prove that I wasn’t a loser, a bad person, a fool. I wanted to prove to others and to myself that I could succeed just like everyone else. And here’s the upshot…I did…and I still felt terrible.
It didn’t matter what I achieved, the judge was always there. I used to say that I didn’t care what others thought, that I only needed to prove to myself I could make it. I only needed to prove to myself, fill in the blank. The reality was I cared desperately what everyone else thought of me, which made it impossible to feel okay. Yes, some people didn’t like me. But for so long, that was just unacceptable. What I know now is that even when I take others out of the equation and only try to prove my worth to myself, I still ultimately feel like a failure. Why? Because the judge is still working, but it isn’t others judging me, it’s myself. And the reality is I’m a much harsher judge than anybody else.
So I’m trying to let go of the judge. The imagined judge of others as well as the all too real judge of myself. I’m trying to “just live,” and let go of constantly trying to prove myself. Seems a much better way to live. Because when you think about it, “proving yourself” is an infinitely relative enterprise. Not only do our ideals change over time, they also change geographically, culturally, and so on. And one more thing…the universe has no interest in whether I prove myself or not. The sun rises and the world spins regardless of the self-image of those standing on it.
Having said all that, it appears that instead of listening to and playing the judge, it might be better to #justlive.
~The Bellowing Angels (T.B.A.)