Lack of love and acceptance for ourselves might show up in the way we perceive or treat others. I noticed myself saying disparaging things about someone yesterday. Upon deeper reflection, I realized my judgment was coming from my own body image issues.
Fault-finding can show up in other areas too. Have you noticed? When you don’t feel confident in your capabilities you might call someone else ‘smarty pants’. Or you suppress your emotions and tell someone he or she is ‘too emotional’. Perhaps you hold back and then accuse another of being too outspoken.
These unrecognized aspects of ourselves are sometimes referred to as our shadow. Those hurt, insecure and fearful parts of our ‘persona’ lurk in the background and compel our behaviours so quickly, we wonder ‘what was I thinking when I said that?”
When I realize what I had done, I felt regret and shame. Sitting with it, resisting the urge to make myself bad and wrong, another thought arose. What was needed here was to love and accept that part of myself that feels anxious about how I look. What would really be helpful and healing would be to have compassion for myself so that I can see the goodness and beauty in others.
Next time you find yourself judging or criticizing another, look inside to see if there is a part of you that needs kindness and understanding. Loving and accepting ourselves with all our imagined faults is the pathway to acceptance of others. Whatever we perceive in the outer world is a reflection of our inner world.