Judging Your Life Doesn’t Help You
“When we struggle to change ourselves, we in fact, only continue the patterns of self-judgement and aggression. We keep the war against ourselves alive.” — Jack Kornfield
I want you to reflect on what is working favourably in your life right now? Is it your relationships, finances, health, family, career, etc? Now, think about what is not working for you? What area of your life could be improved? Let’s set aside the current circumstances regarding the Coronavirus pandemic because we have little control in what happens. But I invite you to examine the various aspects of your life, to see how you could improve it.
We mustn’t think our life isn’t working based on where we are right now. Sometimes, our current situation may be a transition for the next phase of our life. Life is constantly evolving. Judging our current circumstances is like taking a photograph of someone, believing that is how they will look their entire life. Moreover, you keep looking at the photograph over the years, thinking the person is still the same. But this is wishful thinking, since they will have matured, changed the colour of their hair, perhaps lost weight or changed other aspects of their appearance. What I’m saying is: if we judge our life based on a snapshot of where we are, we miss out on what is yet to unfold.
Are you comfortable with this idea that your life is constantly evolving? It would be remiss of you to decide what isn’t possible based on what is lacking or not working. I hope you get the impression that judging your life doesn’t help you get to the next chapter, but keeps you stuck in your current predicament. Naturally, we evaluate life through the lens of disappointment and discouragement. Many people do this because they want to fix what isn’t working. But what if your life isn’t broken and you are judging it unfairly? That is to say, perhaps the pieces of your life are still coming together and look disjointed because the entire picture is not complete?
Anything Is Possible For You
“Self-judgment continues to arise – but the fact that I made a conscious commitment to recognize it has helped me stop feeding the story of being unworthy.” — Tara Brach
What we ought to do is work towards how our life should look, knowing the pieces may not fit, since it is still coming together. Is this beginning to make sense, where judging your life is pointless because life is constantly flowing through us like a stream. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” He was referring to the ever-changing speed at which our life ebbs and flows. What we are certain of today may be irrelevant tomorrow. This is evident right now regarding the Coronavirus. Scientists and infectious disease experts are only certain of the data today because things aren’t changing at an ever-increasing rate.
And so it is with your life. Things may appear to be working against you today, and suddenly everything can fall into place tomorrow. It is when we look back on our life, we can see that our failures and mistakes had to happen, to bring us to where we are today. Anything is possible for you, as long as you continue moving forward and not give up hope of a better future. If you give up, you stop taking risks and settle for what you’ve got. Unfortunate things happen to people every day. They can cause setbacks and frustration because we believe we are not making progress. But these thoughts are an illusion, contrived by the egoic mind to protect us from getting hurt. But ask any successful person and they will tell you, some of the best things that happened to them, came out of nowhere. They occurred when they least expect it, while pursuing their goals and dreams.
With this in mind, I’d like you to draw up on a piece of paper or your phone, three columns with the headings: What Is Working for Me and What Is Not Working for Me. In the third column write: What Is The Lesson? Take some time to work through the questions I asked you at the beginning of the article, regarding what is working for you and against you. This will give you a sense of how your life is tracking and whether you need to intervene. Sometimes, interfering in our life is like throwing a stone into a serene pond which disturbs the pristine water. Instead, allow life to organise itself around you and through you, to bring you what you need at the right time. After all, if we determine what is possible based on where we are, we miss out on the potential for life to deliver what we need, when we least expect it.