Do We Focus On Negativity?
Humanity has a lot to say about negativity. We encourage people to “keep it real,” but often the reality is that we equate “real” with negative attributes. We like to dissect and criticize those in our cipher, we call it truth, and it hurts people so we think we are in keeping with the old adage about the truth hurting. Anyone who veers away from what is considered socially acceptable feels this sting. As a result we develop this habit of self-deprecation. We wound ourselves to control the pain, to minimize the effects of other’s criticisms.
This habit has been with me so long I can’t even remember a time when I didn’t do it, but surely I wasn’t born this way. It was only recently that I began to really notice the tendency and try to curb it. I realized finally that I needed to treat myself with the same respect I so freely offer to others. See, so often we feel that self-respect means elevating ourselves above others so we grovel at their feet to try to prove ourselves humble. Loving myself means that I learn to accept myself despite my flaws, that I am as gentle and patient with myself as I need to be with others. I realized that, thanks to my fantastic ADHD coach, Carolyn D’Argenio.
Carolyn made a statement a few weeks ago about the responsibility of a good coach to be a cheerleader, to build up, not tear down. It made me wonder: when was the last time someone had offered me their approval? No reminder of past let downs, no predictions of bleak future outcomes, but straight encouragement. If I bring an idea to Carolyn, she believes me when I say that I can do it. Her response is “what do you need in order to accomplish that” where another person would be quick to say, “that’ll never work.” She helps me plan. We look at the pitfalls as everyone else does, but instead of seeing them as potential for failure, we plan for them. I had no idea how much I needed someone to just believe in me. Someone who didn’t want to relive my past, but wanted to concentrate on fixing the present (which leads to a better future) has really made the difference. When she showed me that she believed in me, I started to think that maybe she was right.
It’s funny, Carolyn and I don’t talk about religion much but this experience drew a parallel so strongly with a biblical story I’d like to share it. You see, I believe Christ was a believer in Carolyn’s theory as well. He cheered people on. He looked at people who believed themselves unworthy of love and told them of the good he saw in them. When he told the woman caught in the act of adultery he would not condemn her, he set her free from the cycle of shame, guilt, and self-hatred. She could go forward without negative thoughts playing in her head. One could argue that this is the true curse of sin, not how it makes God feel about us, but how it makes us feel about ourselves.
We get trapped in that cycle and though we hope for better we tell ourselves we don’t deserve it. Though we pray for forgiveness, we can’t receive it. So with no condemnation from anywhere we can accomplish the impossible. That is?good news. Great news. What an incredible lesson for us all to learn. Stop condemning yourselves, and be free.
Until next time,
Carolyn D’Argenio is my AMAZING ADHD coach. You can find her on Facebook at?https://www.facebook.com/uniquelyuadhdcoaching
8 thoughts on “Condemnation – Not all Truth Hurts”
Yes, this, so many times! I’m guilty of doing the same and I think that a lot of it came from so little praise as a child. My sister was always the “good” one, the smart one, the well behaved one, the baby and I was just there. My dad was my biggest cheerleader and I’m thankful for him, so thankful. It would have been nice to feel that my mom was proud of me too though, not just constantly disappointed in every little thing- despite the fact that I was NOT a bad kid! Comparison is a tough one for me.
YOU can do anything you put your mind to. I know that, because you’re a strong person and I’ve seen you putting forth the effort! xo
Wonderful to hear this concept is seeping in! Just think, if your inner voice will now speak to you the way you speak to others, what are the possibilities? Very powerful insight.
It is such a hard but necessary lesson to learn.
Being as gentle and patient with yourself as you are with others is a great way to put it. I find it so hard to cut myself any slack most of the time, but I end up being less productive if I’m upset with myself for not accomplishing goals on time! Thank you for posting this, it is always helpful to be reminded.
You are so right, it is hard to be gentle with ourselves and it is hard to believe the best of ourselves.
Just listened to your interview with Eric Tivers. It was a delight to hear your perspective, thanks for sharing your story. This post really speaks to me as well, as I’ve been coming to much the same conclusions in my own relationship with myself (and my understanding of my spiritual relationship with God).
Welcome! I am so excited that you heard and enjoyed the podcast. Eric is a treat to work with. It is imperative that we learn how to treat ourselves with courtesy and respect. How can we expect it from anyone else if we won’t take the first step? It is great to meet you, please feel free to browse around, there is a lot of stuff here to dig into.
“If you don’t love yourself,
HOW in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”