A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Posts Tagged ‘making changes

I tend to be more critical than I’d like, but—like many people, I suspect—I’m especially critical of myself:

  • Instead of simply cleaning up any mess I’ve made when I’ve dropped things while trying to carry too much, I’ve wished I were less clumsy.
  • When I’ve struggled with my weight, I’ve looked in the mirror and felt disgusted by my reflection.
  • And when I’ve worked and hoped for what seems unlikely or even impossible, I’m tempted to call myself an idiot.

Why are we so hard on ourselves? Because our culture warns us not to think too much of ourselves in case someone feels the need to take us down a peg, do we take ourselves down two or three?

Deep down, we know that scolding ourselves or calling ourselves names does nothing to help us change for the better.

We can take heart in reading this quote from Remade for Happiness: Achieving Life’s Purpose Through Spiritual Transformation by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen:

You will shake off your faults more readily when you love God than when you criticize yourselves.

When we criticize ourselves, we’re likely to feel small, incompetent and unable to change; when we love God, we want to walk in his ways.

We need to remember that God loves us just as we are—flawed and human—but he wants us to become more like him day by day. For some, that means learning to let go of anger and to forgive; for others, learning to stop using food, cigarettes, alcohol or other things as a way to deal with our feelings; for all of us, learning to be merciful and compassionate to ourselves.

I pray that we would grow less critical of ourselves and, in so doing, grow less critical of and more compassionate toward others.

 

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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