Have you ever read a quote or an excerpt from a book or an article that just seemed to hit you like a ton of bricks? Something that seemed so simple, so obvious, yet so profound? Something that made you wonder why the thought had never occurred to you before? Earlier this week, I read just such a quote.
This particular quote was about judging, or more precisely, about not judging. While I readily and humbly admit that I am far from perfect on this topic, I have always tried not to judge my fellow brothers and sisters and endeavored to find the good and positive in each of them.
This quote, however, suggested that the commandment to not judge includes not judging ourselves. As I read this quote, suddenly my far from perfect mastery of this precept became even farther from perfect in my mind. Am I really supposed to resist the continual urge to judge myself?
This is a challenging concept for me because I tend to be somewhat hypercritical of myself. I strive for perfection and instead of applauding myself when I get closer to my goal, I berate myself when I fall short.
I think we all struggle with this from time to time. We seem to have no trouble overlooking the minor indiscretions and mistakes of others but condemn and judge ourselves for the very same actions. We allow others to be human, to have weaknesses and make mistakes but do not allow ourselves the same courtesy.
As I pondered this concept, I remembered the Savior’s teaching to “…love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:39) So, to truly love our neighbor or our brothers and sisters, we must first love ourselves. We need to treat ourselves with the same patience, love and compassion with which we treat others.
I will continue to strive for perfection, but I will try to be more patient and forgiving of myself when I fall short. I will continue to look for the good and the positive in others, and I will try to follow the example of the Savior and love everyone…including myself.