The harsh self-critic is an old acquaintance. She shows up all too often in my life, and in the lives of those I companion. I’ve heard his voice in the stories of men and women struggling with their personal worth. I’ve seen her judging eye looking back at me in the mirror when I’ve failed to live up to my own expectations.
In the mind of the self-critic, life is a scoreboard. Accomplishments and errors are tallied, and we look out upon the crowd to see how high—or low—we’ve ranked. While self-judgment is prevalent in many lives, it is an obstacle to becoming fully who we are.
On the journey to wholeness, the spiritual practice of humility might offer some guidance. By humility, I mean simply the work of finding and knowing our place, and living our shared humanity.