It’s later than I usually stay up. I find myself ruminating on negative thoughts and replaying “old tapes” in my mind: You’re not good enough. You’re a bad person. You don’t deserve joy or love. These thoughts are a remnant of my past, of a time when I looked at the world as black and white. I saw people, myself included, as “good” or “bad”. Actually, it was always easier for me to see others as good than to see myself as such. Whenever I did anything “wrong”, either by my own standards or society’s, I judged myself harshly: I must be a bad person, unworthy of anything good.
Several years ago, I heard a song by Amy Grant in which she sings, “There’s so much good in the worst of us, so much bad in the best of us. It never makes sense for any of us to criticize the rest of us. We’ll just find what we’re looking for. We’ll find it and so much more.” Those lyrics stuck with me. I summon them whenever I’m quick to judge others for their behavior, their words, their choices. They help me see the complex human beneath the surface.
And tonight, I realize I can apply the same to myself: I’m not good or bad. I’m somewhere in between: a woman who makes many decisions every day, some healthy, some unhealthy, some that benefit me, but hurt others, and some that hurt me to benefit others. It’s easy to judge. It’s more difficult to keep in mind Amy Grant’s words. Whatever I and others look for will be found: some light, some dark, some wisdom, some foolishness, some love, some hatred, and a whole lot of “in between”.
Peace, joy, and health,