I was reading a book that sparked a thought in me. A truth that I never realized. The book is called The Four Agreements and I have to say that I am so glad that my family cares enough to insist that I reread the book with an open mind and heart.

There is a part in it where the author explains that we are our very own judges, and no one judges us more harshly than ourselves.

I thought about this for a moment and recalled phrases that I have told myself over the years like “Nobody is harder on me than me!” I meant that every time I said it too. Nobody was ever going to punish me as hard as I can and do. I realized very quickly that was he was saying was true. I am my hardest judge.

Then it is taken a step further, not only am I my harshest judge, I am also my biggest punisher. This is otherwise known as self-abuse. Justice is to be punished once for an offense, not repeatedly. However, we re-punish ourselves every time we think about the event. Then the feelings of shame, guilt and the downward spiral of inadequacy reenters our minds and we have to dig ourselves out of it.

Maybe you are the exception to this rule and if you do not beat yourself up over your past, please let me know how you do it, in fact, you should write a blog…I could use the advice. Most of us, however, have at least some part of ourselves that we are unhappy about. That part we think about and beat ourselves up over the fact that we cannot change it, or redo it, or get past it. It eats at us.

Prime example is my crime. I cannot think about my past at all without thinking about my crime. I hate it. I hate everything that I was and every time I think about my family and any struggle they are having I immediately think about my screw ups. How they would not be in that situation had I not been so selfish and cruel. Then my own downward spiral begins and it takes precious time away from forward progress I was making.

The abuse part comes in when you think about any abuse you have sustained. I have sustained abuse in my life, their faces are stained in my memory. I am not alone in this, clearly. Now, I also know that I am not alone when I say that I have abused myself much worse than those people ever could have. I have made sure of it…

I am going to make changes to this rule. I do not like that I am my biggest critic. I should be my biggest fan, after all, I cannot succeed without me. So, I will no longer accept the agreement that I am my worst judge, my worst punisher, or worse critic.

Instead, I will be my biggest coach, my biggest aid, and my biggest fan. No one will want me to succeed more than me. This also means that I can no longer abuse myself with self-hate, self-regret, and shame. I must allow myself to move on.

Look at the things I’ve done, I regret them, sure. But I cannot change them now, I must move on because I have a life to lead and live. I cannot move on without the very best me, I refuse. If I can do this, surely so can you.

With Love
Jeff Utnage