3 min read

When you look for things to criticise, you will always find them.

My husband had a bit of free time at the weekend. Between working full time and looking after our daughter, he doesn't get a lot of that. He told me later he'd spent a lot of it looking at ways we could make more of our living room. Of all the things he could have been thinking about or doing, he chose to focus on how we might make our home more beautiful! I thought that was so lovely. 😍 

Of course, some people might judge him for not spending the time thinking about how he could help end world hunger or bring peace to the Middle East. And maybe they'd have a point. When we look for things to criticise, we can always find them. But I don't tend to do that with my husband. I guess you could say I'm positively disposed towards him. ♥️ 

I have a soft spot for him which means I'm primed to like what he says and does. I've almost made up my mind that it's going to be marvellous even before I know what it is! 


Love makes us see the good in people.

Love does that. It makes us see the good in people. And my experience is that loving people brings out the best in them, so it makes good practical sense too. 

This doesn't mean we become blind to people's frailties, but we just don't let them stop us seeing the aspects of them which are wonderful. We notice the glint in their eye that points to their potential for amazing creativity or heart-warming kindness. And maybe we choose to overlook some trivial limitations they’re currently labouring under. 

And, of course, we still speak up when someone’s causing serious harm, but we’re slow and reluctant to judge, and we consider carefully whether our judgment would actually effect any positive change. 


Love can help people change for the better.

I’ve been on the receiving end of this kind of love, and it’s taught me a lot about what helps people learn, grow and change. My husband has always erred on the side of seeing the good in me and has given me a lot of room to realise the error of my ways by myself, and let go of habits, both of thought and behaviour, that no longer serve me. In my own time. And in my own way. 

For example, he never liked the fact that I smoked (it wouldn’t be sane to think smoking is a good thing), but he didn’t put a lot of pressure on me to quit. He respected my right to make my own decisions while setting boundaries to protect his own health and wellbeing (such as asking me not to smoke inside the flat/house). 

That meant that by the time I came to my senses and was ready to quit, I did it on my own terms. And I didn’t look back. Because I was ready. His lack of judgment had created space for me to access my own wisdom within myself. And that’s the route to lasting change. Whereas feeling judged by others just seems to get in the way of our healing. 


Letting love have the last word eases tensions in our relationships.

I’ve experienced something similar with my daughter. We can spend the whole day together, and in that time, there can be a lot of ups and downs, including raised voices and frazzled feelings. But when my husband asks us how my day with her was, nine times out of ten, I say, good. And it’s not because I’m in denial that there were difficult bits or because I want to pretend that I’m a more serene and perfect mum than I truly am, but because any tensions pale into insignificance against the backdrop of the overwhelming love I feel for my daughter, and the strength of the bond between us. Even though she can drive me crazy at times, love wins the day, and I always return to finding her adorable. 


Being slower to judge makes for a happier life.

My husband and daughter have always been very easy to love. But in recent years I've been extending my love outwards beyond them to people I’ve typically found harder to feel affection for. I'm becoming less critical of people in general and I'm finding things to appreciate about more people more of the time. 

I still have a long way to go. I still catch myself taking a disliking to someone on the basis of one particular opinion they’re currently holding, and I have to slow down and check myself. 

And I still get triggered and hurt by a lot of the things people say and do. The act of judging can be a deeply ingrained habit, and I think we’re culturally conditioned to do it too. 

But it’s getting better – I’m softening more. I’m staying quiet more often when I notice things that I disagree with that aren’t important or helpful to focus on. I’m looking for harmony and to build rapport wherever possible. 

And I really like it. 😊 I like being less critical. It feels so much nicer, and I think it does more good for our planet than being quick to find fault. I guess what's happened is that I've become more forgiving of my own humanness, which makes me feel more fondly towards everyone else's too. I'm falling in love with more of my human family, and it feels good! 🥰 


We can help one another learn how to judge less, and love more.

For me it began with my body. I learnt to stop judging and hating it and to start cherishing and enjoying it. That then paved the way for me to love more about life, and especially the people in it, including myself. 

And I didn’t make any progress by myself. I have relied on the guidance and support of amazing mentors, such as Rohini Ross, and friends too countless to mention, every step of the way. I feel held by people all over the world, including people I’ve befriended on Facebook and strangers I meet in the supermarket. I depend on the loving energy and intentions of people everywhere, past and present, to nourish me. 

I’m especially dependent on the words and spirit of writers who are long departed, or who I’ll never meet, and on musicians whose work lifts my soul on a regular basis. 

It's been an amazing journey, and I’m excited to see where it takes me next. I want to keep loving more and more people, as best I can. I think love is like magic and has healing properties. It’s awe-inspiring the things it can achieve! And it feels heavenly! 


Conclusion

  • It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that it's our job to point out other people's frailties to them.  Occasionally this is helpful.  But most of the time, it doesn't help people change in positive ways.
  • When we love people with fewer conditions attached, and judge them less for their frailties, they tend to respond well, and change in ways that are for the highest good.
  • When we let go of the need to find fault with other people, we have more energy and headspace to take responsibility for our own behaviour - the area where we have more leverage.  And when we rise in consciousness, other people may well respond to the change in us, and have their own transformative insights.


And now it's over to you... What do you think?

  • What helps you learn and grow?
  • Do you think criticism helps people makes positive change, or gets in the way of their learning and growing?

Let me know in the comment box below.  I'd love to hear your experience and perspective.


Reach out if you'd like support

I do my best to offer a non-judgemental atmosphere when working with people who are struggling with body image.  If that's you and you'd like some support to overcome your challenges with your appearance, check out my free resources or find out how you can work with me.


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