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Who is Driving your Thought Car?

Do you ever find yourself caught up in self-doubt and self-judgment?

You wonder why you have made the decisions you have. You wonder if you are spending your time the right way. You wonder whether or not you are successful at what you do, whether you ever will be. Then you remember that doubt is a major hindrance and a klesha, so you start to reflect: “Who is judging me anyway?”. And you cannot find the "who", unless you have overbearing parents, but maybe you have already figured that out. Plus, you don’t believe in God anymore. You never really bought into church as a child, looking up over the wooden bench backs to the white guy in robes, who was nice enough, but utterly boring. Then you think about a friend or a loved one who you would like to be more like, but that person is not judging you either. You think about your job, you do well and everyone likes you. You think about your creativity; this is stickier. You went to art school and you still make work, even though you have a career. You are not an art star, but hey, you already decided that you wouldn’t be any good at that. Self-doubt: “Maybe I did want to be an art star”. Acceptance: “I didn’t pursue that path and there is so much in my life that I would not want to give up if I could go back. Like all the children and families I have worked with. I show work every few years, I do performance, I write for a blog… hey that’s a lot. OK. So why I am so lost in this cycle of doubt?” Again you return to the question of who is judging.

You decide that you are judging. You and you alone. In fact everyone else is so busy judging themselves, that they couldn’t be bothered to judge you. This feels lonely, like you can just do anything. You think that you better garnish some visible success, so that someone can judge you and you won’t be so lonely. You realize that this is a ridiculous thought, but it is currently in the driver’s seat. Your thoughts are driving your car. This feels like insight, but you still do not know what to do.

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Comments

thank you...

i really appreciate this honest post, and it totally hit home for me...

Thanks for so accurately describing that cycle of doubt, and also how our default mode of self-observation is so often to be a harsh self-critic, rather than a curious and gentle observer. And how rare that we are ever just a supportive friend to ourselves when we engage in self-observation. ack!

But at least ,like you say, judging yourself indicates the habit of self-reflection and insight. So how to turn the poison quality of self-judging into medicine of self-awareness... ?? it's such a great question.

Thanks for the feedback!

The mind is a crazy place.

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