Sunday, March 9, 2008

Victim, Judge or Both

"How many times do we pay for one mistake? The answer is thousands of times. The human is the only animal on Earth that pays a thousand times for the same mistake. The rest of the animals pay once for every mistake they make. But not us. We have a powerful memory. We make a mistake, we judge ourselves, we find ourselves guilty, and we punish ourselves. If justice exists, then that was enough, we don't need to do it again. But every time we remember, we juge ourselves again, we are guilty again, and we punish ourselves again and again..."

Don Miguel Ruiz - The Four Agreements

I have mentioned this book many times before because it became the road map by which I was able to leave the backwaters and start to live again. But there are still times when I fall into old habits and with the comments from my friends and former family I find that again I am judging myself, again I am guilty and again I seek punishment. This comes in the form of restless sleep, perhaps of ungracious thoughts about other people, certainly in belting myself up about things again.

The very worst part is that you feel the need to step on eggshells again and maybe begin to compromise on what you think is the right thing. Despite the rocky start to the last week it ended well, far better than I expected and I am really grateful for that, but with the guilt I find that I look over my shoulder and constantly expect the worst.

So I sit here wondering what is going to go wrong this week knowing that those sort of feelings have absolutely no rational basis.

25 comments:

Joh said...

Laurie, that sounds like a great book. Thanks for that quote, I can appreciate that and recognise my own patterns! Well, lets soldier on together:-)

Gypsy said...

Let's hope there are brighter days ahead Loz, I'm sure there will be.

terri said...

I think sometimes we are our own worst enemy... allowing the negative, judgemental and unhappy thoughts rule our thinking. I always admire those who can rise above such thoughts and move forward. It's a challenge though, for so many.

Anonymous said...

The quote from that book is so true. That is exactly what we do. And it's so silly that we do. What's done is done - we can't change that. We have to get in a place that accepts that and give ourselves permission to move on.
To have the guilt you do have shows deep love. You love and care for the people around you so much, the thought of what happened saddens you because your actions hurt those you love. (I include your ex-wife here also.) We can still love someone even though we are not 'in love' with them anymore.
Can't get my words together. Hope you can sort of follow what I mean.

Jen

"Give yourself permission to shine"

Finn said...

If you've read me for any length of time, you know that I live by The Four Agreements.

No matter how well you know them, no matter how well you live them, it will always be a process. Perfection is the brass ring we never get to grab in this life.

Get up, dust yourself off and forgive yourself again. xo

meleah rebeccah said...

Victim, Judge or Both

Ive been all of thoes things at one time or another

Loz said...

Hi Joh, it is a wonderful book with some concepts that are hard to grasp. But reading if for me was life changing

Loz said...

Hi Gypsy - we all wallow at times, it's just my turn at the moment. I know things are actually pretty good and will get better

Loz said...

Terri - that's precisely why i have to keep returning to the book and reminding myself of its teachings.

Loz said...

Jen - I do know what you mean. So much of my actions and reactions throughout my life have been because I didn't wish to hurt anyone. That has caused some regret.

Loz said...

Finn - you're right it is about the process, the progress and the continued self assessment and growth

Loz said...

Mel - I think we all are. Please read the book if you can get a copy.

Anonymous said...

Finn - I love the way you wrote that.
That is so right. We cannot gain perfection in this life. Simple!

Jen

Mary said...

I'm new to your blog and I haven't read through it yet but you hit home with 'How many times do we pay for one msitake'. We are our own worst enemy and I fall into that time and time again. Sleepless nights and the need to stop on eggshells all the time. Your timing couldn't have been more perfect for this subject. Thanks, Mary

Loz said...

Welcome Mary and thanks for joining the discussion. I welcome all points of view.

CDeering said...

Guilt is the flip side of confidence. Live in the now. The past is done and cannot be changed. Look at this moment with open eyes and do the best you can in this moment.

skipper said...

Loz;
I too have the same issue - others judge me then I judge myself, then they judge again. It is a vicious cycle I am trying to stop for my own sanity. I have found that when I truly concentrate on my "good" stuff (sometimes hard to find) I can let the judging go - if only for a little while...

Loz said...

Hi cdeering - another of the agreements is to always do your best but recognise it's better some days than others

Loz said...

Beth - the more I discuss these things and read and write about them, the more I find that the feelings are common to many people, it's just that most of us don't talk about it.

Lauren Mackler said...

Love your writing. Keep up the great work. I will be checking in often to read more.

Lauren Mackler & Associates provides life and career coaching, consulting, and development programs in Boston that help individual's master change, turn aspirations into reality, and achieve the next level of success.

http://www.laurenmackler.com/

Josie Two Shoes said...

I really do have to read this book. How true that we revisit the same guilt scenarios over and over and base our future expectations upon them too. It takes work to break free of that cycle but I am determined, as I know you are.

Loz said...

Hi Lauren thank you for the kind comment and welcome

Loz said...

Dear Josie - all I can say is read it :)

Jeff said...

Bluntly, guilt is a waste of time and a rip off. Conviction is different as it sets the price for justice. As you wouldn't keep paying for the same gallon of milk over and over again, paying for the same "crime" over and over again is equally a waste. Conviction leads to learning and justice. Guilt is merely a scam. Only YOU can decide whether or not you are going to continue to pay. Others have no power over that unless you give them that power.

Lady Jaye said...

Sometimes I think I might be paying for the mistakes I've made for the rest of my life. I constantly blame myself even though I know that they weren't all wrong nor were they all my fault. It's just so damn hard to forgive myself.