Too hard on yourself

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Too hard on yourself

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Why being too hard on yourself?

"Unexpected"; acrylic on canvas by Aurora Mazzoldi. Detail: too hard on yourself.
“Unexpected”; acrylic on canvas by Aurora Mazzoldi.

The introspective correspondence continues with the answer of Iris, who asks Lucia why she is so hard on herself. (Here you can read the previous email)

Hi Lucia,

First, thanks for your e-mail. I have read it with great pleasure because its content is rich; you address many topics and all deserve to be explored. One of them touched me most deeply: that of the “inner judge (inner critic)”– the part of us that stands as the supreme judge of all our actions and choices, and is much harder than a court judge would be.

In fact, words like “perverse”, “monster”, “humanly unacceptable” harshly condemn your choices. Moving from the “inner judge” to a good and severe judge of the court, the words would be different — I think “complicated” instead of “perverse”. The same applies to the questions you ask, such as the question: “am I a monster?” It could be “Which part of me seeks this experience?” or “What’s under the mask?”

2 ways to solve a problem

My idea is that when we try to solve a problem or understand a situation, we could put “fictitious” questions or “smart” questions.

The first, the fictitious ones, do not lead to understanding, but to a right-wrong loop in which it is difficult to find a solution — we are stuck in a situation. We generate such a loop when we depend on the inner judge while choosing.

Curiosity is the key to the latter, the “smart” ones; the ones that lead to understanding our inner dynamics.

When we analyze our patterns, mechanisms and intentions, we can evaluate costs and benefits; and then we can decide an action without judging ourselves too hard.