No one can make you feel inferior without your consent
Before recovery, when others judged me, I would often get defensive and angry with them and then feel shame about myself. I remember reading this quote before recovery, too. I thought “well, I guess even Eleanor Roosevelt can be wrong.” The truth is, yes, Eleanor Roosevelt can be wrong, but I don't think that she was wrong in this case.
Having been in recovery and working the Steps, I have slowly come to realize that I have let the judgment of others affect me is because I did not have a clear sense of self. I had very low self-esteem and constant fear that I wasn't good enough – something I tried endlessly to hide. When others judged me, I felt that they saw past the illusion of perfection that I tried to keep up.
Now, have worked especially the 4th, 5th, 6th, & 7th Steps, I am able to realize that my inventory is mine alone to take. Others can try to judge me, but the truth is, they judge an incomplete picture. They can never truly know where I come from to judge what I am doing now. If I get defensive and angry it is because I have let myself believe that their judgments must be true. But having worked the Steps, I have finally been able to have an honest look at myself and become more self-aware. I am now able to hear the judgments of others and then know what is right for me, regardless.
A meditation for May 26, 2013.
Pretend To Be Nice – Josie & the Pussycats