If you're struggling with self-criticism, the prospect of meeting your experience with kindness and compassion can seem daunting. At those times, it can be helpful to remember that compassion is expressed in infinite ways, and curiosity can be a potent form. Genuine curiosity has no agenda. When you meet your experience from that place, you're open to possibility and discovery. You may think that you know all there is to know about your self-judgment. Maybe. And there also may be a hidden wisdom in the dance you do with it; something you havenâ€™t yet discovered.
The next time you notice that you're stuck in a trance of self-criticism, see if you can meet it with genuine curiosity. You might ask: What thoughts are present right now? What story am I telling myself about my experience and what it means about me? Is any of it actually true? What sensations am I experiencing in my body as I name this experience as self-judgment? Can I allow the story to be present without following it? What is this thing I call self-judgment anyway? Who is the judge? Where is he or she?
In this way, you might allow your experience to be what it is, and see what happens when you neither turn away from it, or identify with it. When, instead, you meet yourself as you are.