Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday; the start of the season of Lent. Although I love my Catholic faith, I can't say I particularly love the institutional church - as in Rome. I do love the church seasons though, the rhythm of it and the mindfulness of it. During Lent I try to find something to work on in my relationship to others. There are lots of rocks strewn around in my mind and heart with bad habits hiding underneath. So, for Lent I pick up a few rocks and peer underneath. Some are too difficult to tackle or I'm just not ready. Sometimes it's reaching out to someone specific who I've hurt, sometimes it's more general.
Lent was much easier when I just gave up food. ...except for the year I gave up coffee...
This year, I'm going to tackle a biggish thing. The sharp rocks of criticism. I'm not expecting this to be easy and I'm not expecting to be wildly successful. Measurable improvement would be good. When a judgmental thought pops into my mind, I'm going to try and banish it. Notice it, and then dismiss it. This means no criticism of the other people driving up and down our mountain who don't always exercise good judgement, no criticism of Brett ("how many cokes have you had today??"), and no criticism of my co-workers (one in particular).
I'm also going to try not to be critical of myself. And when I mess up and let out a judgmental comment (I'm starting with spoken, maybe someday I'll train my brain), I'll reset the clock and start again. Without beating myself up.
I'm defining critical in the non-constructive sense. In the "you're a ding-dong" sense. I will continue to be critical of my riding and strive for improvement. I won't be a doormat, but I'm not going to be judgemental or mean.