Observations of what is good or bad can be valuable as we mold ourselves into who we want to be, but only if we recognize what we actually have control over. If we lose this awareness and start trying to change things out of our control, we will bring dysfunction and misery into our lives.
We all know the world is complex, and almost everything is uncontrollable, but that doesn't mean we will stop focusing on it. When things happen or others act, we like to judge their effectiveness or validity. The problem is that these judgments, when left alone, can have dramatic effects on our emotional state because they are often about things we don't control. For this reason, it is essential we become aware of how we use judgment in life and recovery. The fact is:
We have control over ourselves and nothing else. Our job is not to be the arbiter of what is right or wrong in others and society but to focus on what needs to change in us. Doing things like finding more joy, becoming rich, or making the world a safer place all start with a focus on what we control.
Our heart is our guide to what is right and wrong and what we do and don't control. When it speaks, we must listen with an openness and willingness that is absent of rationalization, blame, and excuse. Otherwise, we will get stuck and not have the ability to make purposeful change.
Good and bad judgments become dangerous when we turn them outward to those things we don’t control. In these situations, we are trying to dictate how things should be rather than letting possibility happen.
Life is easier when we accept what is out of our control and are honest about what is. Taking any other approach will leave us wasting time and energy on things we cannot change. Go easy on yourself when evaluating what you think is good and bad, and then choose to do what you control – the ability to do the next right thing.