2015-03-13

How to stop being critical

I've decided to make the best use of my sabbatical in this semester that started this week for taking care of some psychological problems I've been suffering from which have started to prevent me from functioning normally. I've consulted, among others, my spiritual mentor and musar ('Jewish ethics') teacher and received his very accurate diagnosis of my character traits, both positive and negative, as well as his two "recipes" for treating these problems - one is to stop being critical, and the other is to develop the character trait of joy.

Having realized and been amazed to realize how critical I used to be of everything and everyone, including, of course, myself, I've started to try his first "recipe". Being critical may help you academically, but surely not in interpersonal relationships. I simply don't remember when and how I became so critical, but now I'm fully aware that by remaining critical I can make sure that I'll remain unhappy my whole life.

But this character trait of mine is so deeply ingrained in my inner self that I'm simply at a loss to figure out where and how to start. Now I watch my every word before I utter it. I try not to say anything critical of anything or anyone. But of course, this is not so easy, to say the least, as kvetching has already become my second nature. Now I'm reading some musar book that addresses to this specific issue.

I only hope that I haven't criticized anything or anyone in this specific blog entry. ;-)