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  • Writer's pictureJ.L. Whitehead

Being overly critical of oneself

I attended a dinner party hosted by one of my church members last night We all had a wonderful time breaking bread together, having great conversation all while enjoying some really good food. And I realized some things about myself which could either be a good thing or a bad thing:

1. I don’t have as much of a filter as I thought I did.

2. Maybe behind my good qualities lies some horrible characteristics that I want to get rid of.

Bad qualities are a funny thing because they don’t normally come to light unless someone close to you has pointed them out or you replay the conversation over in your mind and realized that you flubbed without realizing that you flubbed.

My “edit” button is not always engaged as I would like it to be, and because of that, people may see some things in my character that I don’t always want to let come to light.

Now I never thought of myself as the life of the party. I think of myself as someone that blends into the background until my presence is either called for or shoved to the forefront of a conversation.

But as of late, I still see my faults and insecurities. I thought about this as my spouse, and I dined with men that could only be described as ultra-wealthy. Their status in life and subsequently, their way of life is completely different than mine. I became acutely aware of what I was saying and to whom I was saying it to. I kept thinking of all these things while trying to hide my faults and simultaneously show who I really am…or at least the good parts anyway.

It never occurred to me to just be my authentic self, and normally that would be okay except I am a work in progress…and like all works in progress, that doesn’t mean I am ready for my opening debut.

I can’t say if what I am feeling is indirectly a cause of my molestation; after all, insecurity is part of the blanket that we abuse victims wrap ourselves in because it’s a place where we feel most comfortable.

At the age of 61, you would think that I would know better; especially since I know that wealth is not what makes the man, it’s the content of character and your personal value set that reveals who you are; good, bad, or otherwise.

And yet, instead of just letting my hair down and enjoying a fabulous meal with great conversation, I felt acutely aware of my insecurities…almost as if the insecurities were lying in wait for just such an opportunity as last night to rear its ugly head.

The thought keeps coming back to me that the men that I dined with had one thing in common with myself: We all loved and worshiped God.

And in God’s eyes, I know that he doesn’t care how much money you do (or don’t) have. It’s all about how you lived your life, who you are now and did you love when you had the chance.

Many of you may believe that what happened to you (X) number of years ago doesn’t impact you now.

It does.

Does that mean that everything that you do or say is influenced by those events? Not necessarily. Can it mean that you are overly critical of the self that you discovered because of the abuse?


In any case, I found that the men that I dined with were charming…even adorable. I only became aware of any possible verbal missteps because my critical mind tends to over think things as I replay conversations in my head instead of letting them be.

I guess sometimes whether good, bad, or otherwise, you must let the chips fall where they may and learn from any mistakes made.

~J.L. Whitehead

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