Instead of obsessing, fuming, curdling about things we don’t have, we need to accept and celebrate what we do. Instead of worrying about things we can’t control – people’s opinion of us, for example – we need to direct our attentions to things we can influence, and leave the rest be. Instead of judging each other, and – worse – ourselves, let us simply take as we find. Instead of ruining our short time alive by setting expectations of how we think everything should be, from our jobs to our love lives, our children to our prospects, let us accept that some things will not always go as we wish.

You’re not who you think you are. You’re so much more than that.

— Mark Rice-Oxley, The Guardian

Compassion, directed outwardly or inwardly, can be hard to master in a world that seems built on competition and rooted in scarcity. Constantly measuring ourselves against others and against our own expectations, it’s like our compassion switch gets stuck in the off position. Avoiding the judgement trap is one way to live more fully and to enjoy that living. We are more present to everyone when we get out of our heads. Being thoughtful and self-reflective is one thing. Being obsessively self-critical is entirely another.