Being afraid of being judged is not the same as being tired of being judged.
While we must learn to come to terms with the fact that, no matter who we are or what we do, not everyone will like us, we may never truly be comfortable with it.
Criticism, condemnation, and judgement from others may be the reality of the world we live in, but we deserve better from those who claim to love us.
If our hearts are in the right place, if our intentions are good, and if we are trying our best, we deserve to be seen and accepted for the better parts of ourselves and for the worse.
After all, our flaws, our failings, and our wounds are the parts of us that need love the most.
They are the parts of us that we wish were different, that we want more than anything to not be so, and that we would be rid of immediately if only we could, that need compassion, patience, and understanding.
We do not need more people who love us for how good we are, for how much we give, and for how well we perform.
We need people who love us and stand by us for the pieces of who we are that hurt us the most, the parts of our character over which we struggle the most, and the aspects of our our person for which we are most ashamed.
We judge ourselves enough for these parts of ourselves that we do not need people who claim to love us to judge us for them as well.
We all deserve love that is for better and for worse so that our worse has room to heal, for it is only through this type of healing that we can truly become better.
Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.
Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.
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