Hindsight is 20/20. Sometimes our harshest critics are the future versions of ourselves.
I recall a woman being heavily berated online for her folly of bringing her child to see Deadpool in theaters and then expressing her disappointment in having to leave. People came down on her pretty hard for having not already known what to expect. “It was rated R,” someone pointed out. “It was easily searchable; who goes into a movie without researching first?!” But let’s be real here: an R rating means very little. And who DOES research movies before they go?! Up until Deadpool, no one really had much reason to do heavy digging into super hero films; the precedent had already been set. Deadpool was the first of its kind, but the basic TV commercials didn’t do much to distinguish it from Spiderman or anything else. I thought it was a bit unfair of them to laugh at her for tripping while paving the way. They were casting judgement upon her based on information that was given AFTER she made the mistake.
Changing gears here…I’ve never been much of a worrier or struggled with self depreciation. However, parenting has added into my life colorful flares of both. I find that with all the criticisms that come pouring off my back from the rest of the world, the most difficult ones to slough off are my own. It’s easy to look at what I do wrong and cringe over my own mistakes and worry about the consequences that my children will face for them. But I need to recognize that – while it is important to remember and learn from our mistakes – I’m doing the best I can with what I have at any given time. It’s unfair for me to cast judgement upon my former selves for not having capacities that I do now (every time “now” comes around).