Judgment does not only take the form of criticism. Approval is also a form of judgment. When we approve of people, we sit in judgment of them as surely as when we criticize them. Positive judgment hurts less acutely than criticism, but it is judgment all the same and we are harmed by it in far more subtle ways. To seek approval is to have no resting place, no sanctuary. Like all judgment, approval encourages a constant striving. It makes us uncertain of who we are and of our true value. This is as true of the approval we give ourselves as it is of the approval we offer others. Approval can't be trusted. It can be withdrawn at any time no matter what our track record has been. It is as nourishing of real growth as cotton candy. Yet many of us spend our lives pursuing it.
--Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., p35 in Kitchen Table Wisdom
What a wonderful book this was! Rachel writes of that search for our innermost truth and belonging that is the source of the most astounding healing. She was initially trained as a physician in the 1950's, largely because in her family everybody became doctors. She worked in a variety of settings as a pediatrician before going into counseling for people with cancer. She tells innumerable tales of death in this book. I recommend it without reservation. Anyone who is not latched onto any particular dogma, and yet sees something sacred in life, will be inspired.