One of the most slippery parts of the upper path is the temptation to judge ourselves -- to loath ourselves for whatever "weakness" is exposed to us in the moment. The act of judging ourselves in times like these seems natural and even necessary if we hope to ever "outgrow" our own limitations as revealed. But this kind of self-laceration is a Trojan horse within whose dark recesses lies hidden a certain fact that, once perceived, frees us from the torment of self-judgment:
The pain in any unwanted revelation about our present level of self is created in that moment by the same low level of self that doesn't want to be revealed.
When our attention is drawn to how much we don't want to be what we are in that moment, we can't see ourselves as we actually are! This means that all forms of resistance-born reactions are blinding agents; they mask the fact of the moment with powerful, unwanted sensations that steal our attention so that instead of being self-aware -- conscious of the whole of us -- we are aware only of the painful reaction and what it points to as being the cause of our suffering.
Despising ourselves for missing the mark doesn't prove we could have hit the mark and didn't. It proves only that the unconscious nature involved in this kind of pain doesn't know what the true mark is or else it wouldn't be tearing into itself. This deception is as deep as it is cunning and dark: hating ourselves for our weakness is the way secret weakness passes itself off as strength.
Real spiritual strength is realized, slowly, by daring to detect and drop these blind negative states that we've been allowing to define us. And, believe it or not, this choice to no longer agree to ache over what you are not is the most difficult part of one's work to be free. After all, when there is no one and nothing left within oneself to blame for one's weakness, it's also pretty clear that turning to one's "self" for help is like asking a donkey for the directions to heaven.
The time will come, if we persist with our interior work, when we will no longer fear seeing our weakness but rather realize its presence as a shadow that only appears as it does because of a living light that serves to reveal it. And the greater this understanding grows, the greater the strength of this light becomes our own.