I was just thinking today about how many people find it hard to share their thoughts and beliefs, ask for help and even let others know they are finding it tough. I have even been in this position myself where I would censure what I said to attempt to be accepted and not judged. After all ‘experts’ or ‘professionals’ have all their sh#@t sorted don’t they?
Let me tell you, after living my life and sharing in so many others that I care for and help, personally and professionally; we all have stuff, we all have made mistakes, we have all had horrible thoughts, we have all done something that we would rather nobody ever finds out about. We have all had stuff happen to us and participated in situations we wouldn’t wish on anyone else.
Think about it, do you think, including yourself, that anyone has gone through life to date and not made a mistake, an error in judgment, thought an awful thought?
We are living in a world that is filled with perceptions of perfection, how we should do things, how we should think, how we should live, how we should raise our children, how we should make decisions, how we should…. I think most people of forgotten that life is a collection of moments of learning, growing and developing. Life was always meant to have mistakes as part of that so that what was learnt has more impact. How do you think the most amazing discoveries happened? Usually by working out how not to do it first then building on that.
Judgement of others is like a disease in our society today, I believe. Instead of asking for help, owning our own shortcomings and being able to weather the storm, we look outside of ourselves for justification. “There is people worse off than me, look at that mother, look at that teenager, look at that boss, how can they do that, etc” So this has led to more people wary of sharing their load and asking for help because what if they are then judged. So a problem shared could turn into a problem doubled. What a shame!
I have learnt a secret that may resonate with you. Those judgements are just reflections of what you think about yourself. If you are judging a parent for the way they are bringing up their children is there something in you that is feeling guilty for an act of parenting you aren’t feeling good about? If you are judging someone for what they wear, is there something in you that isn’t comfortable with how you present yourself to the world, or even jealous that they can wear what they want? If you are judging someone because they are suffering with depression and you think they should just get happy, is there something in you that is crying for help because you would like to be noticed once in a while for all your efforts? If you are judging someone who you think isn’t doing enough, was there a time you felt that you weren’t doing enough? What is that judgement showing you that you could be healing in yourself?
There is a story I love that illustrates how we can not only lead by example; then we can be more aware of what we judge and what we can heal in ourselves first.
“There was a young boy who had become addicted to and obsessed with eating sugar. His mother decided to get help and took the long journey with her son, walking many miles under the scorching sun, until she finally reached Gandhi. She asked him to tell her son to stop eating sugar because it wasn’t good for his health. Gandhi replied, “I cannot tell him that. But you may bring him back in a few weeks and then I will talk to him.” The mother was confused and upset and took the boy home.
14 days later mother and son returned. This time Gandhi looked directly at the young man and said, ”Boy, you should stop eating sugar. It is not good for your health.” The youth nodded his head and promised he wouldn’t. The mother was puzzled. She asked, “Why didn’t you tell him that a fortnight ago when I brought him here to see you?” Gandhi smiled and said, “Mother, two weeks ago I was eating a lot of sugar myself.”
So instead of telling, instead of judging, instead of attempting to look perfect to everyone else; why not get honest, get real about your life. Make changes if you want to or need to. Trust what works for you. Most of all heal that within you that is remembering and keeping a score card of your wrongs. There is no right or wrong, there just is.
If you can do this, imagine how open you will be to moving forward, listening and helping others, making your own choices, improving your life and getting happy. Imagine being able to say, I’m not doing this right or feeling good about this, can I talk it out with you or can you help me. Then knowing that help is there, you can half the problem and no-one, especially you, is judging. There is only co-operation and support. What a wonderful thought.
Another note on judgement. Apart from it being hurtful and harmful, when judgement is present a self-punishing cycle will happen, not might, will!
There is no-one who can hurt you, discipline you or punish you more than yourself, consciously or sub-consciously. There have been many times my children have done something wrong, something that they have felt really bad about. They await punishment, knowing I wasn’t happy with their actions. After a few hours of no consequence being made apparent on some occasions, they have said “so what is my consequence?” My response has always been, “tell me what you are feeling and thinking about what you have done?” Always they will launch into how bad they feel, what an idiot they were, how upset they are and the like. I then say, well there is your punishment, no-one can ever punish you more than yourself, no-one can ever hurt you more than you can do. So let’s now look at how to fix this and don’t lose the lesson…. As they become adults there will be a time when their brains are fully developed that I hope they can take those thoughts and ideas and put them into practise. I see my daughter is sometimes doing it already, being very aware of how emotions and thoughts affect her health, thinking and actions.
So those of us with already fully developed brains, let us now, from today, from this moment, move forward from our own judgements and prejudices. Let us move into being honest, learning and improving. Most of all let us make a decision today to be open to our own mistakes of the past, let them go, and help others also do the same. Listen with your heart, offer anything you think will help, and respect their journey; their way of doing things. That is a problem halved.