Just call me Judgey Judgington. I go there so fast I don’t even realize it. I was reading a blog the other day, and the person (IMHO) was saying how unwelcome he was at meetings, how some people really wish he wasn’t there, etc.
To me, it sounded like self-centered BS aka whining. I kept thinking things like, “Maybe if you said ‘Hi’ first they would seem more friendly,” and “Sounds like relapse mode, looking for the differences, making themself feel like they don’t belong.”
I noticed that I was feeling ‘better than,’ which is a sure way to isolate myself. Sitting on that throne of contempt makes me separate from you. That smugness can lead to resentment, and that can lead to my destruction. Seriously.
Today I was reading another blog by the same person. All of a sudden, it hit me. It is entirely possible that this person’s situation is entirely different from my own.
See, I’m a bleeding heart liberal, and I live in the Pacific Northwest which is a solid blue, coffee drinking, hippie-loving area. I remembered that when I had visited the bible-belt Deep South, I had felt much like this person had described.
Then I remembered that this person lived an alternative lifestyle. See, I’m a straight, white woman, raised upper-middle-class, over-educated, with a lot of family support. It is not a part of my daily life for someone to hate me just because of what I look like or my lifestyle choice.
When I forget about my privilege, I slip into judgement.
When I start judging others, it’s usually because I am unhappy with myself. It’s much easier to think “you’re awful,’ instead of ‘why am I feeling uncomfortable.’ I’ve got a little self-pity going on because, you know, I’m the only person who has ever been bedridden due to an accident.
Today, I hope to move forward with compassion. I look at how grateful I am:
- We have *good* car and health insurance to cover what the other person’s car insurance doesn’t cover.
- My husband is able to take time off to care for me.
- I have the support of loving friends and family, near and far.
My life is full; how dare I judge someone else’s feelings!! I intend to live a life of compassion and acceptance, and it seems remembering to be grateful is a good way to start in that direction.
I’m curious. What do you do when you find yourself sitting in judgment? How do you express gratitude?