Judge Less; Love and Embrace More
The world is definitely a judging place. It’s so commonplace we don’t even realize it’s happening all around us. It’s tough for kids growing up in a “get anything you want and get it now” culture. They compare themselves to others several times a day. It’s important to be part of the “haves” and not the “have nots.” Society puts value on “things” so it’s the “things” we chase! Our life is an accumulation of more STUFF. As a young mother, I remember there being lots of comparisons (where your child went to school, what team they played on, who had the bigger or better birthday party, how big was your house and what toys went with it, the clothes we wore, etc.) I bet if we brainstormed, we’d come up with over 100 judgements easily.
The beauty of becoming older (OK maybe the only good thing) is through reflection we become more wise. Thanks to our vast life experiences and past mistakes, we can see things through a different lens. So many of those comparisons that bothered us ‘back then’ just don’t matter. Things like good health, happiness, contentment and just “being enough” are ranked higher on the list over “things.”
But…… then again….. I’ll have to add……after my husband died and I became single again (at the age of 40), I learned what being back in middle school felt like. Judgements galore! If you’re on a date with someone, suddenly people start talking…. “Who’s that? Are they serious? Didn’t he used to date Susie? He’s only been divorced 6 months and look he’s already dating. I heard he’s been married 4 times. What a player! Wasn’t she with someone different last week? Another one? Wow. Maybe she’s the player? She’s so picky.” Again, if we brainstormed a list of judgements people said out loud (to our face and behind our backs), I bet we’d come up with well over 100.
How about we take THIS life approach…. Love and embrace people WHERE THEY ARE! Will they make mistakes? YES! But that’s good. That’s where the learning takes place. Will a single mom forget the snacks on her assigned soccer game day? Yes. She will learn she’s human and how to be more organized (or how to delegate). The important thing is that she was THERE for the game! Be the one to praise her—not shame her. Might you make a mistake(s) at work? Yes. You’ll learn to not do that again and how to improve. Might a divorced woman date a variety of men over time? Yes. That’s how she learns what she likes, doesn’t like so she can make the best decision for her and her children. BTW…dating with values is harder to do today than yesteryear. There’s lots to sift through when one dates the 2nd time around (that’s why I’m passionate about and have a heart for working with singles). No one knows anyone else’s storm they’re battling. All we see is the, “Look how happy everyone else is!” on Facebook. Don’t get caught up in always believing that! Of COURSE everyone LOOKS happy. When someone takes a picture of you, don’t you usually smile? Are you going to post any BAD pictures of yourself? Of course not, because that’d mean more judgements. Social media has us making daily judgements about others (and yes, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes with postings). It’s OK!!! We are all still learning! Love and embrace people where they are- shortcomings/ mistakes and all.
None of us are going to get out of here alive (I thank God each day I awaken and pray to be better than I was yesterday). Why not make life the best experience we can—for ourselves and for others we interact? Let’s build each other up (to their face AND behind their back) and not tear each other down. There’s SO much of that. It’s commonplace. Be unique. Swim against the current. If you hear rumors, maybe say, “I’m sure there’s more to the story than we know.” OR “I don’t know that to be true by what I’ve observed.” OR recognize it as gossip and don’t participate. (Didn’t we learn this in middle school? We ALL know not to do this, yet it’s happening daily—all ages!) I’m amazed at how ideas are planted in minds (children as well as grown adults) as truth without knowing the facts of the people involved. Maybe we can get better at going to the source to confirm information? Maybe it doesn’t really matter? It’s just negative talk! Put downs. Not building up material. Please know (and start believing) that you’re ENOUGH just the way you are. And hopefully through our failures, we’ll be wiser for the experience.
When I read things like this, I always think of all the people who need to read this. Don’t you? (Just like a good sermon…. “I wish Johny was here to hear this!”) Sometimes we forget to listen to the lesson for our own reflection. Sometimes it’s US doing the gossiping or making the judgements or condemning out loud. We are still learning. We forget. We need reminders. (That’s why I go to church each week- I also need reminders). Forgiveness can still occur. Just wake up tomorrow and be better! Judge less. Gossip less. Catch yourself. Build each other up more. Be the one to flip it to a positive. We know Heaven is so much better than Earth, but why not make Earth better if we can? Right NOW? We CAN! You can. I can. Let’s all help each other be better! Our life will all be over in an instant (and we don’t get to pick which instant)! What’s the legacy we’re leaving behind? “It’s not what you leave TO them, it’s what you leave IN them.”
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forgiveness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Which Fruit of the Spirit would you like to work on this week? For me it’s gentleness. Next week, might be patience. I want to be better at all of these!
Go to www.loveandlaughterlifecoaching.com to learn more about my coaching business.
Also- Sept 1, 2015 tune in to WKJK 1080 AM (streamed in iHeart radio so you can listen anywhere) to listen to “Love and Laughter” … my call in show about relationships (married, singles, friendships). We all want to love and be loved and the world could use a lot more laughter. Each week, I’ll have guests to educate us and challenge our thinking. Call in. Ask questions! (571-1080) This is just another life adventure for me where I’ll be vulnerable—I’ll show up and I’ll be enough. After 13 weeks, I’ll be on to my next life adventure! I hope you’ll join me!