11 September 2015
“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together. ~ Brené Brown
This morning a friend mentioned that she wanted to open some boxes, pigeonholes where she had set people with whom she’d had difficult exchanges. She wants to revisit the reasons she put up her own barriers with them and perhaps revise her opinions. She knows she’s in a different place in her life and that she might see things differently. She’s also aware of the weight of those boxes, the unease of those small prickly burrs in her heart.
Her words inspired me. I’ve made judgments too that have become hard little scars burrowed into tender tissue. We carry on. Live with them as if they have to be there. But my friend is right—they don’t. Bringing them out into the open, reconsidering them in a fresh light with a willing heart, can create softening, healing.
The pith of judging that I’ve been trying to dissect this week is how it relates to being hurt. Usually we are not hurt by a situation or even a person, but rather by our thoughts about that situation or that person’s treatment of us. It is the thought that someone is dissing us that can make us defensive, uncertain, vulnerable.
When we need a situation to reflect our vision of the world or a person to validate a positive image of our ourselves, and that doesn’t happen, we are likely to become defensive. When we cultivate an internal sense of security and worth, I think we’ll find less reason to judge.
Our history affects the interpretations we create. Because of family history, I’m sensitive to not being heard and if I feel someone is not listening to others I can become stiff and hard toward them. It’s not what I want at all.
What we want is connections that are based in caring and support. Judgements are going to come up within them, going to get in the way. But they don’t have to be permanent. We can revisit. When we feel those sharp little teeth of casting aspersions we can open the box and peer into what hurt or fear is causing us to protect ourselves.
It seems to me that the more fully we understand and accept ourselves, the more we will appreciate the bounty of our lives and the wonder of our friendships.
This was a hard week writing for me, flailing around in a topic that felt utterly unwieldy, difficult to elucidate and full of tricky spots. Thank you for your time and thoughts. Best wishes and love to you all!