Friday Musings: On Judgement

For a long time, I was always fearful that I was being judged for my looks, actions, thoughts, and choices, particularly the untraditional choices—like being a vegetarian, going back to school for an MFA, working as a writer, quitting jobs that were unfulfilling, working differently, living minimally, etc. (basically all things different from the standard mid-western mindset). I worried the judgement was valid, and I was wrong, that maybe I shouldn’t trust my decisions. But I think the truth is, I feared this judgement because I was judgmental of others, but mostly, I very harshly judged myself (and still do from time to time…its a work in progress). I have wasted so much time caring what others think, trying to live according to someone else’s standards.

Here’s the thing, it is no one’s business how I live my life and its none of my business how they live theirs. Live how you want to live. If you feel inspired to change and try out something new, great, do it. There will always be judgment, but all that matters is what you think of you. The older I get, the more and more I learn to trust myself and let go of what other people think, and what I think other people think (yeah, that shit was exhausting and a total mind fuck).

Judgement, after all, is really about insecurity and not being satisfied with yourself. We put others down to make ourselves feel better, or superior…”at least I am not like so and so” etc. We look for the faults in others so we don't have to face our own shortcomings, or we judge others lifestyles because we are uncomfortable or unsatisfied with our own. 

But what if instead, we focused on improving ourselves. What if, instead of immediately jumping to judge, we stopped and tried to see the world from that other person’s perspective, replacing judgment with empathy and compassion. Maybe instead of beating ourselves up over our own choices, we treated ourselves like we would a friend. It is not always easy, but it is a much more peaceful and fulfilling way to live—to be kind to others and to ourselves, regardless of our choices and decisions. 

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes, love yourself as you love others, be nice because you don’t know what that other person is going through, and all the other cliches. Basically, stop being an asshole to other people and yourself.

Go out there and enjoy your weekend doing whatever the fuck you find fulfilling!