Judgment. Judging stems from a place of fear rather than love. Judgment happens only when our own insecurities are brought to the surface. It is in these times that we’ll judge how hideous another person’s outfit is, or how their shoes don’t match their top, or how they should be staying home more with their kids than going out. We judge when we feel our own imperfections or put pressure on ourselves to be perfect. We judge when someone has what we want to make ourselves feel better for not having it. We judge because we feel ugly inside and can’t stand being around people whose light shines brightly.
Many times, we feel as though we are being judged even when we are not. This happens when we are in a situation that we are uncomfortable in. Let’s say that you just got a divorce and are feeling so insecure because everyone thought you had the perfect family. So, you show up to a family BBQ and in every huddle that you are not a part of, you feel as though everyone is talking about you when in reality they haven’t said one word about you. You are so paranoid about your own insecurities that you project it on everyone else.
Judgment has nothing to do with you but everything to do with the person judging.
Now, picture this. Two women who are both newly divorced are having a conversation about being single and attracting love. One person in the conversation states how they’re so excited that they just met the love of their life and it only took her 3 months to find him. She is ecstatic. The other person is having trouble finding love so she walks away from the conversation judging the other person saying that her relationship will never last because she didn’t even get a chance to figure herself out after her divorce. She tells her other friend that she’s just looking to be rescued and that she gives that relationship 6 months before it fizzles out. She is completely judging because she is so hurt and insecure because she can’t seem to find anyone that wants to commit to her. So, judging her friend makes herself feel better for not being able to find love. Judgment has nothing to do with you but everything to do with the person judging. Always.
Before I decided to get a divorce, I stayed stuck in a marriage that I wasn’t happy with just to maintain status quo and do what everybody else was doing. Then, the day came where the fear of living the same was greater than my fear of being judged. When I let go of that fear, I truly freed myself and at the same time drove some other people pretty crazy. What I realized is that people who don’t feel free judge everyone else who go after their own freedom. They often run from them because they can’t deal with their own unhappy marriage. People that aren’t happy judge everyone else for the things that make them happy. I am going to say it again: when a person judges you, it has nothing to do with you but everything to do with them. If we could remember this more, judgment will no longer bother us but instead empower us.
I was really starting to feel my own strength and independence about 6 months after I got divorced. I showed up to my good friend’s party feeling light and free. I walked in with my shoulders back and beautiful face forward feeling like I could finally take on the world. Life finally felt good. It wasn’t perfect but because I honored myself and my happiness by getting a divorce, I stayed true to me and there’s no better feeling. As you could imagine, this drove other unhappy couples crazy. When you’re living in your own misery, you don’t like to see other people getting out of theirs. Often times, many people instead normally gravitate towards people that they could feel just as shitty with so they could all complain about how life sucks and what victims they all are. Wah! Wah! Wah! This is of course if you aren’t personally aware of your own behaviors.
Well, I was the bait that day for a women who reeled me right in to make herself feel better. She asked me how I was doing, as I had known her for a few years. So, I answered all bubbly about how amazing I was feeling and finally getting to know myself for the first time in probably 35 years. She replied and said that she just didn’t understand why I would leave though. She asked me if I actually thought I would find a better man. She went on to state that all men are the same and there are no good guys out there. Ouch! My mood went from being a bright light to a dim lightbulb in a matter of seconds. Until I realized where her statement was coming from.
What she said had nothing to do with my situation and everything to do with hers. At that moment, a sudden grace of peace just filled my being knowing that this woman stayed in her unhappy marriage out of fear that she would never be able to find anything better. Even worse, she stayed out of fear of being alone. What if she never found anyone better? Do you just stay out of fear that you’ll be alone forever? When I got divorced I felt less lonely than I did in my marriage. She also had some strong beliefs about men in a place that she was attempting to project on me.
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So, instead of being pissed off and angry, I actually felt nothing but love and compassion for her. I had compassion for her knowing that she was now well into her 60’s and never had the confidence in herself to go after what she truly wanted. How could I have negative feelings for someone as delicate as that? At that moment, I knew that those beliefs did not exist for me because her words did not affect me the way I thought they may have. If I still felt nervous and insecure about finding my happily ever after, her words would’ve killed me. It instead showed me everything about how far I had come and everything about how far she never allowed herself to come.
In talking with so many other women and men after my divorce, I had learned that there are so many people that stay in their marriages out of comfort and fear. When people would hear I got divorced, they’d tell me how strong I was and how they wished they could do it. I was always shocked. I learned that just because two people are married for 25 years does not mean that they are happily married for 25 years. I learned not to ever judge them or myself.
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