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September 25, 2021

Judgment to Authenticity

You have done it.  I have done it. We all do it!  It is that thought about someone that asked, why, how, OMG, and WTF?  We look at someone and can not comprehend why they would wear THAT outfit, that makeup, be that snooty, or anything else that is their choice.  Or maybe it is something that is not their choice, like where they were raised or who they have as a parent?  We stand there, checking out someone, usually someone you have yet to meet, and decide their story for them.  We compare ourselves and then make a judgment about them based on our perspective.  This comparison may be to make us feel better or worse about ourselves. 

A certain amount of judgment is necessary to preserve the self.  An example of this would be that stranger walking toward you looking suspiciously like he may grab your purse, so in your best judgment, you pull your purse tighter and quickly change direction. 

Differently, making up a story about the subject in order to make yourself feel better than them, is a judgment that is self serving and egotistical.  It is human nature to strive to be better, to continue to grow throughout your life, mentally and emotionally.  It is the law of Survival of the Fittest that keeps the population growing and our world evolving. However, there is no benefit to having negative thoughts about yourself or another, in order to create barrier between the “scum of the earth” and the “elite,” even though we are all just human.

We all get judged.  We are looked upon by strangers and acquaintances alike, taken apart and put back together as they see us.  It is their story of us.  It has nothing to do with who we are ultimately.  Inherently, we create stories about what we do not know, in order to make sense of, or relate to someone, according to who we are.

I have been judged for being too fat, too short, too blonde, too young, too attractive to be able to handle a group of students, being from the west end of my hometown, and growing up, what some would call, poor.  But these evaluations do not define me.  I am short, but that was God’s plan.  I have been fat and thin, and fit, pregnant and all sorts of sizes in between.  Blonde, yes, I am a natural blonde, but that definitely does not define me.  I was passed over for a job as a social worker in the very high school I attended by a judgmental administrator, who asked me, “How will you, as a young, attractive blonde, be able to handle the large, male minority population at this school?”  I was appalled.  How do you answer a question like that?  I went to this school, grew up with a similar population and remain friends, to this day, with this incredible group of people.  As for the side of town I grew up on and the amount of money in my parents’ bank account, I am grateful. My dad got hurt when I was about 14, he was unable to work. I learned the value of hard work and what it means to love and be loved, by your family, be there for them and appreciate all you have.  So judge me all you would like, but I know who I am and what I went through to be this person. 

One person in my life, who is so harshly judgmental, beyond anyone I have ever met, has attempted to reduce me to her level so many times.  Her insults and pointed remarks cut like a knife at times, but I have come to realize that her words and actions are all about her.  You see, when she relentlessly has nothing but hateful and derogatory judgments to pass off to me, she is actually reflecting upon herself.  The truth is that she does not like herself, in the least.  So to build herself up, she has to step on others.  I know I am not the only one to whom she can be wretched. I have witnessed her innate ability to use everyone in her path as a stepping stone, so she feels above each and every person she encounters.  Her tongue is a whip and her actions are sharp.  But the thing is, I truly feel such sorrow and pity for her.  What goes on in her head, that causes her to feel so completely lost, pathetic and not good enough that she must do this to keep her own head above water?  Her self-esteem must be completely non-existent.  Her worth, null.  How sad is it to be this woman and loathe yourself so completely.  Yes, I do pray for her.  She needs God’s hand to lift her up, because she is so lost. She needs a group hug from all the people that she attempts to diminish and bring down with her into her dark cavern.

So be mindful of the thoughts that come and go as we encounter each other throughout our lives.  These perceptions truly say more about us than the person we stand back and evaluate. We know we will have thoughts about others. As my daughter said the other day, “I quickly pushed that thought out of my head because I knew it really was not the truth!” We have the ability to release those thoughts and open ourselves up to new friendships and love.  Judging one another gets us tangled up and blurs our ability to be our authentic self and get to know others as their authentic selves.   This is a gift to give and receive.  The gift is to wear no mask and to just show up as your true self with the expectation that others do the same. 

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Carrie Myers  |  Contribution: 1,900