Stop Using the Word Judge.

I looked up the word “judge” and tons of articles about the Bible teaching us not to judge appeared.  Then a few more interesting pieces of research…saying that some people like to throw certain verses around to cover up whatever they were doing.  At this point, I was getting warmer, but still didn’t quite find the point I wanted to make.  So, in a nutshell, I want to tell you if you have commented saying that “We shouldn’t judge x,y,z” the truth is, you just judged.  By feeling like you had to make that comment, yes, you could have held back, but you didn’t, you just judged the other person and felt you knew enough about them or the story to make that comment.  The truth is, you sized them up and whatever the meaning was behind their words, off just a snippet of conversation.

So what can we do instead of trying to berate another person publicly?

  1. Don’t comment “bait”.  It’s just not helpful nor is it appropriate on someone’s status.  They are entitled to make their status update about whatever it is they want to.  Sure, there are TONS of people out there who LOVE to share, comment, and make ridiculous posts.  I get it.  I do.  Unlike.  Unfollow.  Unfriend.  <<< poof.  It’s like magic.
  2. Do you really know this person at all?  As one gal said to me recently when trying to justify something that appeared on the book of face, what do we really know about anyone out there?  Stop and consider this a moment before you comment.  Have you ever had a conversation with this person in real life?  Face to face?  In a message?  On the phone?  Skyped with them perhaps?  If the answer is no, you honestly have no basis on which to use your word of the day.  You have no real frame of reference.
  3. Think about what was triggered inside of you.  Why do you feel the need to comment?  Take a step back and notice if it’s because it is a behavior you recently fought hard to push down in yourself.  Maybe you have even had the same thought this person had, but quickly pushed it away so now it makes you mad.  The emotions that it triggered made you realize you really don’t have a handle on your “stuff”.  So it scared you.
  4. Your negative reaction stems from anger, jealousy or perhaps envy.  This one is hard for those of us who are constantly working to reel in our “stuff”.  As we try harder and harder to change our thought patterns, and work on our spiritual self, we start to notice when the ego side of us rears it’s head…and then we get in this thought pattern “ugly cycle”.  Like it’s stuck on rinse, but not working.  Say “Oh that’s an interesting feeling.”  I am going to just notice it, and breathe deeply for a count of 5 and see what happens when I allow myself to release it.  The trick here is to see if you can release it, so visualize the emotion being released like a balloon in the sky and floating away.
  5. Try to use “discernment” instead.  Discernment is awareness/understanding without the emotional response, and often it is there, but buried under the emotional response first.  So when we work to remove the emotional piece like we did above, what are we left with?  Hopefully a clearer picture that is not as biased.

As with any journey, learning more about ourselves and what pushes our buttons can ultimately help us understand our fellow man.  What we have to learn to do, is pause and reflect before we rise and react.  ~Aimee Halpin

pause and reflect




I like this definition:  having or showing a lack of experience, judgement, or information; credulous.  She’s so naive she believes everything she reads.  A synonym that was used was simple

If we put things in that context, it is easier to move forward.  I often see very public Facebook statuses about people.  While I personally don’t care, not my circus, not my monkeys, I find it easier to ignore said people.  The old me would get drawn into something akin to a verbal match.  Always having the last word…this me has to have no words.  None.

If you come at it from the standpoint of no one on this earth has been in your place and has had to make your decisions, then you start to realize the person trying to get you to see things from their point of view is basically naive.  How can you see things from their point of view?  Quite frankly, you can’t.

Of course there is a degree of empathy, but people who continually argue with others about their views baffle me.  I see no point.  I could use religion, race, or homosexuality as examples, but I’m not.  People were raised a certain way.  They have in their tool box whatever they learned up until about the age of 18, then it was time to go forth and assimilate this knowledge.

Some people have the capability to decipher knowledge and add it to their bank of learning.  Others use the “I was raised this way” line of thought.  I’ve seen it in teaching and I’ve seen it in society.  Haters gonna hate.  I know, I know, but think about it.  If you remember my blog post from a while back, I mention a man who changed the lives of people.  It was some very Narrow-minded folks.  Feel free to read it again and ponder what can happen when you open your heart instead of your mouth…you do not have to have the last word.


Shame on you…

So I got told once in a private message.  SHAME on me.  Shame on me.  The problem was, I didn’t feel shame.  She did.  She was projecting her shame or what action she felt should be shameful on me.  Hmm.  Let me break it down for you.  Remember when I talked about vulnerability last year?  If not, see this post on Daring greatly.  There are people I used to know who were very very afraid of the truth.  They were afraid of being vulnerable.  They were afraid of letting others see who they truly were.  And they have perfected the art of being “normal” so much so that I could not have a conversation with them.  All but one.  One of them, I thought, could be honest with herself.  Because in the end, that’s what it was about.  Honesty on a level so deep that the only other being who knows this is God.  Because really, do you think you are fooling Him?  You aren’t.

I absolutely loved it when Brené Brown said she had the worst “vulnerability hangover” ever after telling a crowd of 500 people at the TED convention that she had a breakdown.  She said she didn’t come out of her house for 3 days.  When she gets up and talks about Listening to shame, she says this TED is like the failure conference. No, it is. You know why this place is amazing? Because very few people here are afraid to fail. And no one who gets on the stage, so far that I’ve seen, has not failed. I’ve failed miserably, many times. I don’t think the world understands that because of shame.”  Amen sister.  Amen.

“Shame is I am bad.  Guilt is I did something bad.  How many of you if you did something that was hurtful to me would be willing to say I’m sorry I made a mistake?  Guilt.  Shame.  I’m sorry I AM a mistake.  There’s a huge difference between shame and guilt.”   She goes on to speak about how women and men feel shame differently.  “If we’re going to find our way back to each other we have to understand and know empathy.  Empathy’s the antidote to shame.  If you put shame in a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence, and judgment.  The two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: me too.”  When she says that if we are going to find our way back to each other and that vulnerability is going to be that path, then I ask you, why put down the person who opens up to you?  Why judge?  Why condemn them for the telling you something that might have been hard to say?  Because you actually feel shame.  Not them.  You have more to hide than the person being vulnerable.




Forgive yourself…

You only have to look at the skin on my fingers to realize I might, erm, have some anxiety.  I was reading this long train of comments some of my friends wrote and I realized how it helps to just get it out.  To name what is bothering us.  I have never once regretted a single blog post.  Not even if others read into it.  They own that, not me.  Before “judging” me, they didn’t call me up and say, hey, you know I was wondering about what this part here meant.  Nope.  They also have anxiety, fear, and self-doubt and they let those things control them instead of love.

I think part of the problem can be explained in this quote passage:  Perfectionists are natural ruminators. Julia Cameron writes about this in “The Artist’s Way”:

“Perfectionism is a refusal to let yourself move ahead. It is a loop–an obsessive, debilitating closed system that causes you to get stuck in the details of what you are writing or painting or making and to lose sight of the whole. Instead of creating freely and allowing errors to reveal themselves later as insights, we often get mired in getting the details right. We correct our originality into a uniformity that lacks passion and spontaneity.”  That can be found in this slide-show about 15 Ways to Stop Obsessing.

Some people, no matter how wrong they are, would rather sit there in their wrongness than accept any responsibility for what happens…because they want to have the last word, or get the “details” right so you can know what you have done wrong.  Unfortunately, after being programmed this way for most of our lives, it takes a strong person to admit they were wrong to begin with.

Lastly, I despise the word judge because we all do it.  There.  I said it.  We do.  Now is the part where you are thinking, I never judge, blah, blah, blah.  I have never, ever met a person who did not even accidentally make a statement without knowing all the facts.  But you are not your thoughts, and it’s okay.  Maybe your mind went there for a second, and maybe it is still there.  The second, minute, or even hour isn’t so bad.  It’s staying there that gets you in that loop.  Forgive yourself.  Forgive others.  Move forward.




Diary…of kindness

When I started this blog, I started it under an Avatar photo and have never said my full name.  I did that on purpose.  At times, it’s like you are reading my diary.  My personal thoughts that I feel the need to write down here.  My stories from my teaching career, my adventures with food, and yes, my life with invisible diseases.  If you were to open any one page of a diary you wrote, could you tell what you were feeling on that particular day?  Throughout my writing, people have asked me how I stay so positive.  That is until my last post.  I did not read it as not positive.  On the contrary, I read it as I was making progress…especially from where I was two weeks ago.  It hardly seems two weeks ago…I don’t tell you the truly personal events of my life as people have figured out who writes this now.

I hope you have read the whole story, and not just one page and made an assumption.  I hope you read the posts about the homeless, poverty, and the ghetto.  I hope you read the beginning years, where I have come from.  To condemn a person for one snapshot of their life seems awfully harsh to me…especially if you read into this that it was ever about you.  The entire time I have written, it has never been about anyone else.  It is not about your journey.  What’s even more amazing to me is to get condemnation from someone who doesn’t speak to me…ever.  Not one phone call, ever.  Who can take words from a page, and not know what my thoughts were behind it.  Not see the picture in my mind as I see it.  It reminds me of a story that was read to me once called Each Kindness.  You really have no idea how the story is going to turn out, even from the words.  You keep hoping there is going to be a lesson and a happy ending.  You guess what is going to happen next, but you don’t know.  You read into it because you want it to end happy.  You even make up an alternate ending because you just don’t know.  Life is like that.  You read into it because you just don’t know.

For those of you who have been with me for a while, I wanted to say thank you.  Thank you for listening with your heart.  Not your eyes.

Romans 2:1-3

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?



Judge Judy…

I was reading this blog post from a very popular source recently on parenting.  It strikes me as funny when she says she has felt “judged” by other moms.  When I read her articles, I think she has it together.  She talked about how she always thought the worst of herself as a mom when she was out in public.  It reminded me of what I do to myself.

Somehow, I am unable to take a compliment.  I stutter thanks, but immediately point out all my imperfections and why I am not nearly as put together as I appear.  I mention things that no one really cares about, except me.  Things no one would even notice, if I would stop pointing it out.  Nice cover up.  “Well, you should see my stretch marks.”  Why in the world would anyone want to?  They are there.  Move on.  Great photo!  “Thanks.  I wish I had gotten my hair done before this picture.  It wouldn’t look like such a hot mess.”  Really?  Who are you kidding.  You hate to do your hair now…probably some trauma from the 80’s and 90’s.  Don’t look back.  Love my sunglasses?  “Oh, it’s because they are hiding the bags under my eyes.”  Why can’t you just take the compliment and run with it??

A while ago, I took a very enlightening class.  It was about creativity.  I realized I have it, but am afraid of using it.  I often feel that I will be judged if I don’t write something in just the correct manner.  If I mention things that everyone knows, but doesn’t want to accept, will it sound bad?  Once I learn to leave Judge Judy outside, in the car, or far away from me, my creativity seems to flow much better.  I also find that in those moments, I write the most amazing blog posts and people really connect with them.  I am open and honest, and able to feel the positive energy.  So, if you have been having far too many conversations with the “Judge” in you, take her away.  She needs a vacation and so do you.

What people remember about you are often things you don’t even realize you have done for them.  Not what you look like, if your house is clean, or if you lost weight recently.  Those are the things YOU worry about.

“Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality.  All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration.”  ~Niccolo Machiavelli