Friday, January 25, 2013

Life Without Judgment

I recently put the following quote on FB, and it wasn’t meant for any one person, it was actually meant as a reminder to myself that everyone has a story and that story contributes to the way they react to given situations, respond to family and friends, and who am I to judge given I have my own story of why I am the way I am. 

"No one truly knows what they will do in a certain situation until they are actually in it.  It's very easy to judge someone else's actions by what you assume your own would be, if you were in their shoes.  But we only know what we THINK we would do, not what we would do"

-Ashley Lorenzana

Every situation has several versions of the same story.  Every version of every story has real feelings of pain, love, joy, resentment, anger, etc…And each feeling that every story has is valid and real to the person going through the emotions that life evokes.

One of my aunts told me at a very young age, “never say never”.  This is something that has stuck with me my entire life.  As soon as I’ve said the words, “I would never”, I promise you God put me in a situation in which I had to eat those words.  Not only with myself, but with my kids, and husband as well.  I try now to look at life, situations, people, friends, and foes without judgment, because Lord knows I have had my own walk to walk and have been judged (and have judged myself) along the way…and quite frankly it sucks!
Many years ago, I had a situation with a family member that was very dear to my heart.   At the time, we both felt we were justified in how we felt and our self-righteousness kept us apart for several years.  It wasn’t until the untimely death of a relative, that we both realized that nothing is worth losing each other to bruised egos.  We both apologized, but it took me years to realize fully my own shortcomings in the situation.  It was so important to me to express those realizations in order to fully embrace the amazing relationship and connection that we restored.  The experience was painful, but so necessary for our growth and our unbreakable bond.  I tell this story because this was a turning point in my life and a maturity of love that has helped shape me.  Every argument or disagreement has two versions with very valid and real feelings attached to them.  There doesn’t have to be a right or wrong in any situation dealing with the inner thoughts and feelings of people.  All feelings are valid and real, but the ability to step away from yourself for just a moment, to feel compassion, empathy, or even just understand where the hurt may be stemming from is a real gift from God. 

This year my mantra is, “Life without judgment”…  This is not only meant for me in how I view others, but how I view myself, which continues to be harder for me.  Sometimes I judge myself 10x harder than anyone else could even come close to judging me.  I am trying to accept the complexities of life, and acknowledge that life really is not black and white…so many shades of gray exist between the layers of “supposed to’s” and “pretty pictures”… and all we can do is take one day, one situation, and sometimes one moment at a time…and in the process do our best to be true and honest to who we are. 

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