“Oh my god – did you see what she is wearing?” “Ya – she clearly didn’t look in the mirror before she left the house!”
“Why is she cheating on her workout? There is NO way she did everything she was supposed to!”
The list of things I have said out loud or thought to myself could go on and on. So many conversations with friends have hinged on this kind of chatter and for a long time I didn’t think twice about it UNTIL I was challenged. Challenged to think about what I was doing to others, what it meant, and why I felt the need to judge others and myself so harshly.
Someone very dear to me said “when we are judging others it is just a mirror or a reflection of our fears!” BOOM – ran right smack into that mirror!!! OUCH! We talked about the “Cheating at the gym” judgement and what that meant and why I cared.
I said “well she’s taking short cuts, she’s not working as hard as she can/should be”
I was met with what you would expect…”how do you know she’s not working as hard as she can?” and then the mirror cracked…
I was asked “if you could buy a gadget that helped you do a house chore easier would you?”
Me: “YES of course”
“Oh so it is alright to take short cuts or “cheat” there?”
Me: “Ummmmmmm” no answer! And believe me, leaving me speechless is not easy!
So now I have to begin to look into that mirror – figure out what belief is that I have had (or been given my society, family, friends etc) that I have to now question…is that really my belief or what am I fearful of? This is SCARY! We all know judging others isn’t good but not doing it is hard especially when we feel like it is with good intention. But who am I to judge someone else’s experience? Who am I to think my way is better? Who am I? Well I don’t know the answer to that yet. I know I am looking deep into that mirror everyday, with my thoughts, my actions and my words and trying to figure out what my real beliefs are. Trying to figure out how I can be less judgemental of myself and how to create a community of people (particularly women, I find I am WAY harder on women then I am men) who stop judging each other and instead support and help each other. Lift each other up instead of taking each other down.
So I challenge you: When you notice a judgement creeping up in your head (maybe of yourself or others) I want you to notice it, look into the mirror and think about what it is saying about your fears or beliefs.