Over the course of my life, I’ve tried to not pass judgement on anyone. The old adage “don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins” has held with me ever since I heard my Grandma say it. There are days when it’s easy to do, when my heart is open and my feet feel light. Then there are the days when the world is falling down around me and the application of this is almost impossible. I’m not perfect…I’m human but at least I try my best and admit I’m wrong when I realize it.
I was wrong.
This time, I’m actually glad that I was wrong and caught it early. I’ve been stuck in this crazy loop of not opening myself to love, not just on a romantic level but on a universal one, which has caused me to judge and shut down my ability to love. It’s a tool to protect myself. Note: not a good tool, but one none the less.
He’s too emotional.
He’s an ass.
He’s a frat boy.
He’s too hipster.
He’s so cynical.
He’s too young.
The list goes on and on…but where does it stop? It stops right here with me. I can choose to not get stuck at the first impression, to take the time to actually see someone, to walk in that person’s shoes. At the same point, both parties have to be open to letting their guards down, putting their egos away, and just being who they are. It’s hard to invest time in someone if you’re always afraid that they might break your heart, whether they are just a friend, a colleague, a love, or family. Remembering to not shut down after being hurt is important for healing. As cheesy as this sounds, remaining open to love is the best way to heal. Accept long hugs and gentle kisses. If you have friends that are cuddly, invite them over for movies and cuddles. Be around the people who love you and want you to grow as the wonderful human you are.
Don’t turn away love and support but being aware that you need time to grieve in a healthy way is also important. Of course only you know how and how long to do that, but don’t let it consume your life. I have heard of cultures that once a loved one dies, you choose how long you grieve for. Once that time is up, you’re done. It doesn’t mean that you forget the person, but you finally pick up the pieces and move on. I feel that a grieving period should be applied to all grieving situations that do not involve death, such as a breakup either romantic or other. That sounds a lot better to me than just bottling it up because we’re supposed be “strong” or going on a drinking binge.
A few peeps recently have schooled me once more in my lesson of judgement, acceptance, and patience.
It’s funny, actually. Once I got past the frat boy, I saw a sensitive, loving, giving, witty, charismatic, cuddly, innocent, front-range sprite. I’m excited to go run amuck with him or just lay down in soft summer grass and look at clouds while pondering the universe. The ass: he just looks at the world with a twist and isn’t scared to say it. I also think he’s there to shield the sprite, in a greater universal concept sort of way. Sometimes bright souls need protectors to ensure they stay bright. The cynic: some hurts go so deep, it’s hard to see the light. I would never have known how much hurt this person went through and how hard he’s struggled to come back to feeling okay.
These are things I would never have seen if I had stayed in that place of judgement. Being in a place where I do not judge, to be accepting of others’ paths, to be compassionate, to hear the stories, to be patient enough to let the stories unfold when they are supposed to, to open my heart, to give love (agape, eros, philia, or storge) and to accept love, has ultimately made me a happier, healthier human being, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.
Sometimes this way of being brings me sadness and grief, but it’s always worth it.