All Judgement is Self-Judgement.
This simple but powerful statement is one of the biggest "ah-ha!" moment's I've had on my personal-growth journey - and it is so true! I posted this in my Instagram feed this week, along with the following: "Most of the time when we are judging others, it is because we recognize something in them that we don't like about ourselves. So . . . instead of projecting that outward, take a look inside."
I'd say in my life, the times that I've felt most judged have been 99% related to my parenting style. In all fairness, the way I've parented my boys post-divorce could probably be called unconventional, but I don't think it's warranted the type of wrath I've felt from other moms.
Here's the deal: I was a REALLY good kid. Good as in I didn't drink until college and I've never done drugs. (OK - I can count on one hand how many times I've smoked pot . . . it is definitely not my thing.) That being said I've always known that I was the exception and not the rule, and fully expected my boys to do way more than I did. I also had this huge fear that they were going to lie to me, so from a relatively early age I impressed upon them the importance of telling the truth - and made sure they knew they wouldn't get in trouble for being honest.
And that's where things got a little dice-y, since as it turns out I'm really bad at imposing discipline and consequences - since I had always left that up to their Dad. Whoopsy. (I will also add that carrying around a boatload of guilt about all kinds of things, is not heplful in these situations. But I digress . . .)
So how did this all show up? The short version is that I accidentally over-shared with some other mom's once about what I knew my kids were up to (because it involved a funny story), and the judgement that came as a result of that was pretty wild. I felt hurt and angry as one does when the judgement is overflowing - especially since I knew their kids were doing naughty things too - they just didn't know because well . . . they had different "house rules" if you will! The bottom line was that I would never judge them for how they parent their kids, and I just wanted the same treatment. It's complicated I know - but I just felt like there had to be a better way.
** To be clear - I do not condone underage drinking or other substance use in any way. When it came up with my kids it was always a starting point of really good conversations about why it isn't a good idea, what it does to your developing brain, addiction, etc. **
How does All Judgement is Self-Judgement pertain to my story? After some time, I did try and put myself in their shoes to see how maybe there was something about my way that was reflective of something they didn't like in themselves? I will add that the people involved were by their own admission big party-ers in high-school (unlike me) . . . perhaps that had something to do with it? Who knows. What I do know is that without so much judgment - the world would be a happier and better place.
The holidays can be a stressful time - so before you snap at the lady at the post-office, judge your co-worker's holiday dress or think painful thoughts about your family member who always has a little too much to drink . . . take a look inward and get curious about where it's all coming from.
Love and Light,
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