Making resolutions is hard. I don’t choose a special day like New Year’s to make them and I try and correct my behavior when I see it going astray. Sometimes that takes a while, sometimes we have to sit in the muck for a while before we find our way out.
Lately, the muck I have been sitting in has been called JUDGMENT. I find that when I am in judgment of other people I feel so much worse. I am spending so much time thinking about them and their wrongs (real or perceived) that I lose sight of my own life, my responsibilities and of course the fact that I am not perfect either. “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”
There are a lot of really horrible things happening in the world – on the largest scale – we are now at war with ISIS and they are the worst of the worst. What I feel for them is not even judgement; I am allowed to hate them. I do.
The recent stories of Ray Rice and Adrien Peterson and their abuse of their wife (then fiance) and son, respectively. Do I judge? Of course – but these are troubled men. Rice’s wife is a battered woman and the son is an innocent. These are highly amped men, who use violence as a career (i do love football though, I will admit) and may be using steroids. Peterson said he was disciplined that way as a child…of course he does the same. Those who are abused tend to abuse. Rice is horrible; his behavior in that elevator was despicable and whether they can be cured or helped to refrain from continuing their violence against their families is anyone’s guess. It is held in their hands and in whatever spiritual life they lead. Certainly they are suffering the repercussions of their actions on various levels and hopefully will receive counseling, Hopefully Rice’s wife will get her head out of the sand. There – I am judging her. I know nothing of her but I do know abuse, having been abused emotionally for years. It’s hard to escape, you think you can fix it – you cannot. Again though, she must figure it out on her own. I have donated my signature to a bill looking for support in Congress as well a a small sum to a Battered Woman’s cause this past week. That’s what I can do with my judgment.
I don’t know these football players. I don’t know the Islamic militants. I do, however, know a few people in my life on a daily basis who I can get deeply involved in judging and it can put my day at a standstill. I can become so obsessed with another persons behavior that I am missing out on mine, my son and my work, my life. Easily I can say I should not judge others as I know others must judge me. I don’t know how it affects them but I do know how it affects me. Me doesn’t like it. Me doesn’t like these people enough to be spending so much time on them and me has no control over anyone but ME.
So, my pledge today on my birthday, which I have been thinking about and working on for a long time now is to try my hardest to control judgment of others. People have problems, people have their reasons, people have history which makes them act as they do. Some of it is minor, some if it is major and none of it is in my power to control. I can keep the focus on myself and be the best person I can be for myself and my son. That means I clear the crap that’s taking up my precious time and live my life to its fullest. I hope you’ll do the same.