Lets talk about it shall we? We all do it. We judge one another or even ourselves to no end. Yes even the people who you think would never. They do. Yes, even me!!!!!
I found myself in this predicament just yesterday. A woman came into the waiting room at the hospital where I was sitting waiting for my mum to have an operation. She spent the whole time there talking loudly so everyone could hear her conversation. I was trying NOT to listen as I found her absolutely annoying. She was whinging and complaining in a holier than thou kind of way. First looking for a bit of gossip with the nurses about some dr (they chose not to play) and then proceeding to complain about some poor relatives choice of wedding venue, reception, their rudeness in expecting her to travel and of course if she would rather not buy a gift there would be a wishing well. "How rude is that?" she declared in a huff. And it went on and on and on. She nit picked that wedding from every angle possible. She decided after ages of whining that she would not be going.
Now me, I was sitting there trying not to listen, knitting away on auto-pilot, when I suddenly could not stand it any more. I said nothing of course but boy was I thinking it "Lady! Shut up! We really are not interested. Bet those relatives will be glad to hear you are not coming along if this is what they put up with." So yes, I was judging her. Not out loud but in my head. I was thinking "You lady are not very nice." Meanwhile my auto-pilot knitting went astray. I was not watching entirely what I was doing and got about 12 rows further when I noticed I had made a mistake. Fancy that! Hmmmm
My knitting would have to back track and along with it my thoughts. I was sitting there having negative thoughts about someone I did not even know and what happened? I made a mistake. Of course I was remorseful. Apologised to lady in my head, judged myself immensely and left it at that.
The powers that be however, had a little something more in store for that night. In the way of a LESSON DREAM. You know, just in case I did not get it and all. It was intense my friends and a little hard to explain in full but I will try to give you the gist of it if I can.
In the dream there was the boy who was aged around 13. He was hanging about some sort of pizza shop with some older men when I stopped and removed him from the situation. Why? Because I knew this kid. He lived with his dad and I knew his grandparents. I was not quite sure why he was hanging about in a public place with these men. It was all innocent and normal going when the boys mother rings me up and starts accusing us of all sorts of things.
I was at first a little shocked. I did not know his mum. Had never met her and thought she was not really "there" in his life. She was accusing my boys of inviting her son to a rave (all night dance party and not the place for young kids). According to this woman, my kids went all the time and her son told her so. She did not want her son near my kids. Also (and this is when I got angry) she started to carry on about sleep overs which he had never had with my kids. But she believed that boys got up to no good sexually at such things.
I was now not only shocked and angry but horrified that a mother would say something like this at all. I was horrified on my own behalf, on my kids (was she accusing them?) and in fact on all kids (who was she talking about) and for her son, who was a good boy. What was wrong with this woman?
And here comes the judgement. Obviously in such a situation, one feels cornered so we immediately fight back. Now me being me, I started writing my reply in my head and in the writing and indeed the processing of all the information that came to me I did not end up sending her that message. Why? Because the lesson about judgement was loud and clear.
While my initial response would have had me being defensive and reacting badly. Taking the time to stop and think about it had me feeling entirely different about the whole situation. I would of course have denied her allegations and then perhaps retaliated with what I thought of her. I was thinking of course. "How dare she? She who has nothing to do with her child. She who left him with his dad who had some serious problems of his own which is why SHE left him." Oh it went on and I was totally judging her as being a terrible mother. Her perception of us was way off base. Her disassociation with her own child was just wrong.
Oh my! It was about there that I imagined that feeling. Disassociation with ones own child? Poor Poor woman. Now I wanted to tell her that in fact. My children did not run the street (like hers was when I found him :-( ). I wanted to tell her that my older boy does not go out much at all and never un-supervised. I wanted to tell her that the only "rave" I could think of that her son may want to go to was in fact a Church Youth group disco which was fully supervised and arranged to get the kids together in a safe environment. I wanted to tell her that her son just wanted his mothers attention so he would say anything to get it. Because even an angry mum is better than no mum at all.
I felt so so sad for this kid. I wanted his mum to step up and be his mum. I was feeling defensive no longer for myself but for this kid. Still, still I was judging her as being inadequate.
Which led me to the sexual innuendo. That one threw me. Why would anyone say such a thing? They are kids. Kids like to have sleep overs. Its normal. Right? And then in a rush it came to me. What if something bad happened to her when she was a kid. I don't know her. I have not walked in her shoes.
I immediately felt very ashamed of myself and my thoughts. I was humbled to say the least. Instead of wanting to shake this woman and yell "wake up lady" I pretty much had an awakening myself.
I have no right to judge this woman, even if she was the one to attack. She was attacking because she was vulnerable and insecure and I was merely reacting in kind. Perhaps she felt helpless when it came to her son because she had no moral support herself.
I now wanted to hug this woman and tell her everything was going to be ok. I wanted to tell her, her son was a good boy and she had nothing to fear. I wanted to tell her to trust her kid and yes spend some time to get to know him. I wanted to tell her she was a good mum and that I understood her fears and her trying to protect him. I wanted to say sorry for her pain and suffering because her life had obviously been hard to make her act this way in the first place.
It was around this time I woke up and could not stop thinking about it. Geez, what a dream. One can explain the basic story but not the feelings and emotions involved. Your perception and your perception alone will depend on how you take this story and process it.
For me, I am reminded not to judge others but instead try to understand them. Today I am thankful for this dream lesson and for the little prompts from the universe that had me write it down. I forgive myself for my thoughts of judgement not only towards others but towards myself as well. I am only human after all. I accept that judgement is a natural part of being human and that only in acknowledging this feeling can we let it go.
I send blessings from my heart to all those who feel they are being judged by others and to those who feel the need to judge. May your hearts be filled with love, forgiveness, acceptance, and may you be blessed with the ability to understand each other, fully and completely. Through divine grace. So be it!
Love and Light my friends. xoxoxoxox