I’ve come to an important realization; I am acting judgmental on almost a daily basis. I didn’t realize this at first because I was reacting off my own emotions and quite focused on them; who isn’t?
When I meet new people – at work or any other social situation, I’m afraid. I’m afraid of being judged in some way. Whether it be being treated differently for my scars or anything else, I worry. My first assumption is that others won’t like or accept me. They’ll be mean to me, reject me, be repulsed, afraid…anything in that vain. (It’s not an unreasonable fear, seeing that just yesterday when a client saw my arms and two tattoos he suggested I get more tattoos to cover them. Thanks.)
This is understandable right? It doesn’t take a genius to realize that my early childhood experiences have left me with scars of a different kind. (Invisible scars are arguably worse – but as I always say, pain should never be compared.) Kids excluded me, laughed at me, talked behind my back and did it on purpose to eliminate me from games early on when they DID allow me to join. Some people gained my confidence and then stabbed me in the back. (This was worst of all. Betrayal sucks!) My point is that, DUH, I have trust issues with new people. What happened is out of my control but what IS in my power is how I react to what happened and how I let it shape me. I’m realizing that what happened to me changed my attitude which
created a vicious cycle of judgmentalism. This is on me: Sure they were wrong, but it’s up to me not to perpetuate the negativity.
My epiphany: Now that I’m older and years have passed, I’ve forgiven those people. We were young after all. Unfortunately I still don’t always give people a chance even though I’ve ‘gotten over it’. I automatically assume the worst before I’ve gotten a chance to let the person prove themselves. Doesn’t everyone deserve the benefit of the doubt though? Not everyone is going to hurt me and presupposing that they will is probably just as judgmental and unfair as others have been with me. It’s understandable for me to be a little guarded still and perhaps we all need that protective skin, but I can’t let it affect others. There’s got to be a balance.
The good news is that my discovery is working…as of late I’ve been greatly improving and I think this began with my coworkers and many of our clients. I’m finally seeing that people – when given the chance – are fundamentally GOOD. I think we all need to give each other a chance because life isn’t easy. We all bleed and we all die so we might as well make the best of it and work together even if it’s just for 2 minutes of our lifetimes. What’s the point of hatred? Of constant fear? Of shielding ourselves so hermetically from hurt that we begin to feel nothing at all?
Food for thought I suppose…happy Friday!