I don’t know if this has ever happened to you. You need to rid yourself of some self-defeating trait or habit or an out-dated hairstyle and the universe or god or your best friend(s) tells you that you should stop insert your annoying, self-defeating, destructive pattern here.
When it is a friend or friends that intervene it is fairly easy to decipher the message. Especially if two of them within 3 weeks of each other say, “Kari, you worry too much about what other people think of you.” Well, it sort of bites when you first hear anything negative about yourself, right? But, if they are good friends they tell you in a loving way because they love you. I think if you’re smart you just own up to it. No, big whoop. The two friends were Phone Guy and the Little Buddha and it was several years ago. Can you imagine how bad I was then in this particular area? I don’t think the end goal is complete elimination of the trait. Obviously, I don’t think that.
Now if the intervention is by god or the universe it can be more difficult to recognize primarily, because neither of these entities talk directly to you – unless you are Oral Roberts or Joan of Arc. Therefore it took me months before I realized the judgey judgers I seem to run in to were my sign to stop being a judgey judger myself!
I guess I had some inkling that it was really about me but it hit home this week it really has to do with me. I ran into someone I hadn’t seen for years. It was also someone I had judged for years and in the course of the conversation I realized this person had judgments about me! How is that possible? How could they judge me when I am so great and they are so lame? My perceptions about them are so valid and theirs about me are just so small, petty and dumb.
On the third re-telling of the story to friends who probably already figured this about me I had my Oprah Aha! Moment. I’m a judger. I mean I knew that but not to this extent. My judgments are like poison.
So, I want to have fewer judgments about others and myself. For the most part we are all just trying to figure this thing – life – out in our own way.
A few weeks ago T. and I went to the beach with some friends. It was one of those amazing 80 degree October days that you won’t see again –in Maine at least – for another 7 months. I was encouraging Thorin to walk a little farther into the ocean – up to where our friends were standing. Encouraging like this, “Hey, it’s safe. Let’s walk a little farther.” And, this dad who was standing next to us – who you think might be cool because he had these pork chop sideburns – leaned in towards Thorin and said, “You don’t have to do that. You should do what you feel is right. No pressures.”
What’s up with that? I wasn’t yelling at Thorin. I was talking in my sweet, Mommy voice even. Our friends were about 3 feet ahead of us, which would have put the water at Thorin’s waist. I wasn’t asking him to swim the English Channel for Pete Sakes! Oh, this annoyingly hip Budinski Daddy really burned me up. His remarks so made me want to do what would have felt right for me that minute. Stupid-Facial-Hair-Guy.
Those thoughts were of course then, now I think how much effort it took god to put that guy next to me at the beach so I could see myself in him. Now, I get it. I was the judger of this person who I now simply view as deranged. Because only a deranged man would take on a mother.
I talked to an old friend this week. We hadn’t talked for maybe as many as twenty years. She has two sons – both of whom have autism. In discussing the merits of one son she said, “I know he will never make fun of anyone.” I really liked that. I wondered if that might be a for sure thing about Thorin as well. He doesn’t have it in him. He is better than me.