“Don’t judge me.”
It’s the line I’ve been hearing on repeat these days. Not from strangers. From family. From friends.
Honestly, I had to ask myself (and one of my friends), “Am I judgemental?” I was beginning to wonder based on the frequency of the phrase.
The friend answered, “no,” but I couldn’t quite answer myself the same. I can be judgy. More than I want to be.
Last week, I was in the checkout line at the grocery. I saw a card advertising that my local grocery store now offers online shopping (along with a $10 off coupon). It felt like Christmas (I know this is nothing new for most, but in my smallish town it feels like logging on to AOL for the first time) or at least like a Monday afternoon jackpot.
I became giddy and told the check out girl, “Well, this is the best news I’ve gotten in a long time.” She replied back, “I would never buy my groceries online. I don’t want other people picking out my food.”
“Yeah, I don’t know how I feel about someone picking out my produce? I’m really picky about produce,” I replied.
“I think if you are capable of getting your own groceries you should,” she said. Or something to that effect.
I felt a slight sting. My mouth full–five reasons, at the ready, as to why I’m not lazy and how this would help me so much during a crazy time in my life.
I have four kids.
All three of my boys are playing basketball.
My daughter has drivers ed every night.
I’m working on a new website.
I’m launching a book.
etc. etc. etc.
“Don’t judge me.”
She rambled on and I swallowed the opinion, viscous, like mashed potatoes.
I drove off digesting the words she spoke, and the ones I didn’t. What I concluded was that I, in reaction, self-judged.
I judge myself in reaction and many times for no reason at all.
I have noticed, this past year, that I spend a lot of time defending myself, my decisions, sometimes even, my personality. It’s become second nature. And the thing is, once you are aware, you cannot be unaware. So here I am, slowly, trying to change this pattern. I don’t need to give the grocery girl my “My Five Reasons Why” so that she can believe that I’m not a lazy person. I don’t need to justify my desire to try online grocery shopping. I don’t need to defend myself.
One thing I know is that judgemental people are often very hard on themselves. They create well-meaning standards for themselves and then, without even realizing it, impose their ideals, their measures, upon others. This is what I’ve been guilty of. Not so much the surfacey starring someone up and down and judging their appearance, but, maybe, at times measuring how other’s have mothered, spent their time, or money. The things I judge myself on too.
How can I even begin to make a conclusion on a person or situation when I don’t know their story? And even if I do know their story, I, likely, do not know their FULL set of circumstances. There is always more to a story, to a soul. There is much more to my story than what I share on Instagram, on the blog, in my vulnerable book, — even more than the words I pour out into my journal.
“Don’t judge me,” my soul reminds my mind.
I ordered my groceries online, this week. They are being picked up after I pen this post. I sat in bed, late Sunday night, making a meal plan for my unusually busy week and then clicked my way through the produce aisle, the dairy aisle, and, yes, the chocolate aisle (current chocolate fave, btw). I’m not second-guessing myself. I’m high-fiving myself that I was able to save time, avoid extra stress and still feed my family a few home-cooked meals.
“Don’t judge me,” they say. Don’t judge me, I think.
I’ve been hearing it a lot lately. My sister belted it out on the phone tonight when I asked her a question. It is a bit of a buzz response, however, it still has me thinking, reflecting.
Are my facial expressions saying more than my words?
Is my voice tone negating the words I speak?
Could my lack of (or excess of) words leave too much room for a tender heart’s interpretation?
I know my tender heart has spent far too much time trying to interpret.
“Don’t judge me.”
The more aware I am, the more I don’t want anything to do with judging. It’s not my job.
My work is to work on me. To not worry or concern myself with other’s opinions (even if they are opinions about me) and to not form opinions about others.
My work is to not judge–myself or others.
Do you often feel judged by others or even by yourself?