Some days you wake up with a smile on your face and show the world all the love in your heart. Some days you wake up sad and frustrated and show the world all the judgement in your heart. Both can happen to all of us, no matter how hard we try, work and focus on happiness, gratitude and love. We are human with human emotions and a human mind that has, due to evolution, a negativity bias. To be positive most of the time takes focus, choice, awareness and patience. Stress can really push your buttons, so that the positivity can be replaced by negative thoughts and self-talk, and all that judgement.
Judgement is the world of duality. Everything boils down to a “this or that.” People are either “right or wrong”, situations are either “black or white.” No room for gray. No room for compromise. And when we are under stress, especially for a period of time or an intense stressor, these judgements fly! The world seems to vibrate these days around judgement. Just look at social media and anyone who is sharing content that is potentially a political statement. There is no room for gray, the poster is right, anyone who doesn’t agree with them is wrong. Some of the posts are insulting, nasty, and argumentative before anyone even comments on the content. It is set up to be an argument in duality. One way or the other, you cannot be in between. The writer strongly states why they are right and anyone who doesn’t agree is wrong. It is exhausting and not a place where an intelligent conversation can occur. Even comments on everything from government officials daily briefings to satirical television shows can be nasty, accusatory, insulting and judgmental. It is truly a negative space all focused on the negative, hence the human negativity bias!
Many of us work really hard at not being judgmental. I know I do. I spent so much of my life vibrating at that level due to my corporate life, that changing that thinking took work and tools. Once I learned that the judgements I placed on others were a reflection of something in me, it all changed. I work hard at not judging, but accepting. I flip things in my mind to say things from a non-judgmental place, so that nobody is hurt including me.
This pandemic has certainly made that challenging. I found myself very judgey when I saw the protesters across the country, especially in places like Michigan. I saw people with no masks, big guns strapped across their chests as if they are the militia. I was even more judgey when I saw that the signs they had weren’t things like “I need my job back,” “I need food” or things that could explain to me why you think things should open up more; their signs were “I need a haircut,” “I want my nails done,” or “I want to get a new tattoo.” Wow. All I could think was how can any of that be more important than people dying, people sick and healthcare workers, grocery store clerks and the like doing a job that scares them everyday so that people have food, people get care.
The selfishness was the judgement. I couldn’t understand how anyone could be that selfish. That feeling was overwhelming to me, I kept thinking about the selfishness while I care for two 94 year olds so I don’t see anyone, go anywhere except once a week to the food store to shop for them and cook for them. I won’t get together with friends who have asked, I don’t care about my nails, I don’t care about my hair. I care about people who are sick and friends who are losing people they love. I think about my dad stuck in a hospital for 4 weeks now without anyone visiting him except by FaceTime or phone. I think about how clean the air is and how many animals and birds are out and how wonderful that is. I see the brightness of the night sky due to the lack of pollution. I love not driving my car. I love not getting gas for 3 weeks. I love not shopping just to do something and spending money for no real reason.
Of course, I miss my friends and family. Of course, my nails look terrible. My dog’s nails need to be cut too and I’m not good at that. But none of that is important to me during this time, people’s health and well being is where I am focused. And so, I felt very judgey this week as I saw all of this. I not only judged these people in militia gear, I judged my own friends who I saw talking about hair salons should be opening since groomers will be reopening. I see the difference, why can’t they?
I beat myself up a bit for judging people. I became sad, aggravated, frustrated and didn’t sleep well. I finally had to forgive myself for being human and for sliding into judgment under this stress. I started thinking about why I was so judgmental. I realized part of it was because I feel alone, and if I am making that sacrifice for other people, shouldn’t everyone? I had to rectify that all in my head and heart. Reminding myself that I have my own set of circumstances and my reaction is just that, mine. Just like others’ reactions are theirs. They have their own circumstances. I know the majority of people are doing what has been asked of them, and for that I am appreciative.
I also know that judgement is something that happens from time to time, for me. I am glad I saw it and am working to let it all go. Remember you are human, you may slide to judgement. You may slide into anger about things. That’s okay as long as you realize and then change it. Reminding myself that is all part of the Cha-cha of life!