November 5, 2012

A Reflection on Judgement

I've been thinking a lot about judgement recently. 
Because here's the thing. I think I am a relatively nice person. I like to make others feel happy and don't particularly enjoy when others are put down, and I think that I'm relatively caring. I would however, say that I have a nice amount of sass that accompanies that. 
Usually it's not serious sass (I can't stand when people are flat out rude to someone they don't know- especially people in customer service), but I would say that I'm fairly opinionated and sometimes don't have an issue sharing what I have to say.
It's a blessing and a curse. As I've gotten older, I've tried really hard to manage what comes out of my mouth, trying to do more good than harm to those around me.
Granted, I'm still human and not perfect and I'm sure that I say things to offend people ALL the time, but heavens knows I'm trying not to.

But why is it that no matter what we do in life, our decisions and thoughts are based upon judgements of other people? 
This is something I have a really hard time with. I am sometimes completely guilty of judging others. And we all are at some points, some more than others, so I'll get to my point.
Why is it easy to filter what comes out of our mouths, but not what we say in our hearts?
Why do we condemn others when they make decisions contrary to how we would make them?
I'm asking these questions in all seriousness, because I want to get better. I want to become less judgmental and be able to accept that my way is not always the best way, and that those who make different decisions than me are not always wrong. 

I've noticed the issue of judging others has become even more prevalent since getting married (not necessarily me judging others more- I'll explain in a second). What I mean by this is that when you get married, every single person you talk to has advice for you or thinks you should be doing something in a certain way. And don't get me wrong, for the most part, advice is really helpful and everyone is entitled to their own opinions.
But let's talk about what happened when I got married.

I got engaged and married when I was 19, and I had only known Christian for 9 months when we got married. And see, when I tell people this, I see the wheels turning in their heads thinking, "Wow, that's way too young," or "That seems like a really immature thing to do." Or something along the lines of that.
I'm not saying everyone thinks that, I'm just saying it's a common thought that I can tell a lot of people have when I share that information.
My mom shared with me a little while ago that when Christian and I got engaged, a lot of people came to her with their judgements and concerns.
People thought Chin had knocked me up and were having a shotgun wedding (which I'm sure those people were surprised that two years later I have no baby and am still not pregnant. Sorry to disappoint?).

And so I get it, gossiping is easy, and judgement comes right along with that. And since I've gotten married I've found myself doing similar things- which is terrible! I remember how awful I felt to know that a lot of people I knew (and some that I were close to even) were judging me and thought I was making the wrong choice marrying the love of my life (which by the way, looking back, I can't imagine how terrible my life would be if I hadn't married Christian). So why do I judge others when they get married and it's not exactly the way my engagement/wedding/marriage was?

And now that I am married, I've noticed that the judgement doesn't necessarily stop. Whether it's why Christian and I haven't had a baby yet (which I mean really people, I'm 21 years old give me a break), or why we chose to live apart for 4 months so I could finish school. I mean those things and others seem to be hot topics of judgement for us, and I know that other married people have felt this way too.

And I'm not trying to play the victim here, because at moments I can be the culprit of judgement as well. 
I guess what I'm basically trying to say is judgement, and the gossip that comes along with that, is painful. 
It hurts and can make a situation where you are happy and excited turn into one that is stained with gossip and whispering behind backs. We are all so imperfect, and I'm sure that if God had a perfect way for each decision in our lives to be made, he wouldn't have given us agency to make choices.

So, for me, I want to get better. I want to show others that I love them, instead of condemning or judging them because their decisions may be different than mine. And I want to show others that I still love them, even when they judge me and therefore hurt me.

Who's with me?


Anonymous said...

Loved this post. It is crazy how judgmental humans are... me included. It hurts to be the victim of judgements, and everyone knows what it feels like, but then we freely judge others.

haha how come marriage ALWAYS brings about judgement. We can never get it right! We are either getting married too fast and must be pregnant, or waiting too long and must be messing up. Geez give us a break.

Karen said...

I need to work on judging others and not letting others judgement get to me. Your so awesome! I'm sure you have so much time..not. But I nominated you for the libester award!

Laura said...

Ditto. Perhaps its my own insecurity, but I've been feeling some heat since I decided to stay home with the Babe. I find myself thinking of things to say to defend myself when I talk to people, which is just as bad! I don't want to be on the defensive all the time. i feel prickly that way. We all need to remember that we are only human- humans with feelings, desires, and heartaches.

Have you read the book The Anatomy of Peace? It is a really good book about personal relationships, but I think it helps you view everyone in a better way. It was required reading for the teachers at one of my schools, and it was fantastic. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone to read.