it’s easy to judge

I was recently out running errands. I stepped up to the worn counter where many wants, needs and money have exchanged hands. As I said my hellos, those trite and expected exchanges of each passing person, I noticed the cashier was off. Her exchange with me was a weary, short, snippy, irritated sigh. My thoughts immediately dashed to the well known place of judgement. That place in my head where a quick assessment of another human gives me a quick and often incorrect opinion of the one in front of me. My mind dashes to the judgmental thoughts that arise from the inmost parts of my being, finding their way from the darkness, creeping into my mind telling me what appears is truth. We all know of a heart leaning toward good intentions, like a tree bending for the rays of sunshine, looking for the light. But in that space of a well meaning heart lies the bend toward negativity. We all have it. We all know it. We all fight it.

And so that day, in the midst of my selfishness and judgement, I schemed. The depths of my soul went dark and immediately jumped to questions and conclusions. Why is she in such a bad mood? Why does she think she gets to take out her crabby attitude on customers? She obviously does not want to be here today. I rolled my eyes and walked away snickering to myself – what a jerk! And as I walked the quick, wet path of melting snow, the cracking cement under my feet, I was convicted. I was reminded of all the moments my own kids would have a bad day and need to be supported instead of told to calm down or quit giving me “the attitude”.

As a parent, child, coworker and friend, we have all been there, right? My thoughts wandered aimlessly back to the days of raising kid. The place where they should have been able to just let it all out, be who they need to be in the moment, find support regardless of the mood. How many times did I speak harshly to them? How many times did they need to express an attitude, the silent cry for comfort? Did I always allow those emotions to be shared? Sometimes my irritated words were spoken like thorns of a rose heard telling them to go to their room until they got through the attitude. But at the same time, in the same ticking of the clock, in the same space that should be a worn, accepting, safe place to have an attitude, I so often let myself be crabby, snippy and irritable in front of them. That space where I gave myself permission to be unkind and quick with my words, but expected more from my own children.

And what kind of example did that tell my young? It said they do not matter. It said mom will not listen. It said I am alone in my grief and stress. And those hurts filled the stabbing pain in a heart seeking positive intent needed rest. It sought the soft, secure blanket of love and enduring commitment to wrap itself around a soul longing for the comfort of mom’s loving heart. Sometimes I was present in that space, but sometimes I was not. If only I had recognized the need for the listening heart, the mind filled with empathy spilling over with kindness.

While the past is behind me, never to be experienced again, those memories of movement toward selfishness and a desire to seek my own agenda are lost in the wonderings of a better, productive, more accepting and giving heart. What I can do with those regretted moments of selfishness it move forward to a path of tenderness and interest in the spoken words telling me someone needs a smile, a gentle interaction, an interest in the heart of others. Whether my own child or a stranger, goodness is found like sweetness a flower blooming under the bright sun of positivity. Let us all move toward the gentleness of a smile and words of support and care. Because as the saying goes, as the well versed reminder should grasp our hearts, compassion never fails.

One thought on “it’s easy to judge

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s