5 Things I Learned in 2013 ... #4

Yes, this is one of those count backward things like Letterman.

I have a friend who is a very judgey ... she is brilliant and a perfectionist and very organized and this judgmental thing she has going on has always driven me crazy.

A couple months ago this friend stopped cursing. She just woke up one day and decided cursing sounds terrible and ... well, she just stopped.

I was talking to her and a curse word slipped from my lips. I saw her blink - a long, hard blink. I slipped another curse word into my next sentence and there it was - that long, hard judgmental blink again.

(maybe some kind of involuntary reaction like the ex-smoker coughing around the cigarette)

I wondered if she was silently praying for me every time a four letter word escaped my lips.

I got annoyed.

I started sliding curse word after curse word into the conversation until I sounded like Carmella Soprano and had her blinking like a turn signal that needed a new bulb.

Soon she was rubbing her forehead and asking for an aspirin.

When I told hubby this story that night he said it was the meanest thing I'd ever done.

( I actually thought it was kind of sweet of him to think I had never done anything meaner than give a non-curser a headache - does he even know who he's married to?)

It did wake me up to the fact that as she was judging me I was judging her right back.

Which isn't really a surprise. I know the more we judge ourselves the more people we attract into our life who seem to criticize us. I know that judgments block energy, set up internal defenses and resistance and tend to hold negative patterns in place.

This lesson - which sounds simple and obvious and sort of stupid maybe - hit me over the head. Although I think of myself as a non-judgmental person, well except for people who litter or don't like animals, I mean we are totally allowed to judge them, of course, but I can be really quite judgy (and yes, I can spell this word with or without the 'e' since spell check assures me I am making this word up either way).

Discerning is ok. Discerning is a good thing. Judgey not so much.

Maybe this isn't really a lesson, but it did show me how I measure the world and mostly myself. I have seen her a couple times since our curse/blink off and she doesn't seem judgey at all to me now ... in fact I can clearly see the love there and feel compassion for her, which I know is mirroring the compassion I am feeling for myself .....


KJ said...

I do not think that being judgmental is a bad thing; which might be because I am judgmental.

Here is the thing, we judge because we have expectations. Expectations set the standard by which we can live smoothly with each other.

Funny thing is I admit to being judgmental but I talk to everyone! I am friendly and kind and generous. Of course I might think those artificial eyelashes must go, or the sequins are a bit over the top, or yes, stop dropping the f* bomb on the bus, or don't take up that extra seat for your purse, or why are you so important that you can cut in line in front of the rest of us who have been waiting... Yes, I am judgmental. Still, the bus drivers all greet me with a smile and I listen to the homeless people and my neighbors all talk to me and I go out of my way to be helpful. (And I am bringing homemade cookies to work tomorrow to hand out.)

By the way Cat, I don't curse much but that is only because I want it to have more impact when I do curse. And your story made me laugh.

Catherine Ivins said...

I like that - curse less now, more impact later - I don't even realize when I curse but I don't use the really bad ones and it's usually just me and Olive here plus George is around truck drivers all day so you can imagine his language ...