Friday, February 10, 2012

Passing Judgment

There is something I want to share with you, because I feel like sharing will make it more possible. I decided this year that I would dedicate myself to improving my inner peace. I feel like it's important to work not only on my physical health, but on my psychological health as well. It really hit me when my doctor said that the purpose of taking medications like Fluoxetine (Prozac) is to cope while working on getting into remission whatever the situation that requires me to take the medication in the first place. I'm a highly stressed, highly stressing person. I worry about everything, I judge things I have no business judging, and I feel like, generally, I could be doing something to quite all of the racket in my brain and smooth out some of the wrinkles in my character.

So, to do that I've decided that I need to be less judgmental. It's a good place to start and I believe it would go a long way toward shushing up all the negative thoughts I seem to be having. I can't do anything about the stress right now, my job and school are compounding factors, so instead I'm working toward a problem I thought I'd kicked a long time ago. It's funny, too, because the reason I chose this particular place to begin is Matt. Or rather, a conversation I had with Matt. I was telling him that when I was in high school, me and some of my girlfriends (*cough*Mindy*cough*) would sit and poke fun at passers by, usually other students. I told him, "I used to really be very judgmental, but I feel like it's a bad trait that I've overcome." His response, "You haven't, you're still judgmental."

I love that I have such an honest spouse, but I was also quite taken aback by his assertion that I'm judgmental. When I asked him how and when, he gave me a whole list of things I do that are judgmental. I'll not recount them for you, let me just say that I was absolutely floored, both because I did do those things, and because I didn't even realize it at the time. So, in an effort to improve my attitude, I'm taking active steps to be less judgmental about the things I don't know anything about, or that are none of my business.

What's sad is, I consider myself a generally good and very open minded person--I believe everyone is entitled to be who they are, believe what they believe, and love whomever they chose. So you can imagine how hard it is for me to think that I've not grown past this particular issue. And honestly, while I'm no where near as judgmental as I once was, the fact that I still am at all is disconcerting. It's hard to look your flaws in the face and really, truly try to do something to change them. So, despite my overwhelming sense of sadness at the realization that I have this problem, I'm trying to do something about it. Along those lines, I have, however, run into some flaws in considering what does, and does not, constitute judgmental. I mean, it's okay to have an opinion, right? Yes, but when does an opinion become judgment? That's where I'm facing the real issue.

On that, Matt and I have decided that in order for an opinion to be judgmental it must be either intended negatively, or from a place of personal insecurity. In other words, if you're judging something or someone because you feel threatened, or are insecure, and are doing so with little or no information, it's judgmental. If, however, I say that "Kelly Clarkson looks better without bangs" (something I said before the Superbowl this year and that I stand by) then I'm just making a statement of preference, an opinion, and it isn't judgmental. Yet it's amazing how many times you'll find yourself saying, "I don't like this about her" or "I don't like that about him" and even if you don't mean it with malice, it's probably still wrong to pass judgment on others, particularly if they're strangers.

So there you have it, and now that I've shared this particular issue, even though I'm embarrassed to admit that I have it at all, I'm feeling much more positive about my chances to make this positive change in my life.