I’ve always said that I didn’t want to be judged. I don’t want to be pre-judged, post-judged or anything in between. Conversely, I do seem to seek approval of others and that would mean that judgment of some kind needs to take place. In looking deeper into this paradox, I have to admit that I actually do want to be judged in all the ways I claimed that I did not. The thing is that I want to control the judgment. I want to be judged as attractive, friendly, honest, strong, wise and to have many of the other qualities that I have striven to exemplify. I feel that if I’m seen this way, I’m doing a good job as a person because these are qualities that everyone strives for. I found that I worked very hard to appear to be this “flawless” person at the expense of being a “real” person. I would hide or ignore my “undesirable” traits and chide myself for having them. The problem with that approach is that I always felt as if I had a darkness in me that would always be there and always deny me peace. Lazy, fearful, hateful, selfish… If someone saw one of these traits, I would proclaim “Don’t judge me!” with a passion driven from the horror of being seen as the opposite of who I was trying be. Seeing the part of me that I hated. An interesting side effect of this way of thinking was that I was VERY quick to condemn people whom I judged to have these “negative” traits.
I’ve come to realize that I am the sum of my parts and that sum is good. Through my laziness, I learned to appreciate the results of hard work and a job well done. Through my fear, I learned there was nothing to be afraid of. Through my hate, I found the value and limitlessness of love. Through my selfishness, I learned the joy of giving. I could go on and on but my point is that every single experience that I’ve had, good or bad, has made me what I am today. I found that the practice of loving 100% of myself has brought peace and joy to my life. I still have bouts of judgment but my rule for myself and all people now is to love first, judge second.