Can we live without Judgment?
Updated: Feb 9
Susan, Susan, Susan. What happened? Justice should be tempered with mercy and yet here you sit, all bright and perky, but with that unfortunate shiner.
Did you say the wrong thing to the wrong person? Set off someone with a hair trigger temper? Did you judge, forgetting that they were going to judge you in return?
Can we live without judgment? I know I'd created for myself a nice little bubble, a comfortable bubble. I felt like I'd weeded out the undesirable voices and opinions. Who needs toxicity and negativity in their life? I didn't. My bubble was great, until it wasn't.
I'd forgotten how quickly others judge and categorize. Somehow I'd forgotten that I fall into the misfit category; always have, always will. I'd managed to forget how quickly others would judge me for my beliefs and my practice.
It came as a bit of a shock to my system. I hadn't realized how thoroughly I'd insulated myself. In the pre-pandemic days, I worked as a self employed artist so when I interacted with others, it was usually art related: talking about art and selling art. I'd curated my feed on Facebook and carefully selected what I see on my other social media platforms.
Things in my life keep shifting. I'm trying out new things. I'm experimenting with videos. My bubble keeps growing and expanding. New people and groups are coming into my bubble. I can't keep up. I don't have time to curate and exclude. Things are shifting.
Video can be a powerful medium. There is a lot of potential in creating videos. I've been told my first 50 to 100 videos are going to be dreadful and I could see that might be true. I'm trying to learn a brand new thing and I think I'm getting a little better all the time. There's still I lot I need to do. I want to figure out how to integrate my art more efficiently into my weekly art vlogs. I need to set new goals and incorporate more of my process into my vlog. It should be more than just be speaking my blog. There are things I can do with video that I can't do here, but small steps. I find creating videos a little intimidating and the process a little overwhelming so easing gently in, just trying to get a little better all the time.
I've joined new groups in my desire to improve my video skills and help grow my TikTok and YouTube channels. Some of the feedback and responses I received in those groups were a bit of a shock to my system.
I hadn't encountered this level of judgment or condemnation in a very long time. I've been all comfy and cozy in my bubble.
When I met the harsh judgment in one of these groups, my first impulse was to walk away. Did I really want to interact with that sort of toxicity? Did I really need to interact with that sort of condemnation and judgment? I thought on it. I reflected on how their response made me feel. I came to a decision, reluctantly, but I decided to remain in the group.
I would insist on being seen. Normalization takes time and effort. It's a process: pushing on the boundaries; establishing a more inclusive norm. It all takes time. I could not allow negativity to deter me from my course (although just between us, it does kind of hurt my feelings, just a little).
My inner child wants to fit in. She wants to be accepted but grown up me knows that certain groups will never accept me or the rest of the my misfit friends. Words have the power to hurt us because we give them that power. My ego might sting a bit here and there but sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do for a greater purpose.
Assessing the judgment of others did cause me to acknowledge that I do have boundaries I cannot let down or change. I cannot help judging just as I am judged. I acknowledge that there are certain things that I refuse to tolerate (just as others don't wish to tolerate my misfit-ness). I'm not going to entertain the arguments of anti-vaxxers, the anti-science crowd, or the religious zealots and bigots. There is a line that I will not cross.
A free, just society has to have certain standards of what is acceptable. I've drawn my line in the sand just, no doubt, as you've drawn yours.
Still,I will not go quietly into that good night. You will have to drag me off, kicking and screaming the entire way.
Judgment can be a gray area. You don't have to like me or agree with me, but I promise to try to judge you with love: love, tolerance, and empathy. If you attempt to do the same, we can exist in the same space. We need to create a bubble that we can both live in without hatred and without undue condemnation. Let's open our minds and widen our bubbles.
Let's try to exist with mutual tolerance and respect.
Also, if this were a video, I would be asking you to please like, please comment, and please subscribe. Wishing you a good week and good fortune.