Love and judgement: a reflection

…and then there was Boston. And the raging argument over abortion legislation in Tasmania. And deaths of loved ones, and people on Facebook with broken hearts and broken spirits because of all of these. Even the air around me grieved yesterday.

We’re a bigoted bunch, it seems, and too often a calloused bunch as well. I can’t say I’m the exception, although I desperately wish I could. I’ve held onto my own self-righteousness like a cloak that keeps me warm in the past, and I’ve allowed ugly stereotypes and cartoonish thinking to uphold my prejudices against people. And…not only that…I thought I was justified. Ouch.

I’m sorry for it now.

The thing I’ve learned though, is that the same judgements we apply to other people we also unwittingly apply to ourselves. Then suddenly there’s a little part of us, an insecurity hidden deep inside, that cowers and says “I’m not good enough”, and our brazen, bigoted outside grows bigger in order to hide it.

When we stop judging others then we are free to love ourselves.

When we stop assuming that we are right and that we know the cardboard hearts of others then we can start seeing them for the flesh-and-blood and hurting creatures they really are.

I can’t judge. I’ve stood before as a self-appointed judge of others, and I’m deeply ashamed of it now. I’ve not loved people as I need to. I’ve let my own self-righteousness get in the way of loving other people, and for that I’m sorry.

I have no great authority today to say “go ye out today and change the world!”, but I can start with me. And, more so, I can start with MY world. Today I will love my children, and endeavour to respond with understanding and not judgement.

Maybe that way I’ll start a habit in me. Maybe that way I’ll start a habit in them.

Let’s choose to love. It’s all we’ve got.