I consider my culture to be one of the most judgmental in the world. Coming to America at the age of 16 blew my mind – I realized, people didn’t tell you in your face how your shoes are uncool, you shouldn’t wear white socks or that you look chubby. For the most part, everyone was minding their own business, in some ways probably hoping that their own inadequacies were not going the be exposed the same way they weren’t exposing other people’s.
Most people, me included, have fallen for an idea of “I am just telling you the truth” as a smoke screen for telling insulting stuff and being downright judgmental. It is ok, I find, to tell someone who is asking you if the dress fits well on them to let them know that it does not, but I think it’s awful to walk up to someone and comment that their other dress looked a lot better on them than the one they are wearing.
I once criticized a student movie in my film class thinking I am pointing the obvious. I will never forget my professor telling me: “Marija, what do you really think?” and everybody laughing. So many people were uncomfortable when I was releasing my judgements that this question cut through and gave sort of a comic relief. I wished I could take it back or at least explain: this is how I was criticized all the time.
My body recorded all of these judgements and responded by slouching, looking down and feeling heaviness in my shoulders, shame in my heart. I spent, oh God, so many hours undoing what has been done to me through transformation, reiki, sound healing, yoga, meditation, body talk, emotional healing, and alike. Sometimes I wake up in a morning and I feel how high maintenance I am – I wonder why other people don’t take up so much space, self-analyze like I do and work so hard on staying present and in their power. But then it’s obvious, those that don’t, live the kind of life I am not committed to living and the rest do the same thing I do, if not more.
A couple of decades ago, this generous man in Florida taught me this: “Live and let live!” I will always remember this. Coupled with my Landmark training where I officially had to give up gossiping and got crystal clear that everything I am complaining about is only hurting me, there is a strong sense of judgement is no good.
Boggles my mind how prominent this is in all cultures, not just my native one. How come? Why do people get so obsessive with their view of the world and how the fuck do they justify that their view is THE view? Maybe it doesn’t matter. What if we have to stop believing that someone else’s judgement of us is about us and not about them. When we stop judging ourselves, all the mental chatter will clear.