I recently discovered I do not like being judged by others; I get enough from myself. Every day, I scrutinize every inch of my body in front of a mirror and scold myself for every stretch mark, every bulge, every blemish, every scar, and every mole. Then, since I have not mocked myself enough, I take out my handheld mirror with three times the magnification and I continue the process so of picking on me. Of course, the day would not be complete without hours of ruminating over my personality and character flaws, not to mention my parenting and partnering skills. With two failed marriages and two children who do not speak to me, those are difficult to overlook.
Yet, daily, I invite others into my life to pass along their judgment on me as well; it seems my daily rituals are not enough and I need to allow somebody else to beat up on me as well. The black and blue marks around my eyes are not from sleep deprivation, they are from being boxed around until I am blue in the face; figuratively speaking of course.
As I walk into the gym each day for three hours of working out, I see the judgmental eyes staring my way; are my arms jiggling? Am I wearing last year’s colors? Is my hair mussed? I look over at the man on the treadmill next to me, he is around my age, not bad looking, but he has a gold loop earring. YIKES! I pass my judgments on him.
Later on in the day, my mother makes her weekly phone call to me; “I told your kids you don’t want them to have your new number. They really hate you now,” she announces. Thanks, Mom, I think to myself. “You know, they say you never respected them. You were not a very good mother, anyway,” she continues.
“Yes, I know,” I answer, thinking, and neither were you; passing my judgments along to her now.
I come home, settle down in front of the computer and read a review of a story I had posted online. A reader blasts me, not for the story or the writing, but me personally; I feel hurt, attacked. I read the review, pick apart the grammar, the spelling, and judge the reviewer.
Honestly* I try very hard not to judge others; I have even said many times that I have changed my outlook on judging others, holding back my opinions and reserving comment because “I wasn’t there” or “I don’t have all the facts”. However, that was as a result of my mother’s trial for the murder of my father; I typically mean regarding scenarios such as guilt or innocence. Though, I do not intend to be so judgmental.
Perhaps, I should simply sit home, stare in the mirror and judge myself more; although, I am fairly critical and nobody could hurt me more.
*Caveat… I abhor using the word honestly; it looks as though I have to announce when I am being honest, as if I usually lie. I don’t.