Friday, December 21, 2012

Releasing the Ties that Bind: Judgment

I was in a that man done did me wrong state, and I do mean state.   The women in life urged restraint for my sake. “Throttle back, Deb before you say something you’ll regret.”  That advice came too late to do me any real good.  I was mad and that made me right. And I’m a woman, double right. Isn't that how we think? Come on, be honest. If you’re a woman don’t you secretly think you have the inside track on relationships and emotions? Because that’s how it works right, if you are a member of the select group you’re right and everyone else is wrong.

A friend and neighbor who embodies the soul of calm wisdom suggested a walk through the woods as a balm for my wound too tight mind.  We caught up on our lives and the news in the neighborhood then she gently suggested that my unhappiness was not the result of anything anyone said because that was done and did. My unhappiness was the result of the judgment I was knotted up in.  I came to an abrupt stop and pretended to look at the creek tumbling over the stones below while I tried to convince myself she was wrong.  That’s how judgments work. I’m right and you’re wrong and if I’m right then I win. Ok, that just sounds stupid, but there you have it, the crux of being human. We are occasionally stupid until someone snaps us out of it.

I am responsible for my inner life, my emotional well being is all me. I know that much so, I breathed, just that nothing more. I breathed into the moment and felt release and the freedom it brings.  In the space of breath was something I missed, compassion for someone I loved and love still.   My judgment robbed me of something precious to me, him just as he is, flaws and all. I had put him in a box called my story, forgetting that he had a story to tell too.  Releasing the judgment I was tangled up  in allowed me to hear a different version of the story, his.

 When I got home there was an eloquent and heartfelt apology waiting for me. We had a long talk and I listened with an open heart to his version of the story because as a friend of mine pointed out, wisdom is accepting that two opposing views may be right.   Henry David Thoreau said, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” I am willing to see the world  differently, just for today, just for now because that’s all we've got. 

Love takes effort. It's not for the faint of heart, not for the lazy. Love is not for the shallow minded lovers who bask in the glow of their own light. Love, real love is for the warrior hearted being who looks unflinchingly at the ties that bind her to her fears and cuts herself free because she knows it's either fear of love baby.