Today I happened upon one of Jamie Eason’s posts. She was brokenhearted after her husband had been turned down for work due to some questionable pictures she’d taken when she was younger. Here is her original post:
She was being judged based on a previous decision. I’m not sure of the photos she’s talking about, so it’s difficult for me to know for certain what they were, but that’s beside the point. That doesn’t even matter.
“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” – Wayne Dyer
When I think of Jamie Eason I think of all the good she has done over the years. I think of how she has been an excellent role model. She has kept it as real as possible. She has talked about the dark side of competing. She has shared her personal experience from being a cardio queen as a teenager and in college and learning the value of weight lifting to help reshape her body. She hasn’t been shy talking about womens hormones. She’s been very realistic when talking about her approach to eating clean. She has spent countless hours hoping to uplift and encourage another whether it be through social media, other forms of media, or in person. She has done her best to walk a path of righteousness. She is God believing and faithful. She loves her family. She adores her husband. She is ambitious but she is also grounded. She is just about as real as most come.
But that doesn’t mean she is perfect, and I know like all of us, she too has choices made in the past I’m sure now she wishes she could change.
We all do.
None of us are perfect.
Let me repeat that…None.
But those are her decisions and experiences that in my opinion should remain private. They do not define who she is now. They didn’t even define who she was then. They were merely choices made along her journey.
I couldn’t help but think of myself.
I try so hard to do what’s right. I try now more than ever to walk the talk. I try to be a person that I myself could look up to. I want to be the type of person my kiddos will be proud of and my husband will cherish. I want to be the kind of friend that I’d like to hold on to forever. I want to set my goals high and do everything within my reach to achieve them. I want to live a full “real” life. I have never pretended my life is perfect. If anything I have shared every difficult experience along my journey with all of you. To me that IS real. My life is beautiful now, and every day it continues to improve, and I have been blessed beyond measure in so many ways, but that does not mean that I haven’t had mishaps along the way.
I have made so many wrong choices.
Choices I am embarrassed by and ashamed of.
They are not for me to share here because like Jamie, I feel they are my own. I have learned from them, and every day I am choosing to live my life in a way I can be proud. My choices from before do not define the person I am now. They do not define the person I am striving to be. I will not allow myself to be the result of my poorer choices. If anything the mistakes I have made have grounded me and have helped me to learn what truly is important in my life. They have helped me to choose between right and wrong. They have helped me to know who I do NOT want to be. They have helped me to know which path to steer as far from as possible.
I also think at this time of another friend of mine who has been unfairly judged. I think about how difficult judgment can be for the weak and even strong of heart. Judgment in my book is never tolerated nor acceptable. It is none of our business to judge another. We may or may not agree with the choices of others, but we should not judge nor tear others down as a result. This dear friend of mine has received judgment in the meanest of forms. Judgment that has criticized her actions as a person, a friend, and as a mother. This person goes anonymous feeling for whatever reason it is her duty to put my friend in her place. The gall. I’m amazed at her cowardliness. Judging is bad enough. Judging anonymously is downright mean.
So why do people judge? Who really knows. It could be they really feel they are superior than others. It could be they are just that insecure. It could be they find joy in tearing down others around them. It could be they are self-righteous and above those around us. It’s hard to know for certain. It could be a combination of all the above as well as other reasons not included. But it’s not right.
My hubby used to joke with me when we were first married…he’d quote random scripture from time to time being fresh off his mission he’d served for our church. One of his favorites? “Remember who you are and what you stand for.” Great advice.
Remember who YOU are what YOU stand for. Don’t let the words, actions, and judgment of others bring you down. When you are secure enough in who you are, those words will fail to bring you down. They still might sting, but that sting will have a little less impact.
“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” – Wayne Dyer
We are all beautiful and unique individuals. My guess is the majority reading this are women. We are all sisters in heart, and I feel it’s our duty to build each other up – not tear each other down. I can think of dozens of sites on the net where women are ripped apart, made fun of, criticized, catty, and demeaned. I’m not a fan of an of them. That’s not my way. It’s not who I am.
I want everyone to know how valuable they are.
“You are always a valuable, worthwhile human being – not because anybody says so, not because you’re successful, not because you make a lot of money – but because you decide to believe it and for no other reason.” – Wayne Dyer
My challenge for each of us is to remain strong during times of criticism. We will all have some experience with it at one time or another. One of my favorite and sometimes more difficult learnings I took away from Covey was the reality we each have a choice to make when responding to any kind of stimulus. When something happens, someone says something, someone posts something we don’t agree with, etc., there are countless ways we can respond. We control how we do. There’s no finite response to anything. It’s when we realize that we can collect ourselves and control how we respond that we find empowerment and freedom.
So when you find yourself being judged, fairly or not, remember you can be strong. You ARE strong. And you can control how you come out of any situation. You can become stronger as result or be weakened by the actions and thoughts of others.
Don’t be ashamed of the person you are today. And let go of the guilt of any wrong choices you’ve made in the past. And in times of judgment, will you be strong today? I hope you will.
XO – Momma