I write about a lot of things. Some political, some spiritual, some personal. I just love to write. And, like all writers, when I let anyone ‘in’ to read what I write, I risk rejection. Sometimes I am even judged, often harshly, simply for what I think.
I have come to realize that most judgements come from misunderstanding. We have family members read stuff I write about God, and they instantly assume I am (or would, given the chance) judge them for their supposed sinful lifestyle. They automatically decide that I think (or that Gaylon and I think) that we are better than them.
When I was growing up, my father was wealthy. We lived in a nice house, we had a swimming pool in the backyard, and my mother drove a Cadillac. I learned quickly not to let people know that right away. I tried very hard to get people to know me based on just me. Not what I had. Because as soon as they knew what I had, I was instantly labeled a ‘rich b*tch’. That label had nothing to do with me, it had to do with their judgement of me.
That is something that has baffled me all my life. How is it, when somebody feels inferior to someone else, they have to tear the other person down? When somebody is challenged or convicted by something someone else thinks, says, or writes, they feel the need to attack that person, at least in the privacy of their own mind?
I am guilty, too. I have often felt judged by others who (I thought) were better than me. Those people probably didn’t even know my name! And if they did know who I was, I have discovered that usually they never considered whether or not anyone was ‘better’. Yet I had spent my time and energy being angry at them for nothing! It was my own insecurities getting the best of me.
So, now I’m 40 years old. And I have come to care a lot less about how people (family included) feel about me. I stand in judgement of no one. How could I? It is my dearest prayer and hope that God will go easy on me when the time comes! Yet the misunderstanding persists that we think we’re better because we homeschool, or because our son is going to college, or because we are Christians, or because we have a nice house. Nothing could be farther from the truth! But I am no longer a teenager, and I no longer feel the need to hide the things I think, to hide who I am.
I am well aware that I live in a world that often disagrees with me. A world that is usually not what I would have it to be. (I would be really happy to wake up someday in the middle of a Norman Rockwell painting!) I have family members and friends who do all sorts of stuff, and believe all sorts of stuff that I disagree with. But I don’t judge them. I love them very much. I have dear friends and family members who are alcoholics, who use drugs, who are gay, who have had abortions, who are non-Christian (including some Pagans), who are politically opposed to many of the things I hold dear. But these are GOOD people, who I love and care about deeply. I still want relationships with them.
I am not perfect, and I don’t think I ever will be. I strive to be real. And I know that everyone is in a different place, and I think that’s the beautiful thing about life. That’s what makes it interesting. If everyone believed and thought what I do, then that would be boring. I write what I write because it’s what is on my mind at that time, not because I think I’m better than anyone else!
I guess the irony here is that those who think I am judging them, and get bent out of shape about it, are unaware that they are judging me! And I can’t change how people feel or think, but I can write about it.