Every day is filled with an overwhelming number of choices. Some are fairly trivial, others will have lasting impact. Some days, I'm so overwhelmed by the choices I must make that I long to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head.
When I was younger, I saw the world in terms of black and white. There were wrong decisions and right ones. The rules of engagement with life seemed fairly clear. And I thought I had most of the answers.
Sometimes, I wish I still saw life that way. But the truth is that the world is filled with shades of gray. When faced with a choice, two people can make completely different decisions and sometimes, both can be making the right choice.
Don't get me wrong. There are still many clear cut choices to be made and situations where it ought to be obvious what is just and what is right. But with most of our day to day choices, things just aren't that clear.
So I have become much less judgemental than I used to be. And, for the most part, I'm happier that way.
The one person I still consistently judge - and harshly- is myself. And I tend to reflect these feelings onto others and assume that others are judging me harshly as well.
There are times when I don't engage in activities that appeal to me or do things I want to do because I fear I will be judged.
I had a bit of an epiphany about this this yesterday. If I am more gentle with others than I once was, should I not assume that a significant percentage of the people in my life will be gentle with me? And if others do judge me - so what? What consequence does it really have for my life? Why should the opinions of others stop me from living as I wish, as long as my choices are not harmful to others or to myself?
It's time for me to try and let go of self-judgment. It's not going to be easy. And I expect lots of back-sliding. It's going to be hard to separate out setting priorities and acknowledging mistakes from judgment. But I plan to try.
I start a writing class tonight. I'm feeling very anxious about it. Let's hope I can keep some of the words I've just written in my heart and allow myself to participate, learn and have fun.