Dear Abby, Yesterday a woman wrote to you asking advice about wearing a bikini. She was a plus-sized woman (about 60 or 70 pounds overweight), who wore a one piece bathing suit in public and a bikini top/shorts at home. You responded, and you did something that bothered me.
Believe it or not, the answer can be summed up in one word. Unfortunately it is the most misunderstood word in the English language. It is simultaneously the most fragile and the most enduring trait of human nature.
Should we be forced to parent as if we're on reality TV? Should our decisions and protectiveness of our children come down to what others will think or do, rather than what makes sense for our family or our child?
When our four kids were growing up, I often reminded them that everyone has a story. I would tell them that no matter how grumpy, annoying or unkempt someone may be, there is always a story behind it. I reminded them to give people the benefit of the doubt.
I've always believed that I am one of the least judgmental people to exist on this planet; I'd swear to it in a court of law. But alas, during a day at the beach last week with my best friends and their significant others, I saw myself in a different light.
I find myself a little bit jealous of other women a lot of the time. When they are a little more together, a little more successful -- in their jobs, in wrangling their children, in their wrap dress -- than I am.
Instead of making hasty and inconclusive judgments about the nature of our experience, wouldn't it benefit us to suspend judgments until we have measured and analyzed the underlying nature of the phenomena before us?
I've learned that the less I think my thoughts define who I am, the more I expand into the truth of my being. As I unstick me from my thoughts -- which is sometimes tender-painful, like peeling bare thighs off a hot seat in summer -- then the mean-girl stuff just floats away.
Judgment has become known as one of the top spiritual sins one can commit. No doubt, judgmental statements that serve no purpose do drag us down. But when you think about it, how much of what we say is not judgmental?
Suddenly, right there on that episode of Supernanny, I was watching a scene that played out nightly in my house. I was aghast. How could I be watching a reflection of my own life on the show I watch to confirm I'm an amazing parent?
Snap judgments are a form of positional thinking -- right/wrong, good/bad, desirable/undesirable. Energetically, each time we make one of these judgments, we are either accepting or rejecting someone or something.
Why is she so thin? She must be devastated over her marriage. Is she on drugs? Everyone seems to have a question or comment when someone famous is going through a rough patch. It is so easy to assume or come to a conclusion on what the story is.