Do you ever fear judgement? Not like in a court of law– though that does sound exceedingly frightful– but the “mere” day to day judgements. How you look, how you sound, how you appear to others.
Today I received information about an incident occurring among some acquaintances of mine and I’m exceedingly frustrated about it. To me, it seems very clear cut, because it’s not something I would do. And at the same time, I know that this is going to be a very difficult topic to broach with them because they are emotionally involved in it. I am afraid of this upcoming confrontation. There is some ambiguity related to the incident that needs to be addressed and, beyond that, there are the people involved. These are not people I see face-to-face; they are people who type and reach out through the keys of their keyboards to try to make their hearts known.
As John Green often notes, we need to think of others complexly, as human beings with needs, feelings, and desires. They are people. They matter. Especially, I think, since I disagree with them. My point of view hardly decides the reality of the world at large. It is too big for any one person to define. So I sit here and think about the situation and how I should respond. I cannot fathom why they have made the decisions they have, and— the all important connector sayeth my therapists– I don’t have to understand or agree with them in order to treat them well. The only thing truly under my control is myself, and I choose to comport myself in a manner that I will be proud of later.
And so, as I grapple with my own thoughts and opinions, as I center myself again with a prayer and diaphragmatic breathing, I remind myself that they are real human beings, unknowable and beautiful. Within them is a story that I cannot comprehend, and that is beautiful in of itself.