As I age, I see a lot of danger in judgement, or opinions or what ever you call them. We all do it. I don't think my prefix/disclaimer to my opinion is a cop out. I REALLY believe it. I know what I would like to think I would do when faced with a situation. Most of the time I am taking mental notes. Using my time on this spectator side to remember how it looks and sounds from the outside while noting what works and what does not.
|“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It's one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it's another to think that yours is the only path.” - Paulo Coelho|
Let's take adultery for example. As much fun as I poke at Tiger Woods (Yes Tiger is still more fun than Jesse James even though he is the latest), I have no feeling about what his wife should do. I have never been through something like that. This is what I hope - if that life shattering event were to occur in my life, I want people around me that HAVE gone through it. How will I ever receive real counsel and really helpful stories if I push those people away by barking my ignorant opinion during their rough time? Even if I bark privately, it will be heard.
Addiction - this area is very specialized. These things get a hold of these wonderful people and turn them into something we don't recognize. Who am I to judge them as evil? What if it is your child? Does that speak to your parenting? Sometimes it may, but there are a lot of times it does not. We can come from perfect families with perfect intentions and still fall hard. Addiction Counselors will be there to help with the technical side of it. But no one can hold your hand better than another mom or wife that has had to search a room to keep them on the recovery track.
Raising children is another area that can be full of opinions. Seriously every kid is different. Why don't people understand that? If I had stopped at 1 child I would have considered myself the best parent ever! I am so glad that I have the reality that is #2. There are millions of battles out there and you have to choose your most important.
Battles I choose:
Saying negative words like "hate", "stupid" and "dumb".
Sleeping in their own bed consistently, not in mine.
Saying please and thank you
Car seat safety
Battles I do not choose:
Everyone eating the same thing for dinner
Limited Television viewing
Strict time lines on potty training
Accelerated Academic Performance
Now I know that there are reasons why parents don't choose the things I have. Everyone has their motivation. I especially understand the co-sleeping because frankly that would have been easier. I felt strongly about that bed being for just Carter and I so I stuck with it to make a routine out of sleeping in their own beds/cribs.
In the same manner I know why they choose the one I have NOT. Some children are very effected by television. Some moms do not enjoy being a short order cook at dinner. I don't really either but I just don't have it in me to struggle over food. The other two - well if you read my last blog you understand why those are not a priority.
"For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you". Matthew 7:2
I want to offer others the same sympathy I would want. The same stares of love without turning my back with a smirk. The strength told hold my tongue and just listen rather than to advise in an area I know nothing about. When it happens, I want to feel supported, not judged.