Look of Evolving Judgment!
I was out with friends last night, a fun night for sure. Hung out with a girlfriend, went to a meeting and then out to dinner afterwards. It was a lovely evening and I had a great time.
However, at the meeting, I ran into someone who is a causal acquaintance. I do not know this person well and have never carried on any kind of conversation with the person. My interaction with her has been limited, sporadic and brief. I thought we were on friendly, but distant terms.
So I was somewhat shocked last night when I got the “look of evolving judgment” from her. I mean, I have never said an unkind thing to her, I have never been anything but positive in my interaction and demeanor with her...but she clearly communicated last night that the feeling was not mutual.
And for a moment I was transported back to junior high...sitting at the lunch table with an ever burgeoning and evolving judgment from my female peers that seemed to threaten my very existence. I had done nothing wrong. I had done nothing different that I could assess but their treatment of me differed greatly from just five minutes before. And, like always, I was crestfallen.
Last night, I was not crestfallen. I was initially shocked because I expected something all together different in her response to me. I expected “hey, hi, how are you?” Instead of the cold and dismissive air that she shaded my way. After my initial shock wore off, I was honestly amused. Clearly she had an issue with me. I saw her friendly and nice to all others...I seemed to be the only one subjected to the look of evolving judgment.
But the growth here is that I didn’t care. I didn’t take on her treatment as an indictment of my lack of worth. I just let her do her thing and moved on with my evening. I spent no time at all thinking about what I did or didn’t do to her. I just let her throw the shade and I just enjoyed the cooler temperature.
But it did cause me to examine the growth in myself. So I thank her for that. Once upon a time I would have been so upset, obsessively reviewing and recalling my entire historical interaction with this person to see where I could have misstepped, where I could have caused an injury or insult. But I didn’t even go there last night. I mean, I am open to the possibility that perhaps I have offended her albeit unintentionally for sure. So I offer up that I am more than willing to make amends if I somehow did something to hurt her. But I will spend no time thinking about it or fretting over her treatment of me as evidence that I am somehow worthy of the coldness she gave me last night.
And that is growth for me. It isn’t that I do not care. I do care...about me. I care that I am no longer held captive and hostage to the constantly shifting moods and drama of another person. The issue was hers and I let her keep it and kept myself safe and secure by refusing to pick up her treatment and think that I somehow deserved it. She isn’t the first woman to be mean to me for no reason whatsoever, and I am sure she won’t be the last.
So other than writing this piece, I will give it no further thought or energy. I have come to believe that the way other people treat you is really about them, and that is ok with me.
I know the look of evolving judgment. I have suffered under it all my life. That look that you get from people who really don’t like you, even though there is no good reason for their feelings. And it used to hurt way more than I would like to admit. I was grateful last night that I knew that the look came with a backstory (not mine) and a seemingly firm commitment to continue that backstory (evolving) judgmentally placing me into whatever place she wants me to hold so that her storyline can continue and evolve to support whatever narrative her head tells her is real and true.
Today, I am so grateful that I can say, “fuck that!” Not my circus, not my monkey! All of that exists outside my hoola hoop. And I will leave it there. I no longer feel punished unfairly against a constant evolving look of judgment. I can just receive it and then leave it right there at her feet and allow her to know that I feel no animus towards her, never have and likely never will. I believe her when she shows me who she is. And I am grown up enough today to just let her be and know that that takes nothing away from me. And to also know that I am grateful that I no longer spend any time at all allowing these looks of evolving judgment to hamper my life or feelings about myself at all.
So in the final analysis, I am grateful to her. I love it when things happen in life and shake you up. They make you stop and think and examine what the fuck just happened. Last night I got one of those moments. I got to stop and assess myself, inventory me and my shit and my behavior and see if I was on or off the path. Not me. And that felt good. That felt like growth. To let her have her feelings, her judgmental looks that told the tale that they would be an evolving thing in her life and let her have them. Not my job to dissuade her or make her think differently. All the while, remaining open and willing to have some other truth about me and her and whatever the fuck that was to evolve...
I used to suffer greatly under the look of evolving judgment, altering my life and mood and life. Today, it pains me less. I have not called into question the whole of my existence because someone was cold and unfeeling towards me. And that makes me light years away from the junior high lunch table where it used to feel like I was going to perish. That someone not liking me was the worst thing that could ever happen. Today, I can say with an open and loving heart to this woman, “Hey, I don’t like me either all the time. I guess today it was your turn!”
And I can turn the mirror back around and look at myself and see where I might be the giver of a look or two of evolving judgment, in my home, in my relationships, in my life. And I can see that I can only spot what I got. Meaning that if I can see it in others, I am likely missing it in myself. And that is the best news ever! I can use discernment to see where I am leading the life that I have worked so hard for and where I am allowing my character defects to shut me down and cut me off from the sun filled dreaminess that my higher power wants me to have in this amazing life of mine. I am so grateful that today the only judgment that matters is my own.