Just being alive does not make you an expert at living

Isn’t it strange that we don’t trust medical advice except from doctors, car advice except from mechanics or legal advice save from solicitors – yet we can think any idiot is right if they say we’re rubbish!

A stranger laughs at our clothes and we wilt in shame, or a colleague calls us lazy and we go mad with guilt. Why do we give these people such power?

Thebettermanproject posted a phrase some weeks ago I think is perfect for this situation – Do not judge this person, for you do not know what trials they have been through.

We worry so much about what other people think of us, or how they will view our efforts and achievements. Yet no-one can know what went into those efforts.

A wobbly chair may look like the result of a crap carpenter. Then we learn that the person who made it is trying to recover the use of their arms after an accident. The ‘crap chair’ is in fact pretty miraculous.

Judgemental birds

Them birds is judgemental too!

In our own lives we have often overcome so many ‘invisible barriers’, difficulties others will never know of or may never understand. No-one has the right to judge another person because they cannot know the whole of their story. We do not need to take unkind thoughts seriously, we need not be hurt by them. With such judgements it is as if the critic opened the book of our life at random and pointed at a single word – then ridiculed us for that word.

Look in your heart. Have you always tried to live well, kindly, lovingly? Yes! Then forgive your mistakes and admire your convictions. Have you ever sought to deliberately cause harm? No! Then forgive your mistakes and admire your efforts.

Judge yourself not by your possessions, not by your circumstances or even by the results of your actions but by the quality of your dreams and desires – for we all make mistakes in translation. If others judge you it is only because they can’t bear to look at themselves.

I keep serene

so that the surface is calm

as a mirror

All you see is reflection

and when you point at me

you point in your direction

You mock the depths of my sea

while seeing only the skin of me

and only shame yourself

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The world is insane and I'm in writing therapy!

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Posted in General, Poetry, Self-Help
7 comments on “Just being alive does not make you an expert at living
  1. ericjbaker says:

    I think sometimes we are sensitive to criticsm because it feels like someone is shining a spotlight on our insecurities. Like, if someone says, “Hey, your nose is too big for your face,” I might think, “Shhh. Now everyone will notice!”

    Well, either they already noticed, or they don’t think my nose is too big, or they don’t care, or, if she’s an attractive woman, she’ll be int big noses (I can dream, can’t I?). The point is, the person doing the judging is the one missing out. Isn’t it less work to accept people for who they are?

    • ruleofstupid says:

      You’d think so – but I wonder if that’s the point. It’s more work to accept people for who they are, because it requires tolerance and forgiveness, the ability to look past what might at first grate with us. Being judgemental is easier because to feel good all you’ve got to do is see everyone else as crap!?
      I love your nose – don’t ever change!!

      • ericjbaker says:

        Aw, thanks. I’m used to it by now.

        I honestly think it’s easier to be open. Sure, some people are annoying, because they have annoying personalities, but to make blanket judgments based on clothes/hairstyles/skin color/ethnic background, etc. cuts a person out of potential rewarding experiences, like learning about someone’s culture or food or music.

      • ruleofstupid says:

        That my dear bunny is because you are open minded. Some people’s heads are full of squishy grubs and spider webs and nasty things!! They go to Spain and only eat at British fish n Chip cafes and think foreigners are ignorant because they haven’t learned English! 😉

  2. Michele says:

    I love this! And I’d write a bit more but my kid won’t stop yammering in my ear.

  3. Todd Ehlers says:

    Excellent post. Your illustrations were terrific.

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