Last night I had a dream that I was with a male friend, perhaps a budding love interest. He was driving me to a creative writing event where I would be presenting. I was really excited and confident about my impending performance. On the way, he stopped at a liquor store to buy sugar to cut with his cocaine. (I know it doesn’t make sense. Why was he getting sugar at the liquor store? If you’re a therapist, give me a call.) In my dream, I shrugged my shoulders – if he wants to have a little recreational cocaine habit, who am I to get in his way? When I woke up this morning I questioned my sanity as it relates to men, but it also made me think about what it means to be judgmental or “judgy” as folks say.
I don’t think I’m a judgmental person. I believe in personal freedoms and find myself on a lifelong quest to reach higher levels of freedom for myself. I started my company, HoneyButterflyz Wellness & Transformation, to help others achieve the same. I used to sing Prince’s song, “Free” at the top of my lungs when I was in high school. I wanted to be “free to change my mind – free to go most anywhere anytime!” I still do. And, I want others to be free too – to live with passion, and have satisfying relationships, lifestyles and work. I also want people to be free from guilt, shame, regret and hypocrisy. Just writing about it has my mind in the ether, soaring high above the clouds.
If you want to smoke weed or do cocaine or meth or be a nudist or have three husbands, go for it. Your choices may not be for me, except maybe the nudist thing LOL, but if they don’t harm me or others, knock yourself out. If you have an illegal habit that’s between you and the po-po. The problem begins when your choices harm me or others. So if your three husbands are actually someone else’s husbands, that’s a concern. If you’re driving down 285 nude, that’s an issue. If you’re robbing people to buy cocaine, that’s a definite cause for alarm. And, if you’re hiring butchers to kill sweet innocent animals so you can eat them, then ugh!
I’m certainly not judge and jury on anything, but I know right from wrong even when I break my own rules. I know the first commandment is “though shalt not kill,” and I know the first tenet in yoga is “ahimsa” or non-violence. I know Jesus gave us the golden rule, “do unto others and you would have them do unto you.” I know Buddha said not to believe what he taught unless it made sense in my own heart. I stopped eating animals because once I awakened to the truth, I felt guilty when I sat down to eat. I felt like a hypocrite saving bugs, rescuing dogs and eating chicken. (And, yes, I used to foster dogs in my home.) Ultimately, I stopped eating animals to save myself – my heart, my joy and my freedom.
As coronavirus knocks us all for a loop, I’ve been thinking more about this concept of judginess. I saw a meme that says, now that you’re hoarding toilet paper, stop judging refugees. Wait, were people judging refugees before? I guess I live in my liberal, freewheeling bubble. Apparently people are out here judging rape victims, the #metoo movement, lifestyles, hairstyles, the car you drive, the clothes you wear and the house you live in. New Oxford describes “judgy” as “overly critical.” Why are we so quick to criticize others and yet nobody likes to be criticized? We harm others yet nobody wants to be harmed? What do we gain by being overly critical to others? By lacking compassion? By not even attempting to understand the plights of others?
I’m no psychiatrist, but I know our brains like to simplify stories, that’s why stereotyping and profiling are so appealing. I also know we have an instinct to protect ourselves from both physical and psychological harm. When we don’t feel good about ourselves, sometimes criticizing others is the only way we know to makes ourselves feel better. The problem is that it comes from a place of ignorance. We don’t know enough about anyone to know what we would do if we were in their shoes. We’ve never even seen their metaphorical shoes, even if we think we’re really close to that person. Our goodness doesn’t come from rising higher than the short-comings of others. Our sweet beauty and worthiness comes from accessing our divine spirit, if only we could peel off the layers that shroud it.
Our very busy frenemy, #Rona, has given a lot of us more time away from our normal activities. I encourage you to take a break from Netflix and check out your layers. Getting to know other people is fun, but getting to know yourself is even more amazing!
I wish you all Freedom, Alignment and Effortless Abundance!
P.S. The photo is the meme that I mentioned. If you’re curious about ways to “check out your layers,” take a peek at my “Black Vegan Life ™ Guide to Self-Care.” It’s free, it’s short, and there’s a section on nourishing your spirit that you might enjoy. Https://HoneyButterflyz.com/e-books Also, look out for my email and social media for an e-book discussion date coming soon! Oh, and I’ll be posting a new meditation this week at soundcloud.com/vegan_honeybutterflyz