Kind promise: I will be tender with weaknesses.
Today I was an idiot. (I am probably idiotic most days, but today I noticed it!)
Walking along beside me, Jenny shrieked, waved her arms and danced all over the sidewalk. “It’s a bee! It’s right on me!”
“How silly,” I thought, “for such a large woman to be so scared of a small insect.”
“You are overreacting,” I said unkindly. Not content to judge only my companion, my mind moved on to insecticide manufacturers, who may be responsible for the decline in bee populations, polluters in general and the human race… In a matter of seconds, I was indulging in a judgment festival.
“I’m allergic,” she said.
I wish I could report that I shifted into compassionate mode instantly. Instead, I advised her to talk to her doctor about carrying an EpiPen.
Minutes later, I remembered an exercise my meditation teachers have suggested for me: “whenever you find yourself judging, add the phrase, ‘…just like me.’” Jenny was overreacting… Just like me. Jenny needs to take responsibility for her physical health… Just like me.
What a perfect exercise for a time in which I have chosen to be tender with weaknesses.
Calling myself an idiot is not tender. Judging others is not tender. Indulging in judgment festivals is particularly not tender.
I judge because I want to feel superior and because I fear I am not enough. I judge because I imagine I need to be in control; lack of control is scary.
Soften, Kate, and move into your fear. There is nothing to prove. There is nothing to control. There is nothing to judge.
In this tender place beyond judgment, there is peace.