I was gone again last weekend and spent some serious time away from activity the last four days to just give myself time to breathe and think and allow life to happen. And in that time I continued with my meditations and a few thoughts occurred to me regarding one of the idea of letting go. One of the things that I teach in my yoga classes is the idea of letting go of judgement. This is a very hard thing to do for anyone and I find that, while I can let go of judgement of myself (for the most part), I am still judging others.
A few weeks back I was out with my husband and saw a woman whom I used to consider a friend in what seems like a lifetime ago. I am not sure if she also saw me or recognized me, but either way, we both pretended that we didn’t see the other person and continued about our night. After seeing her I commented to my husband, rather judgmentally on my part, about how the other woman seemed to be in less fit shape than when we were friends. I noted, again not my finest moment, about how if I were single and childless that I would take all of that spare time to workout and keep myself in great shape by doing all of my favorite things. How I missed the times when I could spend hours at the gym, pool, etc and, although I love my children, am really looking forward to the days when I can put forth a little more effort into my physical health by exercising like I used to without children attached to me in some way.
Then, I promptly thought (to myself) who am I to judge her? There are many a day when the weather is fine and I still choose not to go for a run even though I am perfectly capable of doing so. There are many a day when I listen to my body and say yes to a large bowl of ice cream when I haven’t exercised (because I don’t believe that food should be a reward and it’s okay to treat yourself if it’s what you’re really craving and it has no emotional component to the desire other than you would enjoy the taste of some really good ice cream).
There has been a lot of discussion lately about feminism and women v women prejudice (see a list of blog posts at the bottom that I have enjoyed reading on related topics) and in some ways I am seeing that no matter what I am doing to help make myself a better person, it won’t really do much if I can’t see others as inherently good people by whatever my measure is as well. So, how do I measure if I am a good person?
Well, I’m no Mary Poppins, but I do try to give most people the benefit of the doubt and keep an open mind. Gates mentioned in the Day 13 reading (I did last week sometime) that instead of getting angry at himself over getting angry, that he would instead look to the light and stop judging himself for being human. So, when I catch myself judging myself or others, I will not beat myself up over it, I will instead stop, find something positive to focus on (the light), and let the negative fall away. You can’t change all of your errors. You are, in fact, human and by nature error ridden. You can only be the best you that you can be and keep trying.