The more one judges, the less one loves and the less one feels loved.
Whatever we give we will get back.
- Most who judge others harshly go into a tailspin when they make a mistake.
- Our judging is fueled by an illusion that we are somehow superior, and when that illusion topples, it messes up our elaborate construct of self-respect.
- It is easier to hate and judge others because doing so helps us avoid our own part of the problem.
- When we avoid our own conscience, we betray ourselves and that feels bad.
- Instead of feeling bad, we get temporary relief by blaming others for stuff instead.
When we do an inventory of our lives and we don’t have enough love, there is only one fix:
Judge less. Love more.
When I feel boring, uninspired, uninteresting, with nothing to give or no value to add, remembering this Van Gogh quote makes a difference for me.
I believe “there is nothing more artistic than loving people” because I have felt my heart revive by merely choosing to see people with love instead of judgement, and have seen rooms light up when people were selfless, and been moved beyond words when someone used their gifts (however small) with genuine passion for others.
I feel deep, inexplicable joy when I cross paths with someone who lives as if every individual and every moment has meaning.
So similar to the joy I experience when I see a Van Gogh painting.
My romantic relationships and my work relationships improved when I quit worrying about how I was being perceived, or how I was being treated, what had just happened, or what was going to happen next. So did my tennis game. And my relationship with my kids and in-laws. And my health. And my joy. And my ability to have a good night’s sleep.
It took me over thirty years to figure that out with relationships. Over ten with something as inconsequential as tennis. Still working on it with new clients, new challenges, and strangers.
Most of us spend our waking hours splintered out in so many directions that we don’t even know what true focus is. People who bring their complete attention and focus with them wherever they go are so rare that when we are lucky enough to meet one, we cannot forget them. They are distilled and refreshing power: the power we have always longed for.
For those of us who were born without
For those of us who will die early
For those of us with disease or deformity
For those of us who never knew the “right people”
For those of us with low IQs
Who didn’t go to school
Or have a job
For those of us without a home, shoes, clean clothes
There is the equanimity of sun and rain
Earth’s free gift of light and water
And, yes, a path that leads to the finish line
Where we are welcomed with honor
Men complain about their female exes, romantic interests, bosses, and co-workers being the b-word, manipulative, or impossible to please. Women complain about men being selfish, self-centered, and shallow.
If we want to stop repeating the madness and find movie-quality soulmates, partners, or heroes, here are the rules:
- Quit assessing people by their outward beauty or body type (when I meet a man whose primary measurement of a woman is how fit, pretty, or built she is, or a woman who obsesses about bald, overweight, or old, I know I am in the presence of the immature and lonely)
- Look at all people the same (don’t measure by what they are or do, $$, or possessions)
- Forgive everyone (bitter people are not attractive)
- Honor your suffering instead of complaining about it (the nicest people in the world are often those who have suffered most)
- Give generously (and forget about getting something back)
Everyone is looking for a way to distinguish themselves.
Everyone wants love.
We can deny it or hide it, but all of us crave connection and a way to contribute our gifts.
When I feel the lack of these things, I can choose to withdraw. I can choose to rage against those who seem to have what I lack. Or I can choose to make a difference for those who are also in need of connection and contribution.
These people are everywhere. They are my neighbors. They are my enemies or my competitors. They are the strangers I fear or the friends I have yet to meet.
If I remember this when my own plans (for who should love me, or who should value my gifts) crumble, I will thrive.
This absurd sentence was actually in my mind as I was rushing a goodbye at the airport. Although it was funny, I regretted my hurry later when I realized I hadn’t even turned around to acknowledge the person who was kindly seeing me off at the bottom of the two-story escalator.
As a parent, as a lover, as a friend, as a worker, I have rushed past delight to catch details, dinner, and ultimately, delusion too many times. The escalator would always be there, other things wouldn’t be.
Nostalgia should be enough to convince us that nothing is ever better than right here, right now.