Judgement...we all do it (even though there are those that don't want to admit it lol...even me). From the age of two, or so, we start learning how to judge through experiences. It could be our parents, teachers, other children...who knows where the lessons show up. I do know that at times we have learned how to judge just by watching, hearing or personally becoming a target of someone else's actions. These actions and the results of these actions get recorded into our brains and saved for later to be used in creating our own judgements. From my own personal experience, judgements are created as a way to defend ourselves from situations or people that we fear...many times these judgements are created out of fear, jealousy, anger, or a various list of other emotions that we chose to use to protect our selves.
For example, when I was a teenager my boyfriend's mother decided that she was going to panhandle with her two youngest daughters (of course, using them as leverage to earn more). She would brag about how much money she made each day standing on a street corner instead of getting a job. She was not living extravagantly by any means...just providing food and a roof over her family's head, nothing special at all. And yet, from that point forward...every time I saw people on the corner, I would judge them through my personal experience and say to myself "Why should I give my hard earned money to someone that chooses not to work?" I was grouping every person into that experience, believing that everyone standing on the street corner panhandling was taking advantage of me! Even though in my heart, I knew this wasn't true...I had now created a story that justified why I wouldn't help someone- through a story that made me feel better about not giving up "my hard earned money"...ridiculous, really, when you think about it, lol. This story was born out of jealousy (if I am honest) I was jealous that someone could stay at home with their kids, stand on a street corner and make more money than I did- when I left my kids to go earn money at a job I hated! How DARE she, right?!
The reason I can tell you that I know in my heart this story that I made up about panhandlers wasn't true, is because I was that person that could have been panhandling to survive. I was a homeless teenager that could have easily turned to panhandling if it wasn't for the generosity of people that I met on the street who were kind enough to provide for me so I didn't do that. My grandparents used to buy food for homeless people (they wouldn't give money, believing it would be used for booze) they taught us kindness and generosity as children; and yet one experience, born out of my own jealousy, created a completely different reaction.
A few years ago I had a close friend that created a plan to have her vacation funded by her friends...she devised a brilliant plan to volunteer her time in exchange for donations....WOW! You know my first reaction? "Why should I fund her vacation when I don't get one"....so sad, really, that I didn't see the opportunity to be a part of bringing someone else JOY in this world :( Lesson learned!! Now I take the time to examine each opportunity that comes to me with a different view...I ask myself "Why not?"
Since Joshua and I began this journey, we have had LOTS of opportunity to ask for support. We have also experienced lots of opportunity for judgement from others. These experiences have been very humbling and not something that has been easy for us. We were both brought up very proud of our work ethic, our ability to create all on our own without the help from anyone...a sign of strength right? I have also learned not to take the judgements from others personally and realize that this is just their stuff, based on their own personal experiences, fear, jealousy or whatever other emotions come up for them. We have a very small circle of people that continue to encourage us to keep moving forward even though at times we have run into financial obstacles. We keep learning more and better ways of creating the financial opportunities needed to keep going. A close friend also shared with us, they believe in what we are doing and they live vicariously through us...they love having the opportunity to support us financially when we need it...it is their way of supporting our dream and encouraging us to keep going. This is the very humbling part; believing that there are people in this world that believe in us (sometimes more than we do)...we are learning to being open to receive the abundant love from others without strings attached, shame, or obligation to do anything in return <3 For those people in our lives I am so grateful for your support, your love and your generosity....each of you know who are and there aren't words to express how much you mean to me!!!
So, the next time you have an opportunity in your own life to lend a hand. I encourage you take the time to examine your first initial response! Take your judgements out of your response...examine them, take a good look at them and ask yourself...."Why not?"