Who’s judging who…and why?

I have been having some serious family issues lately, and, I admit, the sound must carry to the neighbors.  I have a religious neighbor (we obviously have very different views and parenting styles) who, out of the blue, came up to tell me, in a condescending way, that they pray for us all the time.  She is so judgmental!  Now, if it someone were to say that to you, how would you respond in a shove it up your you-know-what, kindly kind of way??

Hillery in Montana


Dear Hillery,

Very simply, I would thank her for her kind thoughts.  And tell her I can use all the kind thoughts I can get!

I would also not assume that she is without drama/trauma in her own life, so I might also tell her that I would keep her in my prayers as well.

You referred to how judgmental she is…let her judge.  You are also judging her.  There is a difference between noticing what is, and being judgmental, BTW.  When there is a negative emotion that attaches itself to our perception of the other person, as opposed to the action, we have moved into judgment.  It is natural to react to this emotion.  It is also likely clear to her that you feel this way, and that you don’t think that her way is okay.  So, the cycle of judgment keeps going on and on.

But you can stop that cycle, Hillery, simply by noticing what you are doing, noticing that she is doing the best she can, and change your mind about her.  How?  Just take what she really means, (that she knows things are not perfect in your world, and you could likely use a little help), and throw out the doctrine and judgment she brings to it.  That simple shift removes your judgment moving back at her.

There is a very good chance that she felt awkward about saying anything to you, and that she had to muster up the courage to speak to you.  Further, is it also possible that your reaction to her words is your embarrassment in knowing that others know you are struggling, and are witnessing the drama?   Is it possible that you don’t think it is okay what is happening in your life?   We do seem to want the outside world to see only the perfect little family picture, don’t we?

Sweet Hillary, is it also possible that the judgment you are reacting to is your self judgment?  If so, stop.  Change your mind.  Don’t let fear (embarrassment) and judgment hold you in place.  Let the energy of her, in essence, saying, “You are not alone.”, be what flows through you.  Know that Divinity does not expect perfection from you, because She thinks you are already perfect, no matter that it may appear it is not.

You may even wish to strike up a conversation with your neighbor, from a new perspective.  Who knows, she may have been reaching out to you from her pain, and you may be able to help each other.  This might actually be the perfect time to teach her a new prayer:

Thank you Creator/God, for letting me know that this problem has already been solved.  Please help me now to see my part in that solution.


(Therese Wilson is a published poet, and is the administrator of the global website at www.cwghelpingoutreach.com  She may be contacted at:                                                              Therese@TheGlobalConversation.com.)

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