The World Keeps Turning

When we find ourselves frozen in a moment, or worse, an eon of pain, trouble or worry; or on the flipside are captured in a freeze-frame of delight, joy or living rhapsody, sometimes we forget that these moments and emotions are just ours. For everyone around us – our friends, family and John, Betty and Sally-May passing us by, the world keeps turning almost like nothing is happening.  And that’s perfectly understandable.

Everyone is living their lives separately. We have separate existences. Separate headspaces. Separate living spaces. So naturally, when our own separate existence changes course, it is only those residing within its sphere who we can expect to react or even have knowledge that there is anything going on at all.

And what are our expectations of others? Just because our life is changing in some way, doesn’t mean that anyone else’s is. It’s not their sick child; it’s not their divorce; it’s not their unpaid bills. It’s not their wedding; it’s not their new baby; it’s not their promotion.  Sometimes we might feel hurt, lonely or even angry or betrayed that the people around us are not jumping up and down reacting to the change in our lives – be it positive or negative. When we fall on hard times, these feelings can often be misplaced stress and inability to cope with overwhelming circumstances.  When we are experiencing the delicious highs of life, these feelings can simply be the longing to share. What may equalise the emotion is the notion that while you are living your saga of sickness, health, love, loss, fortune and wonder…. Everyone else is doing the same. So it’s nothing personal. You have not been forgotten – everyone is just living their story just like you, albeit a different one.

Keeping this notion in mind – that the world keeps on turning and life goes on for everyone – takes me to a further viewpoint: Just because you are deep in a life experience, doesn’t mean someone else isn’t.  If we stop our own separate world turning for one moment and look at how another’s is spinning on a different axis, we can see the word through their perspective.  In this still moment, our needs are irrelevant. This is how empathy and compassion are born. You may see beauty. You may see pain. You may wish to shut your eyes and wish you had never seen it.  Whatever you see gives you the opportunity to react.

We all benefit and enjoy the kindness of others. However we are the others. We have the power to make the lives better of those around us in some small way – if we take the time to understand their needs. I’m not suggesting we all turn into saints and superheroes. I’m far from that. I’m a whiney old mama who wants to sit around and drink tea and have a nanny and a cleaner and cook and a massage every day if I could! Huh! (Note I do not have these things). However I am suggesting that we stop thinking about ourselves and our own needs quite as often, taking the time to look, listen and learn (sounds like a primary school slogan for something) and if we feel that someone in our life is in need, offer something that is within our scope.  Perhaps, leaving soup on a sick friend’s doorstep, taking their baby for a walk, lending them money to pay a bill, doing a grocery shop for them or just listening to them have a big vent and a cry. Whatever it is that they need and you can provide without a detriment to your own world spinning soundly.

When you feel that your world has frozen in time, remember everyone else’s is still turning, however so is yours – you’ve just hit a bump.  It will start to roll along smoothly again soon.  Take heed that we are all connected and just as you can step outside your sphere and find compassion for others, so too can others find compassion for you. The first step is to let them.

Philosophy on reactions (and a bit of a purge)

It’s natural to react to things. Everything actually. An action occurs. And we have a reaction. I’m speaking both in physical and emotional terms. We trip and stub our toe. Ow. Someone upsets us…. Well that’s where this subject gets interesting. It’s how we react that has a huge impact on both us and those around us. Is reaction a choice or a reflex?
I’m a highly reactive person, both in my body and my soul. I’m sensitive. Growing up I would find that I was very easily upset by others’ actions and would therefore have extreme reactions. Funnily enough, for a time I actually classified myself as an extremist. I am only now linking the two as I write. However in recent years through my own journey of life, finding calm and my own personal centre, I have been teaching myself what I believe is an important lesson: ‘you can’t innately change anybody or their actions, only the way you react to them’.
This new found understanding has begun to bring me a fresh perspective on interpersonal relationships: the art of giving, receiving and adjusting our expectations of others. It has also taught me that it is not within my bounds to change others, nor is it within others’ to change me.
Of course there are times where I still struggle with this concept, however it has somewhat freed me from past feelings of injustice, inequality or dare I say even hurt or rage within relationships. It sounds wonderful to be able to stop the flow of inner-ache by saying to yourself: ‘wait – I don’t need to be expending this energy. It’s not actually helping anyone, especially me. Time to move on.’ I’m certainly not saying I’m immune to cruelty, callousness or even a mere back-handed compliment. The opposite in fact. I’m still the sensitive soul I always was, however this idea, or philosophy if you will, is helping me survive in a less sponge-like state – stronger, more understanding that my reactions are my own and I am responsible for them.
I would like to admit that I do occasionally flyoffthefreakinghandlewhenIampushedtomylimitsandmysenseofclarityisshottobits.
This happened today and I have been stuck in a funk all day which has inspired me to write. It also brings about the point that sometimes you do really need to feel your emotions deeply to process them and move on. (A little contradictory to my entire post, however nothing in life is black and white.) A good short wallow never hurt anyone. Especially when tea and comfort food are involved.
However having had a good day to process my thoughts and now write to you my dear readers, I am now back to my efforts to put the actions of others aside and take control of my reaction (albeit a little later than usual). Why waste time being anything but happy and enjoying my beautiful daughter and incredible husband on this snuggly Sunday? No reason I can think of.

The quirks experiment – the results are in!

For those of you lovely people who sipped a cup of sweet something and read my last post, you may be wondering if I did in fact keep up my end of the bargain and carry out the experiment I wrote about. I did, did! One thing you should know about me is that I generally do what I say I will; whether it is to make you a cup of tea, start a business or have a baby even if I can’t carry one. So incorporating three uncomfortable things into my week was a sure thing. I stand by my word.
My three tasks were:
1) Do not clean up the sea of toys across the living room during my daughter’s day sleep
2) Drink tea from a tea bag (blerg!)
3) Wear thongs to the supermarket
Now these may all sound like very inconsequential, tiny, random acts to you. However as previously discussed, we all have our quirks, our set little ways that keep us feeling cool, calm and in control and these three are some of my many. Here is how I felt upon venturing out of my rigid routine:
1) Not cleaning up the toys
I walked out of my daughter’s room and surveyed the mess. And my stress level rose. I can’t stand mess. I have learned to accept it as a mother. But only a certain level. And once my child is gone, the mess must be gone. I had to recalibrate my expectation of the next two hours. I lit some essential oil. I took a breathe and stepped over and around the unicorn, dolly, Fisher price eggs and other weird and wonderful play things and into the kitchen to make my tea. The mess was out of sight. My stress level began to equalise. I returned to the living room to watch a bit of trash TV with my tea and spied the mess again. This time, instead of stress, I experienced just slight annoyance and then found acceptance within 10 seconds. Good progress. I also had another realisation –the tea and rest had come 5 minutes quicker due to lack of clean up. A huge benefit!!!! The tea, oil and trash TV started to work their calming magic. While I glimpsed the toys out the corner of my eyes I started to think ‘This isn’t so bad. Maybe I can live with this adjustment to my day’. With my new found Zen, I got up for a pee break, only to stand on infernal Fisher price egg shell and howl in pain. Stupid freaking toys. My stress levels rose again. Along with a surge of anger. This is why clean up! However I was calm with 10 seconds. My rational: Perhaps just the egg shells need to be put in the carton. After my pee break I pondered during my precious couch time. My conclusion is the extra 5 minutes rest is worth mess on the floor. Big tick; phase one of experiment successful.

2) Tea bags
I openly classify myself as a tea snob. I love tea. I drink it all day as many times as I can. I remember when my daughter was a little new born. The thing I missed most was not being able to drink enough tea because you can’t hold a hot drink with a little baby – very irresponsible. And of course I would much rather be cuddling my beautiful girl than drinking tea… but I did miss that sweet hot liquid swooshing down my throat. But I digress…. I only like to drink loose leaf tea. Or those Tea Too loose leaf tea in a bag doodads. Because those manufactured teabags from the supermarket leave the taste of the bag in my mouth. I may sound crazy (or like a snob as I have just self-classified), but that’s just how it is. This makes my habit very expensive and can at times make it a bit difficult at some cafes or at other people’s homes that don’t have the particular tea I like. So as part of my experiment, I decided to try drinking a cup of bag tea, to challenge my taste buds and perhaps make life a little easier and even cheaper. Blerg. Yuk. Nope. I sat in my lovely rocking chair during my daughter’s music time. I even bought a fancy jasmine tea infused with pear to make it as likely as possible to be a pleasant experience. I could still taste that bag. My tea time was not my happy place. My lower lip even jutted out and down-turned involuntarily a little, like it does on occasion when I am really not happy or about to cry. Conclusion. Don’t fore yourself to consume food or drink that you really don’t like. Simple.
3) Wearing thongs to Woolies
Shoes have been a great love of mine. In our home in our twenties, the living room had bookcases lining the main walls and my shoes were on display as foot art for all to see. My yen for footwear has turned down several notches in the past years, but I still have a few standards, one of which is no thongs anywhere except in the house, garden, beach or pool. It’s a silly rule and I wanted to break it. The first step was to take my tootsies for their first spin in thongs outside the home. What better place than Woolies or the local shopping centre? My hubby kindly offered for me to get a foot massage while he did the groceries on the weekend, so I decided to take my thong challenge a step further and wear them to the shops and into the massage centre. Funnily enough I felt because my feet would be so casual the rest of me need to be a bit more dressed up for balance. Black skinny pants and a black and white Country Road t shirt with earrings and a necklace. My thongs were white. Just as I was about to leave the house I realised the pants were completely inappropriate for a massage – they were too skinny to roll up my leg. I grabbed some black shorts and off we went. Parting ways with my two favourite people at the shops, I was very aware of my footwear, the sound they made ‘flip flop flip flop’ rang in my ears and I could feel each step I took, reminding me that I was wearing thongs to the shops. Goodness me! What a cheek I had! But my toes felt lovely and free and light and airy! As I looked around I saw families with trolleys full of groceries, teenage girls giggling to one and other, people talking on their mobile phones and then I realised. No-one cares one bit what is one my feet right now. So neither should I. Ahhhhhhh. It was a lovely internal exhale. I walked into my foot massage with feet that were already happy. And came out with them feeling even happier. I had forgotten about my thongs and the experiment completely. I was in a state of bliss. I was however now wearing shorts, a t shirt and thongs. Again – not my style, or comfort zone. Back at the car with my hubby and snotty (but gorgeous) daughter and shopping trolley in tow, we were greeted by stylish ex neighbors. I was dragged out of my hazy bliss and reminded about my attire. ‘Oh no! Why did I not change back into my skinny pants? And why did I not wear ballet flats and put my snotty daughter in a tutu today of all days?’ This thought was only for a nanosecond. After a rather large exhale and a sleepy post massage smile I realised I didn’t really care. I am a mama with a child who sometimes gets sick and we can all wear shorts and t shirts and thongs to the shops. Judge away. For me in particular, this third phase of the experiment was hugely liberating as I am very visually driven and care greatly about what others think. Perhaps now, a little less.

So….
I completed the experiment. Here are my findings:
Sometimes if we push our boundaries we may feel a little stressed at first but discover we can be a whole lot more relaxed or benefit from pushing through the initial discomfort. However if you enjoy something, why stop doing it? And don’t force yourself to do something you really don’t like. That’s it for now. Be well x

The Truth About Farting (and other things we do)

The other day after a big red-faced cry, my little 1 year old daughter sat on the floor and began to fart and fart and fart. And laugh and laugh and laugh. She was hysterical with glee. It was a joyous and hilarious site to see this tiny cutie so amused by her own bodily functions. I texted a friend to share the moment. Her response, ‘ Very cute… laugh while you can get away with it little lady’, led to an interesting ping pong about farting appropriateness. And it inspired a train of internal musings about our own self-imposed boundaries.
We are all so very different in how we live our lives and how we carry ourselves as we do it. Some of us require a full face of make-up before answering the door, while others will go to a 5 star restaurant slap-free. Some of us may walk around the house naked, while others will not even show the tiniest hint of cleavage in any situation. Some of us may have a chat to the man at Woolies while he scans our groceries, while others may prefer not even to make eye contact. Some of us may find farting offensive even in front of our partners, while others will let one rip in a room full of strangers without a thought.
Some of the things many of us do or don’t do have been encouraged as ‘good manners’ or social etiquette either by our parents when we were young or our peers.
Please
Thank you
No farting in public
Chew with your mouth closed AND don’t talk while you are eating
Always take something if you are going to someone’s place for a meal
Put the toilet seat down (men!)
Cover your mouth when you cough
Shake hands (men) / Kiss on the cheek (ladies)
Help clean up if your kids have made a mess
However, I’d take a random guess that at least half the things we impose on ourselves are our own doing; little quirks we have just picked up along the way from being non-robotic, flawed, emotional creatures strolling in a harsh land. Our idiosyncrasies are part of what make us unique beings. They can add to our personal flair, but they can also make us feel like we have a metal rod running up our back – rigid and tight and unable to just go with the flow.
Some of my self-imposed rules/quirks include:
I will not wear track pants or thongs outside the house
I will not pee with the door open
I like to get dressed alone
I must drink water from a bottle, not a cup
Will only fart in front of family, not friends or strangers
(Side bar: Isn’t it interesting how with all these rules (like with farting) we choose who it is ok to reveal these parts of ourselves to? It’s like we have an onion of people surrounding us. The inside layer gets to experience all the gruesome and beautiful you and as you peel back layer by layer, the people you don’t know as well get to see less and less of the whole and real you).
Back to the list…
Will not make eye-contact with window washing guys at traffic lights – they scare me.
Must disinfect my hands after touching a rubbish bin
Will only drink loose leaf tea as I swear I can taste the bag
Hair must look presentable before seeing anyone other than husband and child
Toys must always be put away when child is sleeping
Oh the list continues… I could be here for hours….
What would happen if we all loosened up a bit? Would we all spontaneously combust? While I freely admit I am a tiny bit of a control freak, I believe that no matter how easy going you are, these little rigidities and quirks are our way of exercising control over our busy manic lives. And for the most part that’s OK. I’m just wondering if we would all feel a little more relaxed, liberated and looser if we ditched a few of our ‘musts’ or ‘must nots’. It is quite possible of course that the opposite could happen and our lack of control could leave us feeling unsettled, disheveled and wild-eyed… not the ideal outcome…. But why not see?
I propose a little experiment to my lovely readers!
Let’s try loosening up (and hopefully not going wild-eyed in the process). Pick 3 things you would not normally do and incorporate them into your week. They can be big or small – seemingly insignificant as long as they are out of your comfort zone. Report back here in the comments section of the blog. Tell us what you did and how it made you feel. Liberated? Happy? Relaxed? Stressed? Nervous? Angry? Did you chortle in delight?
My 3 challenges will include:
Wearing thongs to Woolies
Drinking tea from a tea bag (bleurg)
Not cleaning up the toys during my daughter’s midday nap (I am doing this now!)
I feel stressed thinking about all three of them but I hope by the end of the experiment that all of us will experience the delight that my little girl felt when she was sitting on the floor farting and laughing without a care in the world.

Happiness – Deserved and Undefinable

Everyone deserves to be happy. Me. You. My best friend. My worst enemy. (Not that I really have one… but you get my drift.) No matter what our personal opinion of one another is, or how they rate on the universal karma/awesome/’good person’ scale; everyone deserves a slice of peachy, happiness pie. Why? Well why not? We are all plodding along in this world together, so we should all get the opportunity to do it with a smile. However being equal yet individual, it’s important to remember that one person’s idea of happiness may be very different from another. Happiness doesn’t discriminate.

When you close your eyes and think of ‘happy’ what do you see? I bet it’s vastly different from the rapid slide show that flashes before my sleepy eyelids.  For me happiness is:

My daughter.

My husband.

Laughing, playing.

Our home, our garden.

Tea.

Fresh Fruit. Fresh Bread

And SUSHI!

More tea. Lots of tea.

Friends coming to visit with lots of squealing laughter.

And rest. Quiet time.

And sleep.

Nice scents all around me.

Massages.

All of this in abundance.

That’s my happiness slideshow.

I can hear choruses of ‘boring’, ‘cheesy’, ‘corny, ‘lame’.  But you know what?  That’s me and those are the things that make me happy. For others it may be a fast pace 60 hour work week and a different restaurant every right, with clinking glasses, the buzz of chatter and exciting delicacies.  It might be the thrill of closing a deal and seeing dollar signs in your eyes, planning your next travel adventure, your next DIY home improvement project – trip to Bunnings and all. Or building a business empire, a community group or fundraiser, learning an instrument, or getting a degree. It could be absolutely anything! And that’s wonderful. Whatever gives you those smiles and that inner warmth is absolutely perfect because it’s your happiness and no one else’s.

Sometimes we take a glimpse at someone else’s life and think – ‘they don’t seem very happy’. Perhaps that’s because they are not living your idea of happiness. I think it’s important to take a second longer look and make the distinction before coming to any conclusions.

None of us are happy all the time. It’s not possible – life brings challenges. We all seem to want to reach this ‘destination happy’.  As we strive to get there it’s important to enjoy the journey.  We all change all the time. And so does our idea of happiness.  5 years ago, my list above would have been completely different. Perhaps the only common items would be husband and sushi!  When life starts feeling difficult and the smiles are fewer and the destination seems further, sometimes it’s good to check in with ourselves and ask ‘is the destination still where I really want to go?’ It’s a confronting question. If it’s a resounding ‘yes’, then in my experience, it usually just means you’ve hit a rough patch. You will wade through it soon enough with the help of tea, tears, (perhaps chocolate and some terrible television) and some good old fashioned hard work. Your ‘destination happy’ will be waiting for you at the other end. If that ‘yes’ doesn’t roll off the tongue so easily, perhaps there’s some re-evaluating to do. Sometimes we keep ploughing headfirst towards things because they are familiar or decided even when deep down they are not what we really want. Funnily enough the remedy here is similar: tea, tears, (perhaps some chocolate and terrible television)… but this time some soul searching is required to decide if it’s time to change paths to a different ‘destination happy’. You decide where your smiles lie.

Life is short and long all at once. Whichever way you look at it it’s worth being happy during its course. We all have goals and ideals we want to reach which is wonderful and inspiring – it’s what drives us to be enriched and fulfilled. They are our image of happiness. Just make sure they are affording you a slice of sweet happiness pie of cake or frittata along the way (whatever takes your fancy). It’s the present where you experience your smiles (and fill your belly). And as you enjoy your chosen happiness delicacy, look around and acknowledge that those around you may be enjoying their happiness too – it just looks a bit different.  Cheers x

Okay not to be Okay

‘I’m OK’. We’ve trained ourselves to utter these words to ourselves and to anyone who asks us how we are like a mantra. But are you really OK? If you stop and actually think about it for more than a nanosecond… what’s the answer?  Sure you may be clothed, fed and with a roof over your head but do you have your emotional ducks in a row? I don’t. Not all of them. Not all the time. And I’m happy to admit it. I think this might scare some people. I put forward that it is okay not to be okay.

Life is hard at the best of times. We are always trying to reach multiple goals via different avenues, facing numerous challenges and surmounting hurdle after hurdle while we try and enjoy each passing moment as we strive to reach some greater happiness. Even describing this makes me want to lie down with cucumber slices on my eyes for half an hour.  No matter how much we enjoy ourselves… life is tiring and can be very stressful. So no wonder one or more of those little emotional ducks can wander off once in a while and leave us feeling discombobulated, distressed, sad, angry or just plain ambivalent. Not okay.

We’ve been brought up with a mentality of ‘just get on with it’, ‘keep it to yourself’, ‘someone else has it worse than you do’, shhhhhh’!!!!!!!!!! So as we stuff down our feelings of inadequacy, fear, self-doubt, worry or whatever might come up for us on a particular day we stretch the emotional pit in our stomach and feel it tighten, or lurch or perhaps experience a wave of nausea wash over us. And then someone asks ‘how are you?’… ‘I’m OK’, we answer, with an empty smile on our face. No further explanation given (because really we’re not).  And then we start to believe it’s true. Definitely not okay.

A wise woman once told me that the people who are really not okay are the ones who constantly insist that they really are. This is called denial.  They often claim to know themselves very well. I believe anyone who knows themselves very well would know that they have flaws, issues and feelings to work through. I’ve never come close to enlightenment nor met anyone reaching its sphere.  Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in happiness – dancing on the table, making goofy faces and singing at the top of your voice kind of happiness. I just don’t equate it with encompassing your entire being. People are so much more complex. And to ignore or deny any part of yourself… not okay.

It can be hard to look inside yourself and admit what is really going on – especially when it may not be all too wonderful all the time. But it’s important to identify in order to challenge these aspects, nurture them and evolve.  I’m not advocating that we all hang from the rooftops, shouting out our problems, more that we learn to look inwards and speak our truth to at least ourselves.  Sharing beyond that is a very personal and difficult step, but can be freeing, liberating and invoke the support we need to move forward.

I’m not afraid to admit that I am rife with not okayness. But I have oodles of wonderful happy lovely bits too. If I stare in my thoughts and feelings looking glass I see a woman who gets hurt easily, wants people to like and appreciate her, can get a bit jealous, is terrified of being alone, is a bit too dependent on her husband and scared to death about the future of her health and ongoing happiness of her family. She is a bit controlling, a bit weird about food and once she decides she doesn’t like her outfit for the day goes into a tailspin. So in many ways… not okay.

But you know what… I am completely okay because I acknowledge the parts that aren’t.

The Judging Circle

‘Don’t judge’. It’s a judgement in itself. And it makes us feel like we have done something wrong. For what? Having a reaction? Thinking? Feeling? Being Human? I’ve been thinking a lot on this topic lately, following an incident where I felt like I was being smacked on the hand for airing my wounds. My somewhat muddled musings turned into clear thought over many cups of tea while I nursed the sting of others’ judgement and did a bit of judging myself.  Past the emotion, in the calm of clarity I realised, we can’t erase the judging. What we can do is filter the way we externalise our judgements – there’s no need to hurt anybody with them. We can also qualify our judgements – just because we think something doesn’t make it true.  Perhaps these applications may make the judging seem a little less evil because really it is a perfectly natural and inevitable part of life.

Let’s be honest. We all judge. Anyone who claims to be above the act of judging is a big fat fraud. See. I have already judged those people by calling them big fat frauds (within the privacy of my own blog).  It’s natural and healthy to make judgements in all facets of our lives. We are just programmed that way.  Whether it’s judging the outfit of the woman across the street:

 ‘Oh I really like her hat. I might get a similar one.’ 

or

‘Gosh her pants are really awful. I’d never wear them.’

To deciding if we like a certain cake:

“Mmmm this chocolate cake is delicious. I can taste strange crunchy bits”.

Or

“ Eeeeewwww I don’t like the strange  crunchy bits in this chocolate cake. I’m not going to eat it. I’ll order something else.”

We make judgements when we use our senses and to help us make decisions. Without judgements we wouldn’t have the benefit of common sense. We judge when the world is safe for us to take action: to cross the road, drink a cup of hot tea, tell a friend bad news or keep our mouth shut and tell a lie by omission (we’ve all done it if we are truly honest!).

When we use the word ‘judge’, the verb, rather than ‘judgement’, the noun, all of a sudden it seems a bit harsher, crueler and altogether not very nice. Perhaps this is because the verb ‘judge’ brings you and me into the equation (as subjects). If we think about ‘judgement’ as a noun, it can be lingering in outer space, seemingly disconnected to us (convenient for our conscience). In truth the only difference is a matter of perspective. In addition to our misconceptions, we have a tendency to correlate ‘judging’ with putting other people down.  For example.

‘He’s so over the top he will never fit in to our circle.’

‘She is so unhealthy she is setting a bad example for her child.’

‘Those children are so spoiled I would never let my children behave that way.’

These are all thoughts/judgements that you (or someone) may have had. It is just that they are negative and are about someone else. I see three points to raise regarding this.

1)      We are all entitled to our thoughts.

2)      Perhaps there’s no need to spread them. Are they helpful?

3)       If you are going to share your judgements, perhaps it may be an idea to qualify them first. Are they true?

To look at this a bit more closely….

Judge judge judge away. It’s natural to think and feel things. It’s like a reflex.  If you tried to stop, it would feel like you were tying yourself in knots.  Our own internal stream of consciousness is ours alone and we can have whatever we like in there. It’s just for us…. No need to sensor your insides. Perhaps the external is a different story. In my opinion there is no need to make anyone feel less than they already do by placing our judgements on them.  We already beat ourselves up enough – with our own self judgements, perceived judgements from our peers, the media and the world at large. We really don’t need direct judgements from anybody else do we? I know I don’t.   Judgements certainly don’t help to lighten our already heavy loads.   So if you think that Louise really shouldn’t eat those extra 10 chips off Carry’s plate because she is meant to be on a diet… think it… but keep it to yourself. She’s thinking it herself. With her own working brain. If you think Harry and Mads shouldn’t be applying for a mortgage while she is only temping because they might not be able to make their repayments and it’s not a smart move. No need to say anything. They know what they are getting into as a couple. As a friend we are not there to take on the role of life coaches and therapists. And who would want one of those at their side every day while they ate, drank, and poured their heart out to their besties? We make appointments to see those kind of professionals and compartmentalise a tiny part of our life for them. To help us with our multitude of judgments.  As friends our purpose is to listen and support without imposing our own ideals (nicer word for judgements) that we will always constantly think and feel no matter what.

Sometimes we can’t help but externalise our judgements.  When judgements are unwanted (which is quite often), qualifying them before expressing them, can ensure their accuracy and help reduce repercussions. This simply means testing a statement’s truth or reality. Qualifying is a method used in psychiatric hospitals by mental health patients who have hallucinations. They are taught to qualify or test to see if these visions could possibly be based in reality. We similarly can use these techniques to see if our judgements are true rather than jumping to conclusions from one snap thought that then comes hurtling out our mouth, or through our fingers on Facebook to hurt someone important to us.  Does it seem a bit extreme using methods a mental health patient would use? Not really. We all have a little bit of crazy in us.  Why not give it a bit of love?

In fact Judgements can be channeled towards love. We can use our judgements to help others. To give advice, help make decisions and complete acts of kindness. We need to asses and judge in order to do all these things.  If we think about it from a holistic viewpoint, it is not the act of judging that is a negative thing. Judging is natural, normal and inevitable. It is the way we choose to judge that can become a problem. If we take a moment to notice our judgements before we so candidly throw them out into the atmosphere, perhaps they would be better processed and received. The judging circle that we all seem to spin in might begin to unfurl or at least seem a little more of a rational whirl.