#40DaysofLove: Day 3

On The Wings of Gratitude and 40 Days of Thankfulness

40 days of Love Facebook Event

#40DaysofLove

40daysofLove_Day3

So my #40DaysofLove journey continues, with Day 3.

I have decided to skip a day, so that I can be on the same day as the Facebook event group. I will add that extra day at the end.  🙂

I have also decided that I will be focusing on different people through-out this 40 day journey and meditate on the meaning of each of these #40DaysofLove images, which are being provided by our event hosts, On The Wings of Gratitude and 40 Days of Thankfulness , although I still dedicate this series to my Mom.

Thank you to On The Wings of Gratitude and 40 Days of Thankfulness for the great inspirations each day, for us to write and think about!

This thought today makes me think about how quick and easy it can be for us to judge. And then when we DO judge, and discover we have judged someone, we can then judge OURSELVES for judging someone. I have been very conscious and aware of my doing this in my life. And it is still a work in progress to let go of all that.

It’s fitting that I return to thoughts about my Mom, when thinking about judging someone.

It was with my Mom that I first truly analyzed the life of someone I loved and realized what a difficult life they had. My mother had quite a difficult life and not much of a childhood or chance to be a carefree teenager. She did the best she could as a Mom and wife and she did not live the easiest of lives.

One day, when I was a young adult, somewhere in my 20s, I did this analysis of her life and felt so much compassion for her and saw how she had done the best she can.

That was also during a difficult time in our family and it was the first (of many times) when I found myself taking care of my mom, instead of the other way around.

That lesson I learned about studying someone’s life in order to better understand them and leave our judgement behind, stayed with me a long, long time and has served me well with so many people who have crossed my life.

That is part of why I became a very empathic person and why I was often able to put myself in another’s shoes.

Even with complete strangers.

I later had to learn not to let my compassion get the best of me and try to help every single person that crossed my path. We need to keep some energy to take care of our own selves first. Or else we are not good for anyone else. And sometimes we have to walk away, because it’s not healthy for us to help someone who is not capable of seeing they need to help their own selves as well.

But that is another story.

And even in there, there is a great danger of judging. And again, judging ourselves for judging someone else again. At times, we need to let someone go out of our lives. We can still love them and wish them well. But sometimes their presence in our lives just no longer works.

This reminds me of someone who crossed my path once, during a tough time during the holidays.

One year, I had spent the holidays alone and was helping out in a community centre.

There was a man who stayed a few days there.

He was a man whose life had not been kind to him.

He had the red nose and red veins on his face of someone who had been a long-time alcoholic. His hand had the tremors, perhaps due to his drinking. Or the many health problems he had, maybe or maybe not due to the drinking. He had the look of a man who perhaps had lived on the streets for a time.

Anyone seeing him on the street would probably make a quick judgement of him and move on.

I shared a couple of conversations with him, while he stayed there.

Mostly I listened. Listened to him tell me about the long list of health problems he had. And about his life at the halfway house he usually stayed at. He seemed pretty upbeat, considering the shape he was in. I remember him telling me how proud he was that he had dentures. And he even took his dentures out to show me. lol

At this community centre, everyone who stayed there was given a task to do, in order to contribute to the centre. Everyone could pick what they wanted to do. Usually people decided what they wanted to do and discussed it with the others. There was little arguing about it. It was a very small thing but it was good for each person’s self-esteem. The feeling that they too could do their part.

Well the other people at the centre had doubts about this man being able to do one of the tasks. And the tasks were light and simple. Loading the dishwasher. Wiping the counter. Emptying the ash trays in the TV room. Stuff like that.

When I talked to the man who looked twenty years older than the age he told me (he did look like he had lived a hard life), he was upset because he really wanted to do a task but felt like he wasn’t capable like the others.

So I gently showed him how to wipe the counters in the kitchen. I told him how easy it was and encouraged him to try. So he did it himself and he was so very proud of doing it! It was such a small thing but it totally made his day. And it made my day because for a moment I had helped someone feel better about themselves.

I think about this man from time to time. How a moment of kindness to him made him feel so important and useful.

And I think about him from time to time when I find myself judging someone who crosses my path.

I remember how other people did not think much of him, and his ability to do a small task.

And I think about how my words, good and bad, affect people much more than I realize sometimes.

And then I try to be gentle and forgive myself, for judging others, once again.

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Video Montage: The Flow
Following the flow of the universe, with a photo montage I created. The song is "Twisted Hair" by Robbie Robertson & The Red Road Ensemble, featuring the sublime operatic voice of Sioux singer Bonnie Jo Hunt, who sings over the sound of crickets.
Also posted on youtube:

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