Over a decade ago, wanting a simpler life, our family moved to the middle of the country. As city dwellers this was a huge change for us on basic levels, but what it did for my tendency to judge was fill my heart with compassion. Living on the West Coast it was so easy to dismiss everyone else as not as cool, intelligent or cutting edge. Not knowing anyone in the “fly over” states we were able to quickly dismiss them as unimportant. What a mistake we had made, not in moving, but in dismissing the depth and richness of spirit of those around us.
Making the change from city snob to simple kindness wasn’t easy, but the lessons are ones that will live with me forever. Having a cool heart isn’t the life I ever wanted, softening into love is a powerful place to be and I am grateful that my neighbors and friends allowed me to stumble into their lives without grace or understanding.
It is so easy to fall into the place where we judge everyone around us. We learn this early on the playground to exclude anyone we don’t think is worthy of our time and energy. That self-selecting by keeping everyone at bay may trick us into thinking we are the cool kids, but what it really does is stops us from seeing just how amazing everyone is around us. Putting out the vibe that you are better than everyone else just keeps you separate.
After several years of living in the rural countryside I was lonely, which was my own fault for putting up so many barriers. You can’t keep pushing people around you away and have friends too. So, I made the decision to just like people where they were. Not to judge where they came from, how they chose to live their lives, what their belief system or politics were. All of that was just superficial to who they were in their hearts.
It was a big leap to let all of that go, but it was critical to living my life authentically and to not being lonely.
So, just like that, I let it go. I allowed people to be where they were in life and let them into mine. Sure, we are different people with different ideas about what are right, cool and good; but somewhere in there we find something we agree on and meet there.
That decision, to just love people and stop judging them, created a diverse community of folks that I can call on to do all kinds of things. There is never a reason for me to be lonely because there is always someone out there who just might be interested in doing something I want to do or I can join them on their adventures.
Last summer I returned home to the West Coast for a conference filled with people who haven’t made that leap. People who haven’t decided to jump in and see what people who aren’t like them at all can bring to the party; it was eye opening. I would have never thought our leap into the middle of nowhere would have landed us into the richest part of our lives. Being able to see everyone for their value and worth is a gift that everyone can have; you just have to leap into love.
I love this word art from Creations by StarrC on Etsy. Fun!