There is something I have to tell my friends. Something that makes me afraid that they will either not believe me or for which I will be judged. I am terrified of that actually. But I have found that the best way to deal with your worst fears is to face them head on. Don’t hide from them at all. Ever.
I already told the worst judge. He made snarky comments and acted quite callous. But that is why I chose to practice on him. If I could tell him, then I could face any critic. The result has been a sense of relief.
Sure, we are judged every day in one way or another. People judge us on how we look, what we say, how we act, the work we do, how much money we make, the kind of car we drive. You name it, we are judged by it.
And there is a large part of me who says, fuck them. Don’t let yourself care about what anyone thinks about you, or how they might judge you. And for the most part that is the way I live my life. I am me, if you don’t like me, you can find the door. But I am human. And it is different when it is people for which you care a great deal. People who mean something to you. It is different when there is humiliation, shame and embarrassment involved.
So I will gather my friends over in the next night. And I will tell them that which I am ashamed, embarrassed and feel humiliated by. And I hope they do not judge me. My friends are my heart, and it will break my heart if they do. But that is the thing about broken hearts – you survive. You keep going. You may hurt, but life goes on, Judgment or not.
I did a similar thing when I was 20, and I told my friends that I was not a virgin. That may sound trivial to most reading, but in the Bible Belt South, where all of my friends believed that if you had sex before marriage you were going to be sent to burn in Hell for eternity, and anyone who had sex before marriage was a whore not to be associated with, it was putting the scarlet letter on myself, inviting judgment. It was the fat kid in school volunteering to step on the scale in front of everyone to be laughed at. And it was terrifying. (Yes, I know that is not the politically correct thing to say – the fat kid – but this is my blog. If you don’t like it get your own blog and be politically correct.)
But I could not live a lie and let everyone think that I was something that I was not. Honesty, integrity and honor are very important to me. So I gathered them all up and told them anyway. Some left. And it hurt me right down to my core. But most stayed and said they loved me anyway and gave me big hugs for having the courage to stand up and tell them.
And life went on. And I have still had a wonderful and happy life. No doubt this will be the same. But it doesn’t make it any easier, it just makes me know that I will be just fine, either way.
So if you judge me, or anyone, do so lightly. Because there is a human being underneath, who may be scared, hurt and ashamed.
It reminds me of a toast my mother taught me long ago:
Here’s to you,
Here’s to me
May be never disagree
But if we do,
To Hell with you!
Here’s to me!