I told several people the story, thinking they would find it as amusing as I did, but I was surprised at the answer that I got from almost every one of them: "Did you do it? No judgement."
I know they were sort of joking, sort of kidding. But what bothered me was the amount of truth in what they were saying. I was confused that they would think it even a possibility for me. And, truthfully, I was discouraged that they wouldn't judge me. At least in that situation.
So, I'm putting it out there: I want to be judged. I guess I can't choose just one kind of judgement, so I'll open myself up to it all. Clearly I don't want hateful and mean judgement, the kind that ruins friendships and lives. And of course some judgements are out of place, misinformed, or just plain wrong.
But if you know me, and you know I'm living below my standards, below decency, below myself: I want people to tell me. I want them to correct me. I want them to judge me. I've heard it said that there is nothing more discouraging than when people stop trying to correct you; it means they no longer care and they've given up on you. I agree with that. I can't imagine something more lonely. And so, I want those that are closest to me to expect more of me than I think I can give; I want them to encourage me to do more and be more; I want them to -- lovingly -- help me become better. (Ha. LOVE ME!)
I appreciate the sentiment of "no judgement" -- professing that unconditional love. But in situations where the two choices are clearly good or bad -- I don't want people accepting "bad" from me. That doesn't mean that they have to stop loving me or that recognizing "bad" means they have less love. I appreciate love, and I -- as I've said before -- really want to embody it as best I can.
But, clearly, if people thought I would engage in that behavior several weeks ago, I haven't been embodying what I want. I've been concerned lately about who I'm becoming. And by "lately," I mean for the last few years. (I'm sure I've written about this before.) I'm not sure if it's a reflection of me, or of others, but I get discouraged especially when I feel like no one expects or encourages more. It seems they almost encourage me to falter and fail, so they can prove they won't judge me. This just won't work for me. I think a little accountability could be good for all of us.
It's been bothering me long enough. I'm going on a kick of self-improvement, and so I offer it again, an open invitation: "I hope you judge me."