My mind is guilty of jumping to conclusions, passing judgment and making assumptions. How often do you see someone who is pretty and thin and think skinny bitch? I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve thought it and then I have to check myself. First, why bitch? What has this woman done to warrant such a moniker from me – exist in my presence? Second, how do I know she doesn’t struggle with weight the same way the rest of us do? My personal weight journey has taught me you never know what is going on in someone’s mind.
READ: How I Quit Dieting
Someone who is always thin and looks like they have it all figured out could be suffering from a debilitating eating disorder and the woman going for a second helping of dessert (usually me), may just really like dessert and this is all there is to it. I am working on retraining my mind – there’s no need for me to judge, because really who cares?! What does expending energy on judging others get me? Negativity gets me nothing.
I was recently walking into a store with my family (husband carrying our 3 year old with wild curls who would ideally like her feet to never touch the ground if daddy is able to hold her, and I’m pushing the double stroller with my 13 month old twins). When out and about, I oftentimes feel like we are a parade. We are a moving party and a scene to behold. I do not fault people; I would do a double-take upon seeing identical twins and a cute toddler.
Anyway, as we are walking into the store I notice a couple with two darling little blonde girls and I see the mom is visibly pregnant. I remember how annoyed I got every time someone commented on my big baby bump when I was pregnant, so I make it a point to just smile in a mom’s direction and go about my business. Still, in this situation I was really struck by how “put together” this very pregnant mom looked. She looked styled, glowing, her daughters were dressed adorably, and she had her handsome husband with her. I just thought, “She’s got it all together; she is blessed.” I saw her looking at me, because we’re a parade and I’m used to the stares now, but she said, “I just bought the same double stroller. I’m pregnant with twins.” My response, “Wow, you look awwwwwesome! How many weeks are you?” She said she’s 36 weeks and expects to deliver in the next two weeks. I congratulated her on the twin pregnancy, especially for getting to 36 weeks gestation because delivering before 37 weeks is not ideal for any pregnancy, especially with multiples. I told her how wonderful she looks and she immediately shared how crummy she’s been feeling, and how she really doesn’t feel put together at all, etc. This was a lesson learned for me because my assumptions were not reality. I saw her as a maternal goddess à la Boticelli’s Birth of Venus, and she just felt tired and large.
What I have learned is you just never know what experiences someone is walking through in their lives. The young woman with a shaved head standing ahead of you in line to get coffee may look totally cool for rockin’ a buzzed haircut you would never attempt. You think, this cut must have cost her at least $100 at a super trendy salon and I would need a lot of confidence to shave my head like her. She is badass with her bold haircut. What you may not know is she just battled cancer. Her awesome do’ from the trendy salon was actually just her husband’s electric razor in their kitchen because she was losing all her hair to chemotherapy treatments. Even then, you may think she’s so brave to cut her hair this way, but she was just thinking, “I’m going to lose my hair, cancer sucks.”
We all have our story and it’s OK. What I am learning every day is to focus on my story instead of thinking about someone else’s journey. This is a challenge, but passing judgment and making assumptions is a waste of energy. I’m going to invest my thoughts and energy on the people who matter in my life and send everyone else love and light because you just never know what they are experiencing. Besides, sending a little extra positivity never hurts.