Tag Archives: relationships

Jerks and Judgment

Thoughts About How To Deal With Judgment, Jerks and Find Justice Through It All

Let’s face it. We all have jerks in our lives. Those folks who get under our skin and irritate the bejeebers out of us. And that’s okay.  This world would be one dimensional if we all had daisy-picking-happy-go-lucky people in our lives. It takes the cantankerous among us to bring out authentic understanding in our perception.

So what do we do with these people? In truth, I don’t know. That’s why I’m struggling writing this post.  I want to make a point; I have something valuable to share, but I’m not sure how to present this value.

I guess this post boils down to a quote I was left with after watching that Steve Jobs movie.  At the end of the movie, Jobs and his daughter had a meeting of the minds.  She asked him why her own father was so distant with her.  Jobs responded with the most elegant and simple response.  He said: “I’m poorly made.”   That left me speechless.  That statement also made me think.

There is something justifying and uplifting about coming clean about being ‘poorly made’ to someone you know you’ve damaged.  If you’ve not been on either side of this argument, then this post isn’t going to make any sense. But, if perchance you have been in this situation, please read on.

Admitting we are flawed to someone we have hurt is cathartic. It is cleansing and healing for both ourselves and the damaged party.  It mends fences, and creates a new bridge that aids in bringing hearts back together.

I know I’ve been a jerk.  Sometimes the last thing I want to do is admit it.  And I’m not talking about the occasional ‘I messed up’ kinda jerk.  I’m talking about being fundamentally damaged to the point when in certain situations I can be a raging jackass.

As a result, there have been a few times when I’ve had to do some major soul searching.  And yeah, I’ve made a few humble pies, and presented them to folks I’ve hurt.  While doing so, I’ve made the same simple statement Jobs did in that movie.  I’ve clearly seen how impaired I am, and all I can say is: “I’m sorry, but I’m broken.”

The people who respond by saying: “I know. It’s okay. I love you anyway.”  Those are angels in my life. Those moments are the biggest gift life has ever given me.

On the flip side, when confessing that I’m just screwed up in some ways and the response is aggression or derision – well, I just chalk it up to those other folks going through their own life lessons.

Judgment walks in on this post when it comes to how we treat others, and how they treat us back.  For inexplicable reasons, when I’ve been forgiven for admitting I’m a jerk and there is a complete absence of judgment..those are the most blessed moments.  But there are other times when I know without a doubt I am being judged, and I’m NOT being a jerk – I’m just being me, and being poorly judged for who I am.

I pride myself on being the least judgmental person on this planet. But lately, I’m not sure that’s realistic.  We all judge others.  It’s just human nature.  I think the difference is some of us love others anyway, and could care less what they do (with the exception of others hurting other people or animals).

So what do we do with the jerks in our lives?  I think it’s a guarantee we’re going to judge them on some level.  I think that’s healthy – it helps us figure out where that jerk is coming from, and understand why they are behaving as they are.

The jerks who come to us with a pleading, simple statement that says: “I’m sorry. I’m poorly built.”  I think these people need all the love they can get.  To other people who are jerks, and they refuse to address the issue – well….I really don’t know what to say about that.  Some jerks won’t budge.  Some jerks don’t even know they are jerks!

I guess the best advice I have for this sticky wicket is this:  Judge lightly.  Love largely.  Admit openly if you have truly done wrong to another.  Forgive and forget when a jerk comes to you and confesses his or her flaws and apologizes for hurting you.

All this may seem very simple.  Or maybe it doesn’t.  Some of these things seem very complicated to me.  So that’s why I wrote this post. Maybe it offers perspective.  Or maybe it’s confusing.  Either way, I hope it makes you think about how we affect the people around us.

As always, thanks for reading,

Love,

Avia

Friends, Foes, Family, Toads

I’ve got a friend. I call her ‘Mayura’.  It is the Sanskrit name for peacock.  If she reads this post, she’ll know exactly what I mean.

Anyway, I’ve known Mayura for a long time…over twenty years.  I’ve had the honor of seeing her grow up.  She grew up in a thoroughly challenging environment.

Mayura reminds me of a lotus flower.  Did you know that for all its loveliness, the lotus flower is born in some pretty stinky conditions?  Yep. In fact, the more putrid its environment, often the lotus blossom becomes ever more pure, powerful and gorgeous.  It is a supreme, symbolic example of beauty finding a place in the midst of pretty crappy places.  This also, makes the lotus a sacred flower in ancient Asian cultures.  There is a remarkable quality to anything that can flourish and offer elegance in a chaotic, sometimes icky world.

At any rate…Mayura and I have somehow kept in touch over time.  We’ve been ‘radio silent’ for years, only to pick right back up as if time has never passed.  This, my friends, is a luxury I hope you all can experience at least once in your lives.

Mayura and I have been talking about human relationships lately.  I adore how she views things.  She has an expanded, helicopter view of interpersonal dynamics.  I dunno how she does it.  Maybe she was born with this laser-like view into the human soul.  She knows herself and she knows others…it is almost as if she holds people up into the light and she can see through them…like she is seeing through the transparency of a person…like she can see the other page behind the cover of the book that is the human.

I wish I had been (and could be presently) as savvy as Mayura.  She is 20 some-odd years my junior, but this woman has insight and wisdom coming out her ears, and beyond her years.

So what’s my point to all this?  You know I always want to give you something…some kind of take-away point.

Well, as I said…Mayura and I have been talking about the ups and downs of dealing with people.  Doesn’t matter if friend, foe or family…dealing with people can be a dicey prospect.  Actually, dealing with those closest to us can be more challenging than dealing with strangers off the street.

We shared a little about our experiences with feelings of guilt, betrayal, love, loyalty…you know…all that stuff all people should coffee-klatch about sometime in our lives.  One of the things I love about Mayura is she makes me think.  She makes me go deep and internalize some really heavy stuff that sometimes I’d rather not visit.

Nevertheless…while discussing a particular touching moment in our lives, I shared an infinitesimal bit of fluff with her.  It wasn’t my most shining moment of advice-giving.  It was not a wise, sage-filled statement I made.  In fact, I’m pretty sure my words to her were, in some ways, hauntingly hopeless.

But were they?

Somehow, we got to talking about the idea of people changing.  We all want to give people the benefit of the doubt.  We especially always want to keep loving and believing in our friends and family.  Even our foes…our ‘frienemies’ – at some point we had a connection with these people…they didn’t become our enemies for no reason.  Nope.  Often, an enemy was once a friend.

So what do we do with the people in our lives who we so desperately want to love, to trust, to believe in….yet they somehow always seem to disappoint us?

This is what I said to Mayura  in response:

“I think people can modify.  We can rise above, improve,  adjust….but at our core…I think that nugget of true ‘self’ is nestled within us like a little toad.

The only true hope we have of true transformation is if we love our inner toadie, and let it snuggle in tight within us, and love it warts and all. Contrarily, there are those of us who ignore the roosting toad….which causes that soggy thing to rot and become poisonous.

We are who we are.  Our only chance is to embrace or reject it.  And….I hope you understand what I’m saying…because if I have nothing in this life to give…my little observation about inner toadies is about all the wisdom I have.”

Lame?  Yeah, maybe.  But relevant?  Yeah, I think so.

What is your inner toad doing within you?  What is the inner toad doing within your friends, family or foes?  Is it twitching, torturing? Chilling out?  Consider it.  -Makes a big difference within ourselves and with those whom we interact.

Just thinking.

May all your interactions be filled with revelation.

Brightest,

Avia