By Guest Blogger Tracy Huneycutt

Let’s also say good-bye to a few other things…

I won’t go into all of the details of what type of year this has been. You lived through it, you know. 2020 has changed everyone to some degree; some for the better, others for the worse.

Throughout this year, I started to regrettably discover something about myself, and frankly, about other people, too. As women, as mothers, as humans, some of us allowed 2020 to unearth our judgmental natures. Social media and real-life alike exposed that at our core, many of us believe we are right and that others are wrong. We saw it on our Facebook feeds, on the nightly news, even standing in line – six feet apart – at Costco.

~ “Covid is overblown; We’re not taking Covid seriously enough.”
~ “Masks take away one’s freedoms; Masks help us not to spread the virus.”
~ “You are a bad parent if you decide to keep your child at home; You are a bad parent if you decide to let your child go out.”
~ “We should only go back to school remotely; We should allow children to safely return to school.”

I won’t even get started on what all we said and did in regards to political differences.

We may have found ourselves exhibiting unfamiliar behaviors. We may have said some strong, unkind words about others while venting to our partner. We may have unfriended or unfollowed people we once loved on social media. We may have had virtual or in-person screaming matches with those we disagreed with. We may have secretly (or not so secretly) fumed at the grocery store when someone stood too close to us or wasn’t wearing a mask. We may have allowed our frustrations to spill over to our family lives, snapping at our children and spouse over trivial things. We may have been irritable to customers or co-workers while at work. And even more so, we may have possibly found ourselves on a moral high-ground of our own making, believing that everyone who felt differently than us – even if it was our closest friends and family members – had fallen from our graces.

How did we let it get to that point? Maybe passing judgment helped us to rationalize and work through our own choices. Maybe we were secretly terrified of all the unknowns, and therefore not acting in our right frame of mind. Or maybe we had always quietly delivered judgments towards others, and the unrest of 2020 brought it more to the surface. If you were like me, I fought make-believe battles in my head with others over numerous topics, over numerous months. I found myself flabbergasted to be at odds with people I loved and were very close to. I decided to finally hit the brakes; even if we are wrong but absolutely think we are right, it can be lonely at the top.

I realized that friendships and family were much more important than opinions. I realized that I would rather be amongst people whom I loved than separated by a viewpoint. That didn’t mean I abandoned my own beliefs, especially if they were ones I researched and felt strongly about; it meant I was not going to let differences dictate how I felt about or treated others. I admitted to myself that I had a problem; “Hello, my name is _________, and I judge others.”  If I was going to allow 2020 to change me for the better, I needed to humble myself and begin a journey towards non-judgment.

As we move towards 2021, I have a resolution that I hope many of us will adopt together… an awareness that – as women, as mothers, as humans – our individual circumstances shape our views. Our individual health needs (physical and mental,) our individual family dynamics, our individual incomes and employment situations, our individual backgrounds and pasts, our individual religious beliefs, and our individual fears and concerns dictate our choices. Sometimes there is no one right answer; sometimes the answer is what is right for us.

Sometimes the best thing we can say to someone else is:
~ “Although I feel differently, I will not chastise your choice.”
~ “Although I choose differently, you are my friend and I support your decision.”
~ “Even though I believe differently than you, how can I support you through how you feel?”

In 2021, I believe we can be one step closer to coveted peace if we collectively and lovingly embrace this mindset. And if you decide not to make avoiding judgments one of your New Year’s resolutions…. well, I won’t judge you. 😊  Happy New Year to all!

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”  – Mother Teresa

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