I have two memories floating through my mind. The first? I’m ashamed of it but have to acknowledge its reality, my own judgement of another:
She’s just dealing with emotional baggage from the past. If only she’d sort it through, her symptoms would disappear, her health would return and we wouldn’t be dealing with this mess!”
The second thought was from a few years later, when battling my own sickness:
Why doesn’t anyone get it? This isn’t a demon, its not a generational sin or a stronghold, its not ‘something from my past’ flaring up! I’M SICK!
But before entering into my own health problems, it was incredibly easy for me to pass judgement on those who were struggling in this regard. I wasn’t trying to be harmful! I just didn’t know what to do with the situation. It was easy to avoid, to ignore the issue. And let’s be honest: it takes emotional energy to listen to a difficult story. I never cared much for emotion!
Suddenly plunged into sickness with a bleak reality staring me in the face, people adding to my burden, flippant or demanding comments shaking me as words never had before, I was suddenly shifted into a world I’d never known!
Words hurt! Lack of words hurt. Actions were offensive! Passivity frustrated me. While normal, I could have addressed people, processed their words and led them to better understand my situation. At the present time? I couldn’t. My rationale was so foggy, so disturbed, so unbalanced that my ability to process wasn’t there. Words where like swords that cut and sliced. My own sword wasn’t available to parry! I needed some space!
In the heart of health issues, I finally realized that instead of putting myself back into those situations where I would be hurt all over again, I needed space. I needed time away from those whose comments bogged me down and caused more disturbance and inward struggle.
This isn’t a license to sit back and adopt the mindset that everyone is out to get you, to victimize yourself and having a pity-party in the back room. You do need to forgive, should fight for it, should search for the truth of the situation.
But with a sickness that affects the brain, sometimes you need a bit of space and in my situation, that was ok.
Interestingly enough? Once my mind began clearing,
I realized they were doing what I had done. Not so long ago, I was standing in their shoes. I was the one who didn’t get it! I was the one who was flippantly voicing my opinions without any knowledge of the situation. I had done the same!
I didn’t leave the walls in place! When I could process things (a year or two later), I stepped back up. I acknowledged that I had been hurt. I acknowledged that I was unusually vulnerable and sensitive during that time. I acknowledged that I hadn’t even known what to do with myself! I acknowledged for the sake of relationship and what I had been forgiven by God that I needed to let go of the hurt and move forward.
And then I stepped into others’ shoes to understand their perspective. I had most of my past, with its mindset and attitudes to help me!
Remember from where you have come and you’ll soon see that passing judgement on others is to place it on yourself.