Judge not.

Judge Not.

I could see the contempt in her eyes. She only half-listened to me telling the story of how I’d reconnected with my past love. As I continued to speak, I didn’t let on that I noticed her shifting eye contact every so often from mine to stare pointedly at another friend across the table who’d already heard the news. If her capital-L Look could talk, it would’ve screamed with disdain, “Can you BELIEVE this shit? Why is she being such an idiot?!?”.

After spotting her Look two more times, I kept my face neutral and wrapped the story without much detail. Her forced congratulations and smile had only the faintest tinge of restrained sarcasm.

It’s that Look that still haunts me.

I know I should not care. I should float onward in my pink cloud of happiness. I should tell myself to dismiss the opinions of assholes someone who does not truly know me or the extent of our story. I should laugh at the ridiculousness of small people with big attitudes.

But the hurt still lingers.

She wasn’t the first to fling cynicism in my direction and I know she won’t be the last. It would’ve been impractical to expect 100% support from everyone in my circle when I revealed this plot twist. I counted on some backlash. I knew there’d be raised eyebrows, a few snide comments, and more than a little rehashing of the relationship’s blemishes. Those with whom I was most afraid of sharing the news? They shocked me with their immediate acceptance and genuine delight in my joy. Others that I didn’t even fathom as a potential risk have been the ones to blindside me with sarcasm, negativity or in worst cases, both.  Luckily, the latter of the reactions have been the exception.

But as exciting as it’s been to tell everyone the news, it’s also fucking exhausting to feel like I have to don medieval armor and go to war to convince people that I’m sure our love is what I want. I shouldn’t have to do that. Not for anyone.

The most difficult days have been when my emotional shield is not very strong. In those times, when I’m feeling vulnerable and don’t have the ability to raise my heart-fists for protection, I simply want someone to say (and mean) that they are happy for me. When my feelings receive yet another unasked-for slap, that is when I struggle the most with this entire scenario. On these very bad days, I’m lucky that I only have to pick up the phone to feel the balm of his love cover my bruised heart.

We, as humans, we judge. We size up one another’s lives, loves, jobs and kids. And for what? To compare their stuff with our stuff? To make ourselves feel better (or worse) about what we have (or don’t have)?  To voice our own assessment of someone else’s life choices, so that we can be “right” by our own definition of the word? At the end of the day, what is the end result of all this comparison, other than unneeded and utterly destructive self-criticism? Or on the flip side, is it belittling others purely for personal pride?  It’s absurd, yet we are all guilty to some extent.  I only wish I were brave enough in the moment to ask these judgy people if their love stories were completely without trials and tests. If they managed to somehow never screw up a day in their lives. Or if they’d never gone through a period in which they struggled mightily with their own demons.  Because I’m damn sure that they are no better or worse than I. No one is immune from life’s face-plants.

The only conclusion that I keep landing on is this: I cannot live my life or make my decisions simply to please others.  I need to accept that in what should be a time of celebration, not everyone will be genuinely happy for me. Instead, I should focus on how blessed I am to have the love and support of the large majority of my crew. And of course, revel in the love of a very good man who feels like he’s won the lottery every time he makes me laugh. Which is often. Lucky me.

Judge me if you want. I still win.

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Judge not.

19 Responses

  1. Love is never easy and they are not supportive because they are jealous. Yes, you have had your problems, but you were both different people and the fact that you have found your way back to each other, are able to communicate the issues, makes your love that much stronger. Many people do not get a second chance. I wish I was as lucky as you are to have one.

    Screw them all. This is your life and a true friend will have your back regardless of what you decide.

    Jules May 7, 2013 at 6:38 pm #
    • Jules, I heart you. Thanks for the kind words and badass comment.

      50Peach May 7, 2013 at 7:32 pm #
  2. I got this a lot when I rekindled the romance with a past love. A lot of people shunned me, judged me, but WHATEVER – we’re happily married, now.
    No judgment from me. :)

    Natalie the Singingfool May 7, 2013 at 6:49 pm #
    • Natalie, you may not realize it, but your feedback on this series has helped give me faith that it DOES work out. So, thank you for getting it and sharing your side.

      50Peach May 7, 2013 at 7:34 pm #
  3. Holy High Five! Hash Tag Hash Tag Hash Tag HAPPY! and #pow! I’m smiling down to my toes.

    Netstr May 7, 2013 at 7:12 pm #
    • hashtag hashtag back at ya! Luhyah, girlie.

      50Peach May 7, 2013 at 7:37 pm #
  4. I’ve learned a lot about second chances in the past five or so years. And my most profound lesson has been that a second chance coming from a place of soul-searching, compassion, love, a true understanding of what went wrong the first time around, and a commitment to fix it and move forward is a miraculous gift.

    You and your man have found something in each other that is wonderful and rare, and you owe it to yourselves to explore it. Forget about what everyone else says, and enjoy the beautiful ride. You deserve it, and all the happiness you can grab.

    Samantha Brinn Merel May 7, 2013 at 8:13 pm #
    • Wow. Sam, that first paragraph nailed it. It makes me wonder if you’ve written yet about your story. :) Regardless, I’m certain that you have been through this conundrum, with your summary of the most vital components. I’d only add one more: an acceptance of what happened in the past and a leaving it there – not letting it live in the present. It’s part of the understanding process, but also has to be let go.

      I so happy for your miraculous gift and so grateful for your understanding. Thank you.

      50Peach May 7, 2013 at 8:47 pm #
  5. I’m kinda surprised at the negativity. Could it be that they saw you so hurt before and are just worried for you? (I always hope for the kindest interpretation). But you are right in that you don’t need that. And anyone that is really judging you instead of just being concerned for you? You don’t need them. I loved your last line, so perfect. You do win.

    Stacie May 7, 2013 at 8:31 pm #
    • Stacie, your kind heart is why I like you so much. (I’m the same.) And yes, with some it does come from a place of fierce protection and/or badly worded good intentions. From others, not so much. Appreciate the love, as always. xo

      50Peach May 7, 2013 at 8:50 pm #
  6. Everyone judges us from family to friends to cocky people. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years in earth, it’s not to worry about everyone’s judgements. They eventually forget about you & go on with themselves. At the end of the day, you’re the one who’s left to with it…so always do what you want. And next time you get an eyeroll or snide comment, pause in your story & tell them you’ll continue when they’re done with their judgy moment.

    galarza9 May 8, 2013 at 8:54 am #
    • Rarrwrrrr! I WILL! Thank you. :)

      50Peach May 13, 2013 at 6:19 pm #
  7. yes, you win! :)

    icescreammama May 8, 2013 at 5:18 pm #
    • Heart you, mama. :)

      50Peach May 9, 2013 at 8:52 am #
  8. I was just reading through some old posts, because I am so behind in blog reading! I hadn’t even realized you were back together with your ex! I just read that post, though, it it made me smile :)

    People and their judgements. Sigh. It is one of the things that I very consicously avoid doing now, because it really hurts when people do it to me. The thing is, no one knows what will make you happy better than you do. I am currently in the process of making a HUGE decision, and I have been so careful in who I told, because I can’t deal with the negativity right now. I don’t mind if they express some negativity, as long as they can express positivity, too. But those that just rule out the situation, without even hearing you? It’s awful. And useless, because then I don’t hear what they have to say anymore, even if some of their points are vaild.

    Just be happy for people, people!! That’s my shout to the world today :)

    I am happy for you!! Love and true connections are precious, so to miss out on the chance to have it based on principle because things didn’t work out last time would be sad.

    Kianwi May 12, 2013 at 8:21 am #
    • And I shouted your shout on Twitter this morning. It is the truth. Happiness is far too fleeting to let it be shat upon by insignificant people. There’s my quote for the day. Ha!

      50Peach May 15, 2013 at 8:46 am #
  9. I know it is easier said than done but find your inner Jersey Girl and for the moment let your southern peach slide. All too often we feel the need to explain ourselves to people who don’t really give a flying f*@k in the first place. So here are my two fave quotes , the first is from me and less eloquent than the second but here goes. “Who cares?” I say this often. To my friends who are upset by the morons in their lives and to myself because basically as long as your LOVE loves you back and the people who matter are safe the rest is just noise. On to the other quote as promised, “Never explain yourself. Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it.”
    – Belgicia Howell
    Stay peachy girlie! xoxoxo

    Christine May 15, 2013 at 8:39 am #
    • Christine, you’re such a badass. My inner Jersey Girl is still in there somewhere. Adore the quotes… both of them! You rock my face.

      50Peach May 15, 2013 at 8:54 am #
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