Lately, when I am feeling judged and angry, I go outside and look at the sky or stand in nature. I contemplate the earth, sit or walk and watch the plants grow. I take Sam to the playground and watch him run. I feel grateful for Sam.
I then think about the world as greater than self and wonder why we were put here in the first place. Most of the time I think that the world would have been better off if we had all been born with no capacity to judge.
Sam doesn’t judge. He just thinks you are a friend just by meeting you. Automatically. That is his innate nature.
I have been having many conversations about judgment. I told a friend that I had been learning about fight, flight or freeze mode and that I knew as a society, we still have a lot of evolving to do. My friend said that judgment goes back to the cavemen days where people needed to judge in order to survive. She said people are still working on their development and that we use judgment as a way to determine if someone is a threat. That judgment is a way that people can keep themselves safe.
When it comes to Sam, my son, we get a lot of judgment. People want to know why Sam is small for his age, why he has a feeding tube and if Sam will be able to live independently in the future. People want to know why Sam screams. I have been asked many times what Sam’s life expectancy is. Will he die before my husband and myself? Their tone of voice is usually heightened, their body language is closed off and sometimes the person may have a look of disgust on their face.
I am not sure how the need for self preservation also triggers these questions. How anyone could see Sam as a threat, but fear is real and what you don’t know threatens you.
We are different as a medically complex family. But we are caring, fun and we are safe to get to know. Sam is smart, funny and full of care and love. Sam likes to make friends and wants to give everyone a high five. Sam sees you as a person first and knows you are worthy of becoming his friend just by being you.
I am taking Sam’s lessons to heart every day and my friends. People will judge and they will fear us. But I know that every person is struggling. That they are sizing people up because they are trying to answer these very heavy life questions. Every person is worthy of getting to know. Sam has taught me that fear and judgment will remain, but I can choose to react positively.