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“The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.” Jiddu Krishnamurti

“We are all hypocrites. We cannot see ourselves or judge ourselves the way we see and judge others.” Jose Emilio Pacheco

“People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.”  Albert Camus

“No one truly knows what they will do in a certain situation until they are actually in it. It's very easy to judge someone else's actions by what you assume your own would be, if you were in their shoes. But we only know what we THINK we would do, not what we WOULD do.”  Ashly Lorenzana

Over the years I have slowly lost my ability to have all the answers. I discover that I can forgive myself for the times I don't have answers or responses for problems. I can't always make someone feel better or find solution. I lost my ability to know what should be done but I think I have grown up.

Are there answers or is truth an illusion? At times we believe we know what someone should say or do to make things better. We have faith that our answers are the remedy. We  never consider why we might be wrong. We are sure we have all the answers. Have you ever considered your truth was false along with your perspective? When two people are fighting they are both wrong because they only see their own side.  The truth is found when both parties accept the fault without the percentages. ...continue reading "Having All The Answers Is Impossible"

So  much gets lost in the translation as days and even years pass. A past remembrance is not considering the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual state of the person at that moment in time. How does one recall the issues and burdens they  were experiencing? How do we know the influences we had? How was our judgment? How mature or immature were we? What were our beliefs jobs living arrangements? There are so many unanswered questions that lead us to consider it is fruitless to trust our recollection of past events. We don't understand the state of mind and body. People have answers at a later point in time but may be clueless during the event.

We believe we were less guilty and deserve less blame. We believe the problems were started by the other person. That is human nature. Do we place too much emphasis on appearing perfect? Can we show weakness? If we allowed weakness perhaps there would be less lies and secrets. We praise only winners yet it is harder to admit defeat than state winning. Do we think  our ideas are correct?  find out in time that we don't have all the  answers all of the time. We discover how much information is required before we can conclude anything.

It is a human desire to support another with advice. It is human nature to judge another's choices when they disagrees with our own. Each person picks  for themselves. Our answers are personal. Past events are recalled with our perception of the past. It doesn't make us right or wrong. We use our own lens  to discern truth. Guilt is unnecessary, The past is over. The past shouldn't dominate the present. We chose past answers based on an array of mental physical and emotional health and needs. Perhaps someone else would choose differently. We can only walk in our own shoes and learn from our own mistakes.

We never had all of the answers and we never will. The best we can do is never deliberately hurt another individual. We can live our own lives and try to move forward each time we learn a lesson. The lessons can be harsh and hurtful. Instead of blaming anyone for our pain we must be thankful for the lesson which helped us to grow beyond what we were. We have choices always.  We can learn from hurtful past events and become a better person or we can stay linked to them and be afraid to let them go. We don't have all the answers, cannot control others nor blame them for our predicaments. Moving forward means letting go of guilt and blame and embracing the future. Life teaches us lessons about living and living teaches us how to let go and love.

“When it comes to privacy and accountability, people always demand the former for themselves and the latter for everyone else.”     David Brin

“When one experiences truth, the madness of finding fault with others disappears.” S.N. Goenka

“Often people that criticise your life are usually the same people that don't know the price you paid to get where you are today. True friends see the full picture of your soul.” Shannon L. Alder

“We practically always excuse things when we understand them” Mlikhail Lermontov

“When we make judgements we're inevitably acting on limited knowledge, isn't it best to ask if we seek to understand, or simply let them be?” Jay Woodman

“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”
A. A. Milne

“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.” Henry Ward Beecher

“If you didn't grow up like I did then you don't know, and if you don't know it's probably better you don't judge.” Junot Díaz

“Can you look without the voice in your head commenting, drawing conclusions, comparing, or trying to figure something out?” Eckhart Tolle

We are all guilty at times of making judgments. It sounds simple enough when we are occupied with choosing paint colors styles of clothing or what we want to do, read, accomplish or study. We feel justified in making all sorts of judgments especially about people and situations. So what is the problem? Why worry about our judgments of people and situations? Is it harming anyone? The answers are that it does harm people, many issues arise from our uninformed judgments, we cause lots of problems for others and ourselves and we test the patience of friends family and co-workers. The trouble that gets stirred up many times results in major or minor fallout's.

Reflecting on the reasons we have the need to judge is a conflicted task that many of us do not engage in. Our judgments are based on questionable information. The golden rule of thinking before speaking has been totally ignored in preference of "truth" as we perceive  it and that is the key. What we might perceive as truth is not what another believes is honesty. Our opinions differ and we can debate until the morrow who is more or less correct and never agree on the answer. Is it boiling down to allowing judgments to fall away? Is it time to rethink what we thought was working? Is it working when it suits our needs and desires? Do judgments appear to be elusive and up to the person doing the assessments? ...continue reading "Judgements"

I am one of the most opinionated people I know and I am aware of how many times my judgments were off base or biased or self promoting. I am not sure now if anyone or anything can deliver an unbiased opinion. Once we announce a ruling on a person  object or idea we maintain the ruling.  we make poor  rulings but never go back to correct it or acknowledge it. What we perceive as the truth can  change on any given day. We use the excuses of people things or circumstances change but is that the whole truth?

I see it more as not having all of the facts on any given day or time. The facts change which hardly makes them facts We don't have all of the information on any person place or thing to form  opinions yet we do it anyway. Kids are one group of individuals we rule on and sometimes make difficult for kids to break out of their assigned  molds. We group them and observe our false proofs and ignore any truths that differ from our own thoughts. Making mistakes is part of living  is discovering the world and forming deductions. Do we remember how once people thought the world was round? As we gain more knowledge our ideas and opinions change. Our ideas are painted with  different strokes. Kids grow and discover why some things may not be right, fair, or appropriate. I always used to say you can't teach algebra to a kindergartener but when the kindergartener grows up you can.

Maybe that is how God sees us. We are immature in his eyes and we need time to grow experience the world and accept why there is good bad or indifference. God does not judge he just gives us time to explore and understand what is not obvious or simple to see. Do you get  tired of listening to those people who tell you I did this or that or I would do this and would never do that? I remember thinking one day that if my kids were starving I would steal if I had to in order to feed them. Unless we have been there or done that we can't say what we would think or do. If we were never poor we can't know what that feels like. We can't all know what it is like to be rich if that has never been the case.

I am not promoting the idea of stealing what you need. I am promoting the idea of refraining from judgments. Showing a better way to do things or make things happen is important. I appreciate how some people believe we shouldn't hand things or money over to the poor. They make a legitimate point for one argument. They worked hard for their earning and didn't grow up with silver spoons. Others strive and work hard to provide for their families. They are all to be commended. But what if some people don't know where or how to begin because they are more like our kindergartners looking for guidance. We can judge them, conclude they are not worth the effort and toss them away. the alternative is to think  without  judgments and find some answers that work for all of us.

The world is a better place for every improvement that is made no matter how small that improvement is. I don't think throwing money or items at someone necessarily helps as much as taking the time and effort to teach one how to survive and make a living in a difficult world. As teachers work and support their students until they are ready to fly on their own with the knowledge they gain so true is it possible to support anyone in their effort to learn and overcome a difficult situation they may find themselves in.

If we judge them too fast we ignore them and dislike or hate them. My grandmother always said "There but for the grace of God go I." There is truth in that statement. Have you ever grabbed your child before they took a serious fall or ran out into the street or cut themselves with a sharp object or stuck something into an electric socket? You make a loud sigh of relief but there are some parents who were not fortunate enough to save their children from the disaster. We feel safe believing that we would do the right thing so that something bad didn't happen to them. We grow up when we recognize there is no right or wrong as much as there is learning beyond what we know. There are days we are tired, not thinking, busy distracted. These are not excuses but facts we may not be privy to about why an incident happened.

Some people get the lesson sooner, some take time and some don't care but it is important to ask why. We could trade the judgments for answers to why did or what is the reason for the actions. No judgments just answers and solutions are found. We are not pushed above another person because we did a better job or won something. Destroying others with our weak judgments keeps us at the kindergarten level. Mature individuals no matter what the age treat others with respect and love. We recognize that they are working on their own learning and we have no idea how far they have come nor where it is they are striving to go. By spending so much time judging others  we leave little time to take an honest look at ourselves. The person we are busy assessing is striving to move forward while we are stagnant in our comfortable moment in time but there is always something new to understand and someone new to love and support. Whenever we strongly believe we are in the right, that is when we should step back and stop the judgments immediately.

On the other side are people who expect to be immediately understood. That is not forthcoming without thought and reason. It takes time for all of us to learn we are or should be working together to see the other side and cope with all thoughts again to find answers not guilt or blame. Until we get out of that mode of blame guilt jealousy and fault we leave little room for growth. There is truth found on both sides of an argument if we honestly look at it. Dump the judgments from your own mind and you can move your mind faster towards greater understanding and healing.

“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." Edmund Burke

“I shall tell you a great secret my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment, it takes place every day.” Albert Camus

“My request today is simple. Today. Tomorrow. Next week. Find somebody, anybody, that’s different than you. Somebody that has made you feel ill-will or even hateful. Somebody whose life decisions have made you uncomfortable. Somebody who practices a different religion than you do. Somebody who has been lost to addiction. Somebody with a criminal past. Somebody who dresses “below” you. Somebody with disabilities. Somebody who lives an alternative lifestyle. Somebody without a home. Somebody that you, until now, would always avoid, always look down on, and always be disgusted by. Reach your arm out and put it around them. And then, tell them they’re all right. Tell them they have a friend. Tell them you love them. If you or I wanna make a change in this world, that’s where we’re gonna be able to do it. That’s where we’ll start. Every. Single. Time.” Dan Pearce

6th pic presentationThis is an article my daughter wrote about breast cancer which touched my heart. It is worth reading and better than anything I could ever write. It was written from the heart. It is important to remember that the hurts we bear and suffer are not always obvious. We will perhaps never know or understand fully what another person endures because we don't walk in their shoes and never will.

""Dignity is The moment you realize God had greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or sad Pinterest quotes. It is the moment you stop comparing yourself to others because it undermines your worth, education and your parent’s wisdom. Dignity is the moment you live your dreams, not because of what it will prove or get you, but because that is all you want to do. People’s opinions don’t matter."  Shannon L. Alder

I read another post about the poison of GMO, corn syrup, baby formula.  One more post in an extensive news-feed.  It is opinion, and I can scroll past, but it feels like another not so subtle reminder of the “breast is best” undercurrent that permeates everything baby related.   As a physician I feel that breast feeding is ideal.  When I was a third year resident and I had my first baby I was adamant about exclusively breast feeding.  I cried when my milk didn’t come in right away after a long induction.   I also relished the fact that my newborn grew into a chubby, giggly infant and it was due to my own body.  I pumped and breastfed, it was a blur of insomnia knowing that I would have to go back to work.  I took time off and managed to keep a freezer full of breast milk in case my supply dropped off when I did go back.  As a resident with overnight calls I knew I couldn’t be sure how often I could pump, pagers go off, codes happen, patients, admissions, rapid responses, they don’t wait for pumping.  I was determined, I continued to pump, overnight, sometimes in bathrooms, call rooms, it depended on how far of a walk, and which were occupied.   I was determined to make the one year mark. ...continue reading "My Issue With Breast Is Best"

With my second child I was an attending working part time and it definitely went more smoothly.   Somewhere around the fifth month I noticed my supply dropping.  I did everything I could but I had to supplement and I remember stopping around eight months. I was disappointed and heartbroken.  I resigned myself to formula feeding and when I felt lumps in one breast I chalked it up to milk ducts.

That was when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The fear was overwhelming and paralyzing, I could only think about my babies, a nine month old and a two year old.  It was biopsy after biopsy, ultrasound guided, stereotypical, MRI guided.  They saw abnormalities on the other side, and I had additional biopsies.   I was waiting for surgery for final staging.  I thought about how precious our time is and our health is.  I opted for the bilateral mastectomy. It was a personal decision.

Fast forward almost four years, past a stage one diagnosis, a year of treatment and we were blessed with another beautiful healthy baby.  It felt like a gift, directly from God, I have living breathing snuggly, proof that a very difficult time was over.  Like all parents, I want the best for my baby, and I opted for formula.

The baby is happy, healthy, and then I have to question why the articles about poison formula make me so angry.  Why do I want to wear a sign that says “I breast fed two babies and had breast cancer.”  Why does it need an explanation, an excuse? Is it because I’m around educated moms that tend to exclusively breastfeed? I couldn’t figure out why I felt so much guilt taking out a bottle.

I thought about a particular conversation I had with a friend after diagnosis and her comment was “wow, I just couldn’t do it, make a decision and choose to have a mastectomy like that.”   That was when I realized that this wasn’t something I chose.  Everything was secondary to my family and health.  So much worse happens to wonderful people who didn’t “choose” the situations they went through.  With breastfeeding we need to stop shaming women for situations that are beyond their control.  So many women I know keep tally lists, they track things like how long they breastfed, if they supplemented, was it exclusive breastfeeding, bottle feeding , natural births, c-sections, epidurals, and the list could go on.   Being a mother is hard work and no one chooses less than their best for their babies.  Why do we compare so much? I doubt that fathers are asking each other how many games they attend, how many times they read before bed, or if their kids still crawled into their beds at night.  Yet it’s “best” to read to children before bed, and it’s “best” to have a sleep schedule with children.   If we want more moms to breastfeed, instead of assuming they made the choice to do less than “best”, and making them feel guilty for it, maybe we should analyze the barriers to breastfeeding. The majority of mothers in this country start off breast feeding and over time that number significantly drops. Why? Are there places to pump privately? Is there time off for breastfeeding, or does the day simply get extended? Is there maternity leave, paid time off, uninterrupted time, is it convenient at work?

How do we counsel moms in the hospital? Is it a one size fits all approach? Maybe a little formula before your supply kicks in, is really okay. Maybe nipple confusion isn’t as large of a problem as it seems.   I had a mother who breastfed for years, and if it wasn’t for her support I might not have breastfed as long as I did.  The singular statement of “breast is best” has finality to it that any alternative is giving your baby simply less.   What if you don’t have breasts? I might be a minority but there are numerous reasons a mother might not exclusively breast feed, medications, work schedules, supply issues, surrogates, mental health issues.  I still think they’re doing their best.  Not smoking is “best”, an hour a day of exercise is “best”, a healthy BMI is “best”, do we adhere to it?  So why are we making so many mothers feel guilty if they don’t breastfeed?

I know lots of great moms taking awesome care of their kids, free-range, tiger moms, gluten free, dairy free, formula feeding, stay at home, working, helicopter, paleo, vegan, breast feeding mothers.  I know they love their kids, I know they are doing their “best” everyday.

“When you think yours is the only true path you forever chain yourself to judging others and narrow the vision of God. The road to righteousness and arrogance is a parallel road that can intersect each other several times throughout a person's life. It’s often hard to recognize one road from another. What makes them different is the road to righteousness is paved with the love of humanity. The road to arrogance is paved with the love of self.” Shannon Alder

"There are no coincidences in life. What person that wandered in and out of your life was there for some purpose, even if they caused you harm. Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense the short periods of time we get with people, or the outcomes from their choices. However, if you turn it over to God he promises that you will see the big picture in the hereafter. Nothing is too small to be a mistake.”  Shannon Alder

“Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, "What else could this mean?” Shannon Alder

“Reputation is what others think of us; character is what God knows of us."

 

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