J is for JUDGMENT.
Judgment is defined as: “1. an act or instance of judging…. 4. the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, as from circumstances presented to the mind: Our judgment as to the cause of his failure must rest on the evidence…” – Dictionary.com
A piece of Our Story…We once had an older gentleman loudly voice his opinions of Beth’s eating habits in a restaurant. She has always been in the 75-90+ percentile for her age, which makes people assume she is older. Anyhow, I was feeding her baby food and holding her bottle, all the time at the ready to catch the vomit that was sure to come, if we were not very careful in how she was fed. At the time we used to joke about her being a lazy, fussy, happy-spitter of a baby; however, in retrospect we realize what a hard time she was having eating in response to her sensory needs and oral defensiveness. So, this man started speaking VERY loudly, so we could hear him stating: “Look at that bullshit! That kid should be feeding herself, Jesus a kid that age being fed and not even holding her own bottle…” There was more to his rant, but I forget the exact wording. While he was ranting to his embarrassed wife, I looked up and stared until we made eye contact, I was proud of myself that I was able to smile “sweetly,” look him in the eye and simply say: “She is only 10months old” and leave it at that. I cannot even express the anger and outrage I felt toward this complete stranger who was judging my family. Although when his wife slapped him in the head and said; “Shut up! See you never know…” I did feel a little better and my smile became a bit more genuine.
It hurts to be judged and receive those horrible looks of condemnation. Since we stopped trying to conform to what people think we should be doing, and started “listening” to our kids and putting their needs first, we are on the receiving end of a lot of judgmental looks and comments. I also can be very judgmental, if I let my negative side take the lead, because it is so much easier to judge someone else, especially a stranger, then it is to examine our own life and situation. Although I am making progress in this area, I am not perfect; and I a deeply regret whatever sadness people may have felt when they were on the receiving end of one my judgmental stares or comments. Judgment is one character flaw that I truly hope to eradicate from our life one day, because it serves no purpose except to demean US and hurt others. The words of Paulo Coelho say it perfectly: “We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.”
Judgment “Our Way” is defined as: “An apparent lack of understanding, compassion and respect toward another person and/or their situation; which diminishes ourselves, and spreads the disease of intolerance for diversity.”
Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.