This past week I had two experiences that while seemingly unrelated are in fact indicative of a new way of being for me. Both of the experiences are some time in coming, but I feel they have a certain synchronicity.
The first relates to a woman I met about a year ago. I met her, and didn't know her at all. But for whatever reason I judged that she was entirely unlike me. That she seemed gossipy and girly and one of those people I would not typically like very much. She seemed very surface and not at all deep in heart. Then I spent some time in a small group with her a few weeks ago. The same person I had so quickly dismissed was in fact intelligent, articulate, vulnerable and amazing. I was sort of stunned. And then more than that I was humbled. I had clearly misjudged this person. In my rush to "know" her and have her figured out, I didn't look at her heart. I hate now that I wasted an entire year of life without getting to know her and her journey better when she was in front of me the entire time. But I'm glad that I was open enough to really see her now. I am inspired by her journey and hope to understand her better and better.
The second instance relates to a woman I met several years ago - while I was in law school. It was a strange time for me. I was exceedingly unhappy with where I was and with who I had to deal with on a daily basis. I was a square peg for sure in law school. And after I learned what it took to pass, I checked out to a large degree. I didn't invest myself in most of the people i met, and I avoided getting to know people very well. I had mixed feelings about this woman. We didn't seem to have much in common. We had mutual friends, but we never really gravitated to one another. Over time, I made more of an effort to get to know this person. But still there was always this obstacle of some sort. She appeared to be judging me at every turn. I actually learned at one point that she had made jokes about me to a group of people. Despite that fact, years later, I found myself interacting with this woman again. This time, she and I are peers in the legal community. In spite of some gut feeling or reservation I have, I have spent time with her socially. Today, when i saw her, I was struck by how different we are. And how I don't want to be anything like her. She seems to me now (years later) insecure, judgmental and not at all kind. She is not anything I want to be. She may be a wonderful person to others, but my gut and my experience tells me different. And so I made a conscious decision today to not be around her anymore.
As time goes by, and I find myself more and more drawn to those better angels of my nature. As opposed to wasting the time I've been given trying to be someone I'm not, or distrusting what my own gut and experience tells me, I'm going to try and live more into it. And trust that if I listen with my heart as opposed to my own judgmental eyes, I will see what I need to see. And then I can make the best decisions for me.