Lately, any time I find myself tempted to hide something I’ve said or done or feel for fear that someone will find it out, I ask myself a simple question:
Is it true?
The question reminds me that my fear is always the result of a struggle against one of two things:
- I’m worried that people will judge me for things that aren’t true.
- I’m worried that people will judge me for things that are true.
Once I realize this, worry fades. Because the reality of the first is that loving someone means we ask questions and do whatever is necessary to learn the truth without jumping to judgment against them. So if people reject me because of their false judgments—great! They aren’t the kind of people I want in my life, anyway. And the reality of the second is that loving someone means we love them despite their faults, and I need people in my life who are capable of loving me through mine as I work to do better. So if people reject me for my faults—great! They aren’t the kinds of people I want in my life, anyway.
As Liz Gilbert once said:
“People judge each other. It’s a favorite hobby of humans. Let people have their hobbies. Go in peace.”