Thursday, November 15, 2018 – Wouldn’t You Think? Reflections in the Mirror

When I am sharply judgmental of any other person, it’s because I sense or see reflected in them some aspect of myself that I don’t want to acknowledge.

Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

I’m thinking about how we’ve all got something—some of us, multiple somethings—that wear heavy. Seasons come, and go, and sometimes we keep our head above water for a time and then another wave comes crashing over us and we sputter and flail and try our best to regain some semblance of equilibrium.

It’s just the way it is. For all of us.

Wouldn’t you think we would understand this and extend kindness toward every single soul we encounter? Wouldn’t you think we would believe that every other person was doing  the best they could, and that if it didn’t measure up to our own high standards, we’d grant grace? As we hope for it to come to us?

Wouldn’t you think we’d stop back biting and finger-pointing and judging—always the judging—and say “look how strong they’re walking under the weight of all those things”?

And when someone falls, wouldn’t you think we’d hold them accountable, but instead of believing they’re “bad”, believe that maybe something happened to them somewhere along the way that caused this propensity to stumble and inability to carry their own burden?  And when someone chooses not to pick up their burden, and put one foot in front of the other, it doesn’t mean the weight becomes ours.

And I’m thinking about how addictions change everything, and if we could only learn that numbing never works in the long-term. And I’m thinking about degrees, and drugs-of-choice, and consequences, and accountability, and a man living on the street, and a woman getting clean and getting a life, and choices, and intention.

It’s all so complicated. And yet it’s not.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.

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