We’ve all heard the saying “don’t judge me till you’ve walked a mile in my shoes”. Or the one that states “don’t judge me, you couldn’t handle half the things that I have”. Those statements makes no sense to me. First off, my shoes wouldn’t fit. I’m not talking just size. My shoes are fitted to my feet. The width. The arch. Even the toes. They are all formed to my feet. And even the left and right are different. They have different forms made. Not just cause they are left and right, but each foot is slightly unique. Kinda like our reaction to different situations.
That second statement is saying you can’t judge me, but I sure as hell going to judge you… “you couldn’t handle…”. How do you know what I can and can’t handle? And who the hell gave you the right to tell me not to judge? I’ll be the first to admit, I judge. I do it every single day. I like to think I don’t, but oh yes, I most certainly do! I have even been known to say I try not to judge. Bullshit. Sorry self, but you are a judgey Mcjudger!
Over the last couple of weeks I have been going through some ‘stuff’. I look at as just life stuff. Things that need to be dealt with. Just suck it up and deal with it kinda stuff. Some of it I brought it on myself. Some of it has been handed to me. What might seem a big deal to me, is peanuts to you. And vise versa. You have a different perspective on life. You see it through different eyes. Lived your life differently than me. So of course you would react differently. Just like I would react differently to something you are going thru.
Our perspective is different, because our past is different. Even if we were brought up the exact same way, we would react differently. And to add to this, we are all a product of our environment or upbringing. Even my siblings react differently to situations. Then throw in different cultures, different locations, different social economics and in the end, I was not brought up the same way you were. I didn’t learn your family’s moral and values. Even learning my family’s morals and values, I have formed my own ideas. So yet again, I would experience a situation differently than you.
Everyone is willing to offer advice. On parenting. On marriage. On divorce. At work. Friends. Everyone! I use to get really pissed at people. I still do, but I try to see that they only want to share their experiences. They only want to help. They are trying to offer me a mile in their shoes. But they don’t fit. Some of the shoes are uncomfortable. Some are too tight. Some are too big. Some too small. Some the color just doesn’t go with my outfit that day (ok, I may be enjoying this analogue a little too much. I am, after all, a little bit of a shoe whore. But that is another story).
So I am trying to learn to just listen to what they have to say. (insert laughter here. Me? Listen? I did say TRYING). Even though parts of the advice don’t pertain to me, some of it is valuable information. So while the shoe doesn’t fit, it makes sense to try it on. Just to see if maybe it will.
I also know for a fact, without a doubt that I LOVE to give advice. I have no problem handing out my shoes freely. ‘Here, try it on. No, really… give it a good try’. I am getting better at catching myself giving away my shoes, but it’s hard! I have what I believe to be valuable experience to share with you! But like I said, I am learning my shoes won’t fit you. They’ve walked a different path. These soles of mine have covered some different ground than yours have! So when a friend asked for my opinion, I give them MY experience. I also try to explain that although it seems like a similar situation, it really isn’t (ok, I try to. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in getting you to try on my shoes, that I forget to add this part). But I try to always end with ‘but you need to do what is best for you’. Most times they come back saying they don’t know what is best for them.
I had a recent conversation with my oldest daughter. She was in a dilemma over what she should do about a situation. So I asked her to explain it, I really wanted to hand her my shoes, but instead I told her to do what she thought was best. To listen to that little voice in her head. She retorted with the fact she couldn’t hear the little voice, it had gotten up and left. We laughed a little on this statement but then I told her that the little voice had not left, maybe she didn’t WANT to hear it. Yah well whatever (with a little giggle) was her response. I am pretty sure I had come a little too close to the truth.
My point in all this is please don’t walk a mile in my shoes. It won’t solve your problem. I really want to say don’t judge me when I make a decision based on how my shoes feel but we all do it. Just know that my judgement is based on where my shoes have been. And my shoes, just like yours, well they fit only one set of feet the best.