Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lent '11: Letting Go of Judgment, Challenge 3 RESULTS

Can I be honest with you all? One of the hardest things about this challenge has been realizing just how OFTEN judgmental thoughts run through my head. Ouch. It's humbling to realize what a big character flaw this is for me.

BUT... the beauty of this challenge is that it gives me a chance to constantly improve. By keeping my desire to be more open and understanding in the forefront, I'm able to often quickly dispel those initial judgmental thoughts and ideas. So here's what's going on right now...

Week 3's challenge was this:

Challenge 3: When you feel that initial knee-jerk judgment pop up after hearing/seeing/reading something that goes against YOUR grain, ask yourself: "Is this a matter of faith or morals?" If it's not, try to allow it to roll off your back.

Here's how my week went down:

Example 1:

Stood behind a lady at the check out of the grocery store. Cashier asked if she had any coupons. She remarked, "Ah, no. I choose to buy healthy food for my family and coupons are all for the junk."

My reaction: "This lady is nuts. How dare she??? I bought fresh meat, milk, vegetables, Greek yogurt and, yes, Cheerios and saved 82%. She's just ignorant or lazy."

Yikes. Not nice, I know. Defensive much? But it's true. Sigh. I grow so weary of people implying that coupon queens just buy junk. Still, that's no excuse for my judgment of HER. So, I re-framed my thoughts as I stood there.

New perspective: "We all have different priorities. I make choices that enable me to stay home with my children, but require me to save my pennies. Taking some time to clip coupons and match them up works for me. Her time might need to be spent differently and it may not be worth it to her to print and cut coupons. If our respective families' needs are being met, we are both doing just fine."

Honestly? So freeing! I don't NEED to defend what I'm doing to her!

(The bonus feature? When I saw she was buying Silk Almond Milk, I offered her an extra 75 cent off coupon I had, which doubled to $1.50 and saved her a bit. It was a non-nasty way to help illustrate how coupons can be used on "non junky" food. ;))

Example 2:

We have a new priest. Two consecutive weeks, he said, "Oh my God!" while standing before the congregation, and not as a part of worship.

My reaction: "This is not cool. This is disrespectful and inappropriate. I find this action offensive and I'm struggling to respect this man."

I stand by my reaction. To me, this IS a matter of faith and morals. I do not use that phrase and I do not allow it from my children. While I fully expect that they will hear it out in the world, I do not believe their priest should be one of the people they hear it from. Yes, he is only human, but I don't think it is too much to ask to not use our Lord's name as an interjection. I continue to struggle with this situation and I don't think it's an issue of my being too judgmental.

So there you go. A comparison of reactions I had this week. Rest assured, I experienced many more than two! But you don't need to read a novel from me. :)

Did you participate this week? I'd love to read about what happened! Link up below or tell me about it in the comments: