I’ll admit it first I guess. I was a big arsehole at school, and I was in most of the top classes. I have a friend now, on Facebook, that had it tough. He recalls a time when he hated the ground that I walked upon, and that there was an arrogance about me, a snide mockery of everyone that didn’t do as well as me in exams, or came from poor parenting backgrounds. I even remember, as a young teen, telling a girl, the same age as me that her whole family were a bunch of trailer trash. Upset, she scurried away into her home and told her Mum. Her Mum came at me with a vengeance that Hades would have been proud of. She told me that,
“You should take a look at your own fucking family first before commenting on anyone else’s ya wee bastard”
Whilst that probably wasn’t the best thing to say to a child, and that I nearly shit myself as I watched the spit dribble from her gritted teeth when she stormed up to me in her anger, I can’t help but look back on that with a strange fondness. A somewhat masochistic side to me that really appreciates times when the bitter truth was finally told. I was a child of course, and to me she was just a ranty middle-aged woman coming at me with her wet hair in her Pyjamas. There’s no way I was going to be listening to her anytime soon, but the story stuck with me until today, and probably until I die, but she was bitterly right.
Our family was no picture of perfection.
That was a theme all through my high school years; looking down on people, judging others, laughing at the abused, never standing up for what I truly believed in. I believed in a lot of good things! I don’t think I was a bad kid, I didn’t outwardly seek the bad in others. I tried to stay out of fights, although sometimes those found me, and I dare say I was probably the catalyst in a lot of those. But the core message was that I probably should have learned long ago, or at least earlier than I did, was that I was judging others harshly because of my bitter distaste for myself. I didn’t like myself.
I wore a mask.
I’d go out with my mask daily and pretend life was great. Some people would see me and probably think that I had everything sorted and most things clued up by then, but the harsh reality of it all was that the walls of security were crumbling around me and I couldn’t bear to be beside myself.
From a very young age I was told that I was broken, my Dad beat me for doing natural boy things, so I was broken. I needed to wear a mask to stop doing the things my Dad didn’t like. The TV, in my teens told me that I wasn’t looking like these muscle bound Arnie lookalikes, and I didn’t have a ton of girls falling at my feet, so I was broken. When I found porn, my schlong wasn’t a metre long and ten inches thick, so I was broken. I donned a huge mask of perfection and took it out to life, and pretended.
I didn’t want people to see that I was wearing a mask though, oh no. So, I’d point at x’s shit life and say,
“Wow, look how shit x has it, right?”
And pointing out others failures wasn’t beneath me either,
“Hah, you fucked that one up big style, didn’t you?”
It wasn’t until fairly recently, in the last five years that I learned about circumstance, and it’s a pretty big thing really. It’s probably one of the only things you have no choice over in life. The circumstances you were born into and how those have effected your life. It’s helped me a lot in being less judgemental over the years, or more so recently. Understanding people’s circumstances beyond what’s happening above the surface is a brilliant tool. I was arguing with a lady over Facebook last month about the partners we choose; does it matter at the time how thick their wallets are? And for me it’s all about potential, where can I be in 10 years’ time with this person with nothing, as opposed to the other person with lots of money? She was of the opinion that money mattered. And although that opinion would anger more than a few of my friends, I get it. Perhaps she was born into a family where the father was a super-breadwinner, perhaps she had been on a few dates with rich guys and felt it was the way to go. The options and circumstances are endless, just like mine. Understanding helps.
And judging others, well, you just come across as a dick. A big aloof piece of shit.
And in the background, it shows, because when it really boils down to it, people treat you in the same fashion as you treat yourself. Mask wearers meet other mask wearers. Wouldn’t it be great to finally take off the mask and say,
“hey! This is me. Hello”
The day I stopped judging others was the day that I took a good, long hard look at my own life. I actually realised that I was more scarred and messed up than I care to admit in public. I also realised the only person that was able to help me, was me. So, I stopped focusing on others, I looked at my own life, tried to make it better in my own situation, and once I started to feel better about myself the less I felt the need to drag others down with me, because when I was happy, I wanted others to be happy.
This is why I took to healing.
So next time you’re about to point the finger, and laugh. Why not stop and ask yourself what it is in your life that’s causing you to act this way? What can you change to make that empty space in yourself be more fulfilled?
Ask lots, never assume.
Be well, friends.