In The Face Of Judgment

‘We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.’ — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This photo I took of a green egret never fails to crack me up. He seems to be saying, "Take me as I am, goofiness and all!"

This photo I took of a green egret never fails to crack me up. He seems to be saying, “Take me as I am, goofiness and all!”

This popped up as I was opening my email the other day, “What would you do if you knew no one would judge you?” My instant answer was “nothing”. Since I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone many times in the past few years, I didn’t think I was concerned with others judging me. I gave it a bit of thought, and it turns out I was wrong.

These are a few things I’d do:

I’d make more decisions instead of excuses. There, I admitted it.

I’d take more chances, meaning I wouldn’t let the fear of failure (and thus opinions about said failure or success, for that matter) stop me.

Send a manuscript to a publisher.

Go out in public more often without makeup.

I’d call myself a writer instead of my other job.

I’d enter one of my art quilts in a show.

I’d display my fiber art at a local café which offered to showcase it.

Make a career change.

Drop everything and get a degree in aromatherapy or reiki. (Problem here is application of this knowledge requires the ability to massage and I have arthritis in my hands.)

Admit more often I have no idea what a certain group of people are talking about, or say I didn’t get the joke.

State my discomfort in the midst of family drama and negative conversations rather than ignoring or walking away. (Positive redirection most often doesn’t work here as that is my tactic before removing myself from the situation.)

Take ukulele lessons.

Take a Zumba class.

Paint on a canvas.

Sing out loud.

Hug the trees or dance in the rain in my backyard. Not sure what the problem is since I was already seen by a neighbor as I was running through the yard flapping my arms and tweeting…In my defense, I was playing a game with the children, only the children couldn’t be seen from the fence line.

I’d eat pizza for breakfast and cake for dinner. Oh yeah, I already do that!

Now, it’s your turn…what would you do if you knew no one would judge you?

35 thoughts on “In The Face Of Judgment

  1. Your thought-provoking blog is one of my favorite reads. What would I do? I find I’m DOING more and more that I used to only dream of doing. I would eat out alone, and take in a movie I want to see. I would take classes: sketching, painting, Spanish, yoga. I would go to another Tai Chi session. I would learn more about healing oils, instead of writing those who promote them as quacks. (I’ve had some good success with the two we use.) I would (and am trying more often to) speak the truth of my heart. I love you for making me think.


    For me it would be to better allow myself to except help without believing that it made me appear weak.

    “Drop everything and get a degree in aromatherapy or reiki. (Problem here is application of this knowledge requires the ability to massage and I have arthritis in my hands.)”

    I don’t know where you knew this, but Reik doesn’t involve massage. It’s just a very light hands-on therapy in which you gently place your hands over areas of the body; allowing the energy to move through you to the client. And it’s ironic you mentioned aromatherapy because I used essential oils in my Reiki sessions. They seems to magnify the energy. Reiki would actually be very good for you because as you used it, it would help with your arthritis. As well as the essential oils. Eucalyptus oil is excellent for arthritis.

    Again, excellent post!


    • It was an assumption on my part after attending an essential oils class at a local wellness center…they spoke of massage and reiki and if it was partnered so I thought you had to go through massage school as well as reiki training. I am interested in the reiki part but not the massage. I adore essential oils…am finding so many benefits with them.

      • Ron is correct in that Reiki would help your arthritis and not hurt because of the light touching almost hovering of the hands during a session. get some sessions first and you will see it closely resembles prayer first and massage second. It is not really massage at all. 🙂 Using your oils during a session would intensify the treatment. 🙂

      • If you can stand or walk slowly around the massage table which is hip high and one can adjust the height, it shouldn’t be any problem. If you want to ask me any question you want. I took Reiki classes to level two. And I used to do massage therapy and I have a reflexology certificate. My late husband was the first massage therapist in our county to be licensed, before it became cool to be one. This was way back in 1973. He died in 1991. 🙂 December 21,1991 to be exact. I still miss him. Even though I love my life. 🙂

        Merry Christmas, Susan!

  3. I would smoke opium. I would only smoke it one time, but it’s on my bucket list. Now, I don’t want to go to prison for it, and since it’s illegal, I may not get a chance to do it. I saw “Indochine” with Catherine Deneuve and she smoked it. It looked sort of fun and glam. (But then she always looks fun and glam.) Other than that, I would wear high heels even as an old lady, and color my crew cut platinum blond. Oh wait! I do that anyway!

  4. Linda, I love you and your free spirit! I just wish I could walk in high heels! By the way, I’ve never seen that movie…may have to look it up.
    I don’t have a bucket list, but I do find myself saying after I’ve tried something new, “Wow, I’ve always wanted to do that!” Perhaps a bucket list is in the making!

  5. LOL! I remember this photo and the story about you running around in the year tweeting like a bird! I always start bucket lists but then can’t think of anything past drinking wine in a cafe in Italy! Seeing my great grandchildren would be on it since I’ve seen how much joy Peanut brings to our parents. I suppose now that I’ve realized my passions, I would love to do something with photography. But that really doesn’t pay the bills too well!

  6. I think we think more about what others may think, then they are even thinking it. I think i would say ‘no’ to other people’s requests more than i do now. I would mediate in my garden. In fact i would changed my back yard into a garden and sit outside more.

  7. I already pretty much do what I want without thinking what others think. Although sometimes I do try to take the embarrassment of my daughter into consideration. For now.

  8. Great post!

    Simliar to Beverly, I would probably say “no” to people more and, like you said, I would “state my discomfort in the midst of family drama and negative conversations rather than ignoring or walking away.” I have the same problem and use the same failed tactic of redirecting. It never works, so I just ignore everyone until it stops, but it drives me crazy!!

    If it just affects me, I tend to do whatever I want without worrying what others think: I recently quit my (very stable) job to pursue writing and part time work, I’ve submitted essays and short stories without fear of rejection, I regularly leave the house without makeup and wearing sweaters that are more than 10 years old 🙂

    • I’ve learned to say no, and what I relief it’s been. Of course, I ended up losing friends through time over it, but it helped me to learn who my friends were and who wanted me to do things for them.
      Yay, you. Put your writing out there. We won’t get published if we don’t risk rejection.
      I have old clothes I love and don’t mind going in public in….getting better about the no make up thing.

  9. I don’t know what fiber art is (see there, I admitted my ignorance without fear of you judging me 🙂 ) but if someone offered to display it, that must mean they liked it, so I do hope you take them up on the offer.

    I think I would admit to people that I like to write and share some of my writing. Only a few ‘real life’ people know of my writing life and only because I hit them up to be beta readers on my first novel.

  10. I was reared by a mother whose go to phrase was, “What will people think?” I spent too many years concerned about WWPT. A dear friend then taught me a lesson through her friendship. She was the epitome of not caring what people thought. What a release that became in my life. But I will admit that I do still seek approval on many levels. Work in progress!

  11. I really enjoyed this post – it makes me want to consider this question myself. I feel like this point in my life, I don’t care so much but I realize some concerns still linger. I think I’d put a pink streak of color in my hair. I don’t know why – it just feels fun. And I’d add a braid. Smoking opium? that cracked me up from one of your readers – and like you, now I want to see the movie she mentioned.

    I’m actually a Level II Reiki healer – but I haven’t practiced for a few years. I’ve been getting some Reiki treatments lately though – fascinating where our energy blocks are. And I’m learning more and more about chakras. Love it. I have mild arthritis in my back – so massage wouldn’t work for me to give either. I’d need treatment by the time I was done.

    We step into our power as we age, I think, because of precisely what you’ve written about – that we don’t care about the opinions of others like we used to.

    • I love her answer…I think she told me that once before or perhaps she blogged about it. If you don’t read Linda’s blog, you should. She is so funny!
      I’m really enjoying learning about chakras. Essential oils has been probably one of the most valuable new interest I’ve ventured upon. I’m really enjoying learning about them and using them. I doubt I could due Reiki because of my back and hip problems, but perhaps I would benefit from receiving a session.

  12. That is such a tough question, Susan. I have noticed that I’m not nearly as concerned about being judged as I once was, but that doesn’t mean it still isn’t an issue because I know it is. I think I’d say “no” more often when I really don’t want to do something without giving an excuse why. I’d probably also say “yes” more often as well. 🙂

  13. Love your list.

    I have been working on the not making excuses. Seems as if it is more acceptable to tell a lie about not wanting to do something than to just say, “I don’t want to do that.” You said decisions instead of “excuses”, but the excuses brought me to the other type.

    I used to never go out without mascara, but since I teach Nia I don’t wear makeup most of the time because it would just sweat off. And while I am out after class is when I do my errands. So I go out most often without makeup.

    Many of us call you a writer . . . you’ll get there. I am really surprised you hesitate to enter one of your quilts. They are so fabulous!

    The reiki I have looked into does not require touch at all.

    My 84 year old father-in-law is taking ukulele lessons. Go for it.

    I shake my groove-thing in front of people four to five days a week, so I am not so worried about being judged . . . but I am sure there are things. I will have to think about this one!

    Late to that party as usual . . . Happy New Year! (I am reading your post from most current to oldest).

    • I know. it really should be acceptable to just say we don’t want to do something without feeling guilty about hurting someone’s feelings. I love that you shake your groove thing!

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