Each choice our family makes that diverges from the mainstream, seems to further separate us from our culture at large. At first, it was really difficult to be ‘different’ and to feel scrutinized by onlookers. It is in our nature to be judgemental. Perhaps it is an innate human trait, something that we have developed for survival. Without judgment, we could never make effective changes. But just because we see something, doesn’t mean we understand it. The difficulty with overt judgment is that it is often served up with a side order of negativity. Coming to terms with this weight in my life has been something that has been difficult for me.
I always wanted to be someone who didn’t care what other people said or thought. I always pretended to be this person on the outside. I have been slowly growing my resistance to judgment. I think a large part of my growth comes from my personal conviction that we are doing the right things and making the right choices for our family. The more I can listen deeply at each choice junction, the more I’m able to feel certain that the path we’ve chosen is the best one for us. I’m not saying we always choose the best path, but what I am suggesting is that we do the best we can with what we’ve been given at the time. I often remind myself that all I can do is make the best choice with the information I have. There is little point in postulating about what might be, as the future is definitely uncertain.
Part of this journey has been coming to terms with change as a positive influence in my life. If I come to some new information that would have impacted a previous choice, I will change. Changing course is easy. As I’ve posted before:
When you know better, you do better.
With each choice I make, and each foray into revealing our family’s radical decisions to others, I am slowly growing more confident. I am growing boldness. I am less afraid of sticking out now, perhaps because I’m prepared for it. I expect to be different. In fact, I’m growing to welcome unsolicited comments as I can now see them as an opportunity to start a dialogue. When people question me, I am now able to (more often) reply with a gentle courage rather than my usual apologetically defensive response.