Dr. MacAfee once told me: I was often called into court to be an expert witness about addiction. My goal was not to defend anyone, but to share my knowledge and years of experience about the disease and treatment. Usually the judges and attorneys regarded me distantly, even hostilely. But when their child or loved one was in trouble with drugs or alcohol, I was the first person they called.
My reflection: When my son was in active addiction, I felt judged by others, probably because I judged myself harshly for somehow ‘allowing’ addiction to enter our home. Since then, I’ve learned that our brains make involuntary, non-conscious criticisms of people before we even process who they are or what they look like. Judgment is an automatic reflex.
Today’s Promise to consider: Our brains are hard wired to make fast and effortless judgments. It’s one of the ways we keep ourselves safe, but it also can give us faulty information. Those who suffer from addiction are often automatically judged in the most negative of ways, even when the ‘judger’ knows nothing about the situation. We, who love those who suffer, are often the recipients of unsolicited critiques. Today, let us give the gift to others of not judging. Let us try to harness our brain’s automatic reaction. Let us lead with compassion.4511
Great reminder Libby! I’m guilty of judging others. Before my son’s addiction our neighbors accross the street was having serious battles with their 16 year old son. You would hear cursing, front door slamming and tires screeching. I remember saying to my wife, What is wrong with those parents? I would soon find out!
Thanks, Pat. I join you in doing the same…until addiction came to our home. As the Head of an Independent School, our problems were fodder for many. I’ve become a much more compassionate and humble woman. xo
Julie, We’ll stay close in love and prayer.