“When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.

The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You are too this, or I’m too this.’ That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”

Ram Dass

Good morning, dear one.

We humans sure can be a judgmental lot. There’s a special irony that goes along with judging others, too. People who judge others are by and large doing so to mask their own fears; it is far easier to judge you for doing something than to turn my attention inward and ask myself why that matters so much to me in the first place. There is a remarkable freedom and liberation in letting go of judgment, but it only comes when you are willing to put in the work asking yourself the hard questions and seeing that conversation through.

Don’t look for validation in people who don’t have your best interests at heart. You’re going to be judged, and it will hurt. In those moments, I like to remind myself of the wisdom found in the title of a book by Terry Cole-Whittaker: What You Think of Me is None of My Business. A long passed elder in the queer community put another, slightly more crass way when she said, “If you’re not feeding, fucking, or financing me, you don’t get a say.”

And never forget that I love you.


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About Sentimental Dom

Michael Nolan is The Sentimental Dom. He wants you to keep your chin up, treat everyone with dignity, compassion, and respect, and drink more water.

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