Monday, May 20, 2013

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. -Ian Maclaren

 photo KimBW_zps975de985.jpg

(My brother took this photo of me, I love it, nap makeup and all.)

Everyone you meet truly is fighting a hard battle.

The last two months of my life have been full of heartache, sadness, depression, struggle, illness, and overcoming. It seems I have been fighting one battle after another and never coming up victor.

I have had to make some very hard decisions which involved really looking inside myself to find that 'voice', that 'gut' which tells you what you really need to do in life. I am amazed by how much I have learned from listening to this voice. In the midst of terrible personal struggle, this voice has brought me peace and understanding beyond any I have ever felt before in my life. I am amazed at our personal abilities to overcome tragedy and our battles if we keep fighting and pushing. It gets really hard and dark and tragic at times...but there is so much we can learn about ourselves and about those around us.

I have a particular worry lately. I particularly see it in my LDS culture, and in the state of Utah in which I live. I am seeing so much judgement and bitterness and sometimes getting the "I am so much better than them." feelings from people. It is breaking my heart into a million pieces as I try to open my heart to truly loving others and showing kindness, that I can't believe that we as humans think and say some of the things we say, and the saddest part of it all is that our children are picking up on it, therefore becoming silent bullies of judgement.

If you are slightly religious at all you will have heard this scripture from Matthew 22:36-39:

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

I am concerned that society doesn't know how to love anyone but themselves anymore. I have recently seen children make grown people cry because of things their parents are teaching them, that someone is less of a person because of choices and decisions they make in their lives because they aren't the same choices that these parents would make for themselves or for their children.

I have heard of grown women in my neighborhood being shunned and judged because they aren't dressed 'modestly'. What the hell is wrong with us that have to ever say anything about the way someone is dressed? Are clothes what make people who they are? Who cares? Why do you care? Why do you even waste the energy to make yourself feel better than that person? It kills me slowly to hear of things like this. To witness things like this in my culture. I loved reading this article after feeling this way for awhile now: The Friend and The Orange Tank Top. Guess what? My girls sometimes wear spaghetti straps and sleeveless shirts. Guess what else? I don't care what you think.

Does someone's sexual orientation make a difference in whether we love them or not? Why do we put so much energy into battling back and forth who is right on the subject and who is wrong? I am so sick of hearing all of this that I could scream. Quit judging. Love.

Tattoos? So freaking what. Get over it people. They have been around forever. Guess what? I am FASCINATED by them. Why people get them, what they mean.

My mom is mentally ill. Guess what? That doesn't mean that I am.

My dad is an alcoholic and an ex con. Guess what? That doesn't mean that I am, or will be. We lost an adoption placement over this.

Quit. Judging.

Be the LDS people you were taught to be. Love one another.

Guess what else? It is possible to teach your children right from wrong. We also need to remember to teach them that what we believe is wrong and right differs from what other people believe. What we need to teach them, is despite our differing values we can love others without making them feel less than us. It is possible, my children are living proof. I am living proof.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. -Ian Maclaren


Lindsey M. Petersen said...

I love you. Always have, always will.

Dawn Fellows said...

I couldn't agree with you more! Thank you for be brave enough to post about it! You're incredible :)

Ashley said...

In our house, we teach "Heavenly Father loves *everyone.* Period. So should you. That's it."

Yeah, I believe differently than a lot of people. But who cares? Treat everyone with love and respect, knowing that you're as likely to change their minds by arguing as they are to change yours so be kind.

Seriously, there is a very good reason I would sooner slice off my hands than live in Utah. I wouldn't fit in.

You're lovely.

Brian A said...

A eff'n men!!!!

our sweet lulu said...

<3 <3 <3
this is the best thing i have ever read (well, one of them anyways.) seriously Kim. well done.

Lindsay @Artsy-Fartsy Mama said...

Oh, Kim, I just love you. Thank you for saying what needs to be said in the perfect way.

Karina Wetzel said...

Love you friend! And love this post...

LuckyRedHen said...

I'm all for not judging. I love you the way you are and the way you aren't and everything in between.

However, the perception that it is particularly prevalent within the LDS/Utah culture is based on your experience of who you are and where you live. If you weren't LDS and didn't live in Utah you would see just as much judging so I view it as a people thing.

Outside the LDS/Utah culture there is just as much judging as inside. It's still for the clothes someone wears, the car they drive, where they live, how they do in school, the kind of job they have, the choices they make, how they keep their home, the words that come out of their mouth, how they spend their free time, their mental state, and how they style their hair.

I think the reason a lot of people point the finger at the LDS culture is because judging stands out so much more from what is taught in the church vs. what those outside The Church allow.

People are an imperfect creature and we all get to decide what we will do, say, eat, wear, etc. with the ultimate judge being ourself and our Maker.

Emily said...

Yes. Oh my heavens, yes.

Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy said...

Ditto ditto ditto, moving to utah specifically was a hard choice for me because of this, I've never lived anywhere as bad as our "christian" based state. I'm so grateful for the wonderful people, like you, I've been able to meet and try to ignore the rest. With my kids autism being out in public is hard, so much judgement over they way my kids act. People simply don't know, and judge anyway. My biggest pet peeve. Thank you for this well written post.

mandee said...

Everyone needs to be loved. Thanks for your open honesty and whole-hearted words. I wish this didn't happen. You are so right with this post! Love and miss you!

Lindsey from The R House said...

I've always wanted a tattooed sleeve. Let's go in together.

Love you.


Leanne said...

Beautifully said! And I agree!

Manda Jane Clawson said...

Love love love LOVE this!

Crystal Renee said...

I wish everyone listened to these words.

Megan Reinbold said...

I agree, and beautifully said. I too am LDS, and it wasn't until I moved OUT of Utah that I gained a deep testimony of the Church.
Thanks for sharing this with all of us.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you have to live around all of us judgmental, bitter, prideful Utah Mormons who have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. If only we could all exemplify the complete lack of judgment you have shown in this post.

Kim Orlandini said...

Dear Anonymous: if only.

Vanessa Brown said...

I went to this blogger thing yesterday that made me get up and leave. It was this thing where an important woman was pushing a program to help parents learn to parent so their kids don't become involved in alcohol, drugs, sex, etc. Which fine, thats great. But the things coming out of everyone's mouths. Gah, I can't believe so many people think the way they do. Us living in Costa Rica for awhile. Best thing ever. My view has totally changed.