December 29

LOVE MONTH: DAY 29: “The more one judges, the less one loves.” ― Honoré de Balzac

We cannot live in the mind and heart at the same time. What we love is sometimes connected to Ego and is not really love. When we believe we will “die” without that person, it is an ego connection, not love.

Judgment comes from the same place. It is all an ego construct. There is no love in that. It is a fearful and lack-based sense of needing to be better or worse than others to know where we stand in relation to them. This is not love.

We have all been judged by others for their own benefit. While they may tell you this is how they “love” you, it is not love. There is no way to love and judge at the same time.

Love is an open and deep acceptance of who you are and how you live. If there is something that does not work for the other person in that, it is something that can be navigated and discussed, and compromise is possible. That is different from judgment.

Judgment tells you that you are wrong or bad or good or anything that is decided by someone outside yourself. It is not true, it is only their opinion. If you feel ashamed by that, it is because you are making their opinion of you more important than your own.

Love doesn’t shame the other person. This is toxic judgment and does not feed the spirit of the person who is being “loved.” Most of us have had this in our lives and instinctually know when we are being judged rather than loved and guided.

We raise our children to become independent and strong when we love and guide them. We raise them to be critical, judgmental and needy when we do those things to them. Many parents create a need-need relationship with their children, because they do not have the strength of character to be independent of their roles as parents.

The need for validation by family members is rampant in our social fiber. It creates a horrible dynamic that gets passed on from one generation to the next. It is the toxic fiber we have woven over many generations of dysfunctional patterns of behavior.

To break free from this, we begin to love US and learn to give that love to others. We want to call it “unconditional”, but that is a misnomer. There are conditions in relationships. There have to be. So, we can love someone and accept them unconditionally, but unconditional love is not quite the same thing. I may love you but not want you to be a part of my life if you behave in ways that do not suit me. The love is still there, but you are not. That is an important understanding of unconditional love.

Relationships are conditional creatures. They must be. There have to be boundaries and guidelines for what we find acceptable in our lives and what we will allow others to do and not do.  This is not judgment, it is good self-care. And love must begin with me, or it isn’t love at all.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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