Oprah Winfrey once spoke about how much she had been harshly and unfairly judged at different times. She had often been taken to court and had always put a lot of energy into defending herself.
But one day, in court, she made a decision. I’m not doing this anymore. She said she knew she wasn’t guilty of what she was being accused of, and she chose to let that be enough. She said no matter what anybody thinks, or how many people damned her, she knew what the truth was.
I remember that moment of watching her as she was talking about it, and how at peace she was with herself. At peace with herself and in a way
unassailable. It takes a lot of nerve and courage not to defend yourself when you’re being judged for something that you know you’re not guilty of.
I think it can be important to state the truth and stand up for yourself, but sometimes it’s a waste of time. Somebody who is judging you has already shown you that they don’t have any interest in knowing the truth about you. They don’t care enough about you to want to be fair.
It’s tough and it hurts like hell. But it is what it is. You can’t let somebody else’s judgment of you be your death sentence. A friend of mine, writer Ella Camp, said “The past can cast a long shadow over our present- therefore we must at times, actively seek the sun.”
Judgment can be that dark shadow. It’s driven by stuff in the past – unresolved anger, fear, hurt. But here’s the thing: nobody’s judgment can actually alter the truth about you. I reckon to know that is to step away from the shadow and stand in the sun.
I heard the most beautiful thing in the movie The Interpreter the other night. One of the characters said “a single whisper can be heard above an army when it is telling the truth.”