Dear Friends, Drodzy Przyjaciele, Cari Amici,
In English we have this expression “Don’t Judge A Book By It’s Cover”, and it is one that I remember hearing from my early years from my Grandmother. I was taught that this expression means to not look at a person and Judge them by Appearance, because you don’t know from only seeing the Outside who they truly are on the Inside.
This is one of those expressions that could only come into popular usage because it was addressing something that we All Do. I mean, who does NOT look at something/someone and make instant Judgments, Assessments, and formulate Opinions from what we see on the Exterior.
I know that I do, and for years I have been working on becoming Aware of when I am doing this so I can Stop, take a Deep Breath, stand quietly as the Observer and Resist the Urge to Make a Judgement and just let whatever it is, whoever it is BE. It is not always easy, but it gives me a feeling of much greater kindness, love, compassion and openness to the Whole Cosmos. Refraining from Judgement causes my Heart to Expand rather than to Contract, it Broadens my World instead of Narrowing it.
All through my childhood I was teased about being overweight and for not having the most popular (expensive) brands of clothing. My body and its attire were constantly the butt of jokes and scornful, mocking laughter. I remember running in tears to my Grandmother and her saying to me “Honey, we should never Judge A Book By It’s Cover” and she would hold me, her Chubby Little Tortured Book (that she did not Judge), and tell me that my Insides were Especially Beautiful.
My relationship with my Grandmother was complicated because although I adored her and in many ways she was my refuge as a child, the truth is, she also had to have known how Evil and Cruel and my father was and how Absent my Mother was and she did not do anything to help us, her grandchildren. I mean she did not do anything official, like call the Police or in any way try to Stop him. No one did. She also buried the secrets that she knew. (I have another book inside of me that will be written about my Mother and my Grandmother, perhaps in this next year.)
As a result, one of the things I felt about myself was that I was An Ugly Book Cover. An Ugly Book that No One would bother to Look Inside of. I internalized this belief and for years I became the Harshest Judge of Me…standing before a Mirror before going out of the house, sick to my stomach with anxiety about how I LOOKED and What People Would Think Of Me. I would change clothes dozens of times, until I was sobbing on my bedroom floor unable to choose a Cover for This Book that was Me. There were times when it was so bad that I could not leave the house at all.
All of this came Up again for me last night because my publisher and I have been working on getting the covers on my three books re-done. I basically just wanted to add some color to their background before we send the books to be formatted for printed books. (You can see the new covers on my website, and they will soon be uploaded on Amazon, too.)
Last night I was sick with anxiety about the new covers, and I found myself obsessing about whether it is an improvement or not, if the colors are right or not, etc. etc. etc.!!! I literally was getting traumatized by my own Judgement and Indecision about how I felt about them when I was suddenly inundated with old memories of Feeling Like A Book Being Judged By It’s Cover. I cried a long time and then I let go and I knew I had just been through another layer of Healing.
That is how it happens for me now, far into my Healing Journey of Recovery…something like a Book Cover will trigger More Healing.
This morning I decided to just Wait, Let the New Covers Be and Love them as they Are, before deciding if they are the Final ones I want for print or not. This is a Symbolic but Deeply Connected way to Incarnate my Love of Self, As I Am. Healing from Fear and Healing from Judgment. Brava! Deo Gratias!
With my love and respect, z Miłością i Zaangażowaniem, Con Amore e Impegno,
Gabriel Orion Marie