by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
Paranormal Underground Magazine
I am always surprised by hypocrisy. People who profess to follow Jesus yet are judgmental and intolerant. People who compromise their integrity daily to make a living doing a job they hate throwing stones at people who make money doing something they love. People who profess an open mind, yet are entrenched in dogma.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. At some point in my life (and probably many points as recently as five minutes ago), I’ve been a hypocrite too. I guess that makes my surprise at hypocrites a little hypocritical.
As human beings, we are so quick to judge one another before all of the facts are in. With just a teeny tiny piece of the story, we suddenly believe that we know everything that there is to know about another, and we pronounce our judgments on everyone and everything. It is a protective mechanism, I think. An evolutionary glitch of the human mind designed to help us determine quickly who means us well and who intends us harm. Unfortunately, we humans have raised judgment to an art form.
Instead of using judgment for our physical survival, now we use it for our emotional survival. We employ the process of being judgmental in order to help us believe that there is something special about each one of us. How? Making judgments about the choices of others protects us from our own foibles, so focused are we on the faults of everyone in the world around us.
For a number of years, I feared the judgment of others. How would I look through the eyes of another? My guess was that, in most cases, I wouldn’t look very good. Because of this, I kept much of who I am hidden for years. I think it is something that we all do – hide our light because we fear harsh and negative judgment.
As a result, I kept those things about myself that were “different” from everyone else under wraps. Somewhere in my mind, I decided that an interest in things like the afterlife and the occasional flashes of intuition I had about all sorts of things were quite unacceptable. I believed that people would think I was stupid or crazy – or both. My interest in the paranormal has been a secret since I was a very young girl, shared with only a few people who I felt I could really trust.
It has only been in the past few years that I have stepped “out of the closet” and very publicly (if this blog is any indication) declared – this is my passion, and this is my fascination. At first it was a little bit scary. But then something happened. People started calling me things like “nincompoop” (which, by the way, is one of my favorite words. It’s a funny word. Say “nincompoop” and see if you can do it without smiling.) People accused me of bilking a naive public for my own personal gain. And you know what? I took each one of those criticisms I’ve received in the past few years (anything from I’m stupid to I’m going to Hell for searching for ghosts), and I’ve held them up against my own internal sense of self.
Here’s what I’ve discovered – and it’s good news! Each of these people who is so concerned about my choices and interests that they’ve stopped what they’ve been doing to apply a label to me is absolutely wrong. They don’t know me. They don’t know my motivations (although I’d gladly share them if they asked). Not only that, but their opinions and judgments don’t matter to me. Because I can get up in the morning excited about what I do. I can look at myself in the mirror and smile at who I am. I can spend my days pursuing my passion (and maybe even some day making a living from it). And I can share something with others, as well. I can cause people to think about who they are outside of these battered and frightened vehicles we call bodies. Maybe, just maybe, we are something so much more than that. How would you live your life if you knew that for sure? How exciting would it be if we could actually someday prove that there is more to us than the humble lives we lead? That, my friends, is an amazing way to spend each day. If one single person looks at the work I’ve done and finds something inside of themselves that allows them to expand their concept of who they are, then I’ve made a difference in this world.
This modest goal of touching one life seems somehow grandiose when I step outside of myself and try to look at it through the eyes of another. Because the truth be told, I am a hypocrite. I get frustrated by the judgments of others, and yet I can easily step outside of myself and become my own worst critic. My harshest judge.
In the end, maybe that is why we judge others. So that we never have to shine a light into our dark and scary corners where we feel we somehow fall short of our own expectations. And yet, sitting in those dark and dingy corners, all covered with cobwebs, we just might find our true selves. Who knows? In doing so, we just may realize our own magnificence.
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