“Don’t judge a book by its cover ‘til you’ve read the book.” (Jamie Lee Curtis)
I came home late one evening recently to find my freshly manicured yard I had left earlier in the day now strewn with leaves, branches, and a bunch of other debris. It was obvious a quick, but heavy storm had passed on through. Although it was dark outside, I opted to walk around it for about thirty minutes with a bucket and a flashlight to pick up all the remnants that the winds had left behind when suddenly one of my neighbors who was drinking quite heavily on his front porch loudly criticized what I was doing and told me it was pretty ridiculous.
It’s in moments like this where the decision to respond can either come from a Higher Place or a much lower one. Thankfully, my work in recovery from addiction helped me to choose the former. When I told him that it wasn’t too long ago that alcohol and drugs and a number of other addictions had ruled my life, where all of my energy would have been invested at times just like then in nothing but those very things, solely because of all the memories I used to hide from that included my father’s suicide and mother’s tragic drunken fall down the stairs, he immediately apologized, not once, but multiple times, and said he was sorry for judging me. Even though he had been very inebriated, the truth I shared from my Spirit had been enough to cross the threshold of his numbed state and reach his heart.
Most people don’t understand any of my OCD-based actions whatsoever. They don’t comprehend things like keeping my yard and gardens so neat and orderly because they don’t know me and haven’t read my entire book, one that is a hard read, yet one that will make far more sense to my actions they deem as crazy, once they have. As then they truly will be able to grasp how much healthier it is for me to focus late night energy into cleaning up my yard, instead of drinking or drugging or numbing myself into oblivion with anything else I was once addicted to, solely to calm any negative memories from my past.
It’s easy to judge a book by its cover, yet until you’ve read the whole story, you have no idea what someone has been through and aren’t ever going to be able to fully understand…
Dear God, I know I’ve been guilty of judging others by what I’ve seen without really knowing. Help me the next time I find myself doing this, to remember not to judge a book by its cover and maybe instead choose to start reading more into the entire story.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson