I see you. I know you see me.

I see you. I know you see me. I used to be afraid of being seen. I was scared of people judging me. I was worried about what they would say about me. I was afraid of people looking for my cracks, my weaknesses, and my flaws to prey upon. They knew I had them. I knew I had them too.

I remember being so afraid of what everyone who knew “pre-life coach” Billiejo would say about me. That I’m a fraud. That Life Coaching is a joke. That I have no right to call myself an expert in anything. That my life was messy, so how dare I tell anyone else what to do with theirs? And that I’ve been a pretty big asshole at times in my life, so what makes me any better than anyone else now?

All those judgments were really just things I thought about myself. I discovered the only way around them was to own the parts of them that were true. Like I always say to my clients, when you own your shit, no one else can hold it against you.

Initially, I felt like a fraud because I was one. I was running from my own hurt and issues related to being in a blended family instead of facing them. When I confronted them, it gave me some agency over them and allowed me to step into authenticity. My life is messy some times. But show me someone whose life isn’t? My ability to navigate my mess and own my messiness is why my clients love me. And Life Coaching is no joke. It’s completely transformed every aspect of my life. It’s transformed me. Because I continue to be an expert in the transformation of my own life, I can help my clients achieve the same change in theirs.

And yes, I’ve been a pretty big asshole many times in my life. I’ve been an asshole stepmom, I’ve been an asshole biomom, an asshole wife, and an asshole ex-wife. But I’m not claiming to be perfect. I am painfully aware of my imperfections. I am claiming to be human. What’s changed is that I’m working on owning all of my asshole tendencies so I can be a little less asshole each day.

Byron Katie says every judgment is really just a projection, something we see within ourselves and recognize in someone else. We do not recognize in others what we do not also see within ourselves. So umm, when you call your ex inconsiderate, it’s because there’s a little part of you that recognizes you can be inconsiderate too. Or when you call your husband’s Ex “high conflict,” it’s because you can tend to be confrontational also. I’m not gonna lie, that one hit me in the face the first time I thought about it.

And, have you ever noticed that when passing judgments, we tend to demonstrate the behavior we are judging the other person for? Calling someone judgmental is, in fact, a judgment. You tell your husband how rude and careless he is for leaving a mess around the house. And by calling him things like “rude” and “careless,” you are, in essence being rude and uncaring. Or when you fill your girlfriends in about that bitch at work, you can’t stand? You are, in reality, being bitchy also. Well shit, knock me off my high horse.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve judged others as harshly as they’ve judged me. I’m not proud of it. And I’m still not without judgment today. We are humans. We judge. I am human. I judge. But again, what I’ve realized is there is no one judging me harder than I judge myself. Owning and appreciating my own flaws helps me be more compassionate and less judgmental of others’ flaws. I will continue to work on being less judgmental because I know how it feels to be judged, and because the only person judging others hurts is me.