In the raw light of truth, it becomes undeniably clear: the judgments I cast are not windows into others’ souls but mirrors reflecting my inner tumult. In these unguarded moments, I realize the world outside is painted in the hues of my inner conflicts. Every critique I harbor is a chapter of my own story I’ve yet to reconcile with. This isn’t about them; it’s about me—my fears, my insecurities, my unresolved echoes.

I’m lugging around this notion that if I just run fast enough, work hard enough, or shine bright enough, I might finally outpace the one person who keeps me up at night: myself. But who am I kidding? Every shadow I leap over, every mirror I pass, it’s me staring back, isn’t it? Haunting, relentless, and undeniably true.

Have you ever found yourself caught in the act of judging someone, only to realize that the essence of your judgment mirrors something deep within you? It’s like gazing into a body of water, expecting to scrutinize the surface, but instead, you’re met with your own reflection staring back. It’s a moment of truth that can either jolt us awake or make us turn away.

I’ve been there, in those shoes, walking that path of quick judgments and sudden realizations. It’s almost too easy, isn’t it? Spotting flaws and failings in others, silently pointing them out. But here’s what I’ve learned the hard way: every time we point a finger, every harsh thought we entertain, it circles back to us. Not as an echo, but as a stark revelation, compelling us to face not just the person we’re judging, but ourselves. In every harsh word, every pointed finger, we’re unwittingly painting a portrait of our own struggles, our insecurities, our hidden fears.

This isn’t just about others; it’s a deeper, more introspective path. It’s about the moments when you stand in front of the mirror, not to admire your reflection, but to question it. What do we see in others that stirs something within you? Why do their actions or choices trigger such strong reactions? The answers often lie not in their behavior but in our own perception, our unique history, our inner narrative that we continuously or unconsciously write and rewrite.

It’s a humbling realization, one that can unravel the threads of our carefully constructed self-image. But it’s also liberating. Because the act of acknowledging that our judgments are reflections of our inner world opens the door to self-awareness and growth. It gives us a chance to pause, to delve deeper into our psyche, and to understand the roots of our perspectives.

Imagine turning each judgment into a question, a query into your own soul. What would you find? Perhaps a wound that hasn’t healed, a dream that you’ve suppressed, or a fear that you’ve allowed to dictate your narrative. I feel that the people we judge, in a strange, unintended way, become our guides, leading us to the unexplored territories of our own hearts.

So, when I catch myself in the act of judgment, I take a breath and look within. I use that moment as a catalyst, not for criticism, but for introspection. Because every person we encounter can be a mirror, offering us a glimpse of what lies within our depths. It’s an opportunity to embark on the most profound journey there is—the journey inward.

In this journey, there’s no room for pretense or hiding. It demands your authenticity, your courage, and your willingness to confront what you find. But so many people find that rewards are immeasurable. Maybe because with each layer we peel back, with each shadow we face, we come closer to our true selves, to a place of understanding, empathy, and peace.

I’m embracing this journey not as a burden but as an opportunity to grow, to heal, and to become the fullest, most authentic version of myself. How about you? In the end, the reflection we find in the water, in the mirror, in the eyes of others, will be one we can greet not with judgment, but with acceptance and love.

Ever in Sight

My words became a blade sharp and slick,
slaying foes, both thick and thin.
Yet, in every clash and conflict,
it’s ‘me’ I pack, skin to skin.

Escape yourself? A futile feat.
Try as you might, with all your might.
In every echo, you’re all too near,
in your own shadow, you’re ever in sight.

Because you can’t outrun your own shadow,
no matter how far you aim to stride.
In every mirror, it becomes clear
that with ‘you’, you always must abide.

(2015, © Julia Delaney)

Julia Delaney

This poem? It’s not just words. It’s a confrontation. A mirror held up not to show me my surface, but to reveal the depths I’ve been dodging. Those words I wield like a blade? They’re slicing through the façade, revealing that beneath the victories and the losses, I’m the constant. I. With every breath, every step, I’m packing ‘me’ along for the ride, skin to skin, unable to shake the most persistent follower I’ll ever have—my own damn self.

Think you can escape? Good luck. It’s like trying to outrun your shadow on a sunny day. Futile. Every echo in the emptiness, it’s my voice. Every shadow, mine. There’s no hiding, no running, no escaping. The truth? It’s as clear as day in every reflection, every piece of me that I try to leave behind. I’m ever in sight, bound to the one person I’ll always have to abide with—myself.

So here was my wake-up call: Embrace the journey with yourself. It’s messy, it’s beautiful, it’s painfully raw, and it’s the only one you’ve got. This poem? It’s a declaration that you’re inescapable, but maybe, just maybe, that’s not a curse. It’s a chance to finally stand still, look yourself in the eye, and say, “Alright, let’s dance.”

Be Alive 🌱
Love ❤️, Julia



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