I had lunch with a beautiful friend, this week on my day off, who has seen her fair share of judgement. Because of this, she has also lost a lot of friends… This sort of “justified judgement” ruins everything, always.

Let me be transparent for a moment. Sometimes I may see someone I care about make some really bad decisions. I may go to them and say “I love you. I really do and I’m worried about you because you are _________. What’s going on? How can I help?” That very scenario is just an example of the dozens and dozens of ways this can be addressed. I’m no expert on how to talk to people but in my few decades on the planet I’ve kind of become an expert on how not to.

Don’t approach someone as if you are their authority and tell them they are making a mistake. If It’s a mistake, they likely already know it… And unless it’s outlined in the rules, it may not be a mistake. Just because you think it’s wrong doesn’t make it so.

Don’t tell someone the reason bad things are happening to their children is because they or their partner committed a sin.

Don’t lash out at them because they didn’t receive your inappropriate and ignorant rebuke, by telling them it’s obvious they are the problem in their marriage.

None of us are perfect. We ALL mess up. None of us is better than the other, no matter how long they’ve faked it on social media by not being transparent. We are each responsible for living our own lives… We each have to do our best, and fix it when we let something slide. My way may not be your way, but that doesn’t make it wrong. I guarantee you are doing 20 things that someone else is judging you for. All we can do is love and support one another, and that NEVER looks like talking down to someone. Real support looks like opening our ears, shutting our mouths and trying to see what it’s like from that other person’s perspective. Actually caring about what’s going on, and then if there’s something unsettling, saying “hey, friend, let’s look at this ______. Maybe there’s a different way to handle it. Let me know how I can help and what I can do to ease your burden right now.”

Because, honestly, any other way than that simply adds to that person’s burden and your “justification” for it is simply self-righteous. Whenever SELF is a contributor, you’re doing it wrong. We are supposed to bear one another’s burdens, or at least ease them… So let’s share the hard and celebrate the beautiful TOGETHER…

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