Hey! Take that stick out of your eye!

When you sit in judgment of others, you are convicting yourself. That's not an original thought, it's been said by others in different ways, but it's one that's been on my mind lately. Don't let your judgments separate you from your family and friends. We are all a work in progress, we are all damaged goods, and all of us are dragging around useless baggage. Unconditional acceptance is the greatest gift we can give to one another. It does not condone or condemn. It doesn't have to agree. It does not pretend to solve all problems or save the world.

It's just two souls sharing a little warmth for awhile.

If we were lucky, we came into this world with nothing but love. As we got older, that got tangled up with other priorities: school, careers, 401K's, mowing the lawn, feeding the dog, laundry, taking out the garbage, binge watching Netflix—or as I like to call it, life. When all that is all said and done, when the kids grow up and the career is over, when the cars are paid off and the mortgage burnt, you might find yourself sitting in a chair on a porch on a warm summer evening with somebody else as wrinkled as you. You might hear a lawnmower down the street. Closer by, a cricket chirps. You might smell the freshly chopped grass as you sip your iced tea. Old eyes meet. The past swirls around the two of you like a warm breeze. It means nothing, it means everything, all at the same time, and because of that, it just is.

It's what life is all about, really. It's why we toil all those years. So we can finally get to that place where we are who we are, and we are happy about it. There is no way you will get there if you keep letting your judgments and petty bigotries define your trail. It's a path strewn with brambles and potholes that will end in bitterness and a solitary death.

So stop beating yourself up and hating everybody else because of it. Accept yourself. Accept others.

It's where true happiness lives.