Judgment in Paradise

Sea foam green is the color of the ocean. Palm trees line the sand providing a canopy of shade and tranquility. Today there is not a speck of white in the sky, only blue, azul, except for a 1/2 circle of faded white where the night moon lingers. Sail boats glide along the water effortlessly. A father and son are snorkeling in the distance. Spanish honeymooners take picture after picture to capture the beginning of their lives together. A grandma with short white hair sports a bikini and a lower back tattoo. Booze cruises blasting Spanish music circle the ocean with the spring breakers drinking it all in (pun intended). A preppy 20 something in Khaki shorts and a pale blue button down walks the beach dutifully with his middle age mother. A mother of four pushes a double stroller, bags, beach toys and family in toe. Empty nesters hold hands carefree strolling through the water. Gorgeous and blazon Europeans sunbathe topless without a care in the world. Overweight men let it all hang out in too tight speedos. A mother drinks herself to sleep in a beach chair while her mother tends to her sweetly.

Scene change: the maids are up at 5 am washing every surface of this gorgeous resort. The landscapers toil cutting and trimming each palm branch just so. The bartenders sweat and dance as they keep refilling the sweet coladas and daiquiris. The kitchen workers dice tomatoes and fruit to prepare for another meal serving hundreds of hungry vacationers.

And what am I doing? Observing from my beach chair, reading, and laying out to catch some much needed sun. Escaping into the characters in my book and the characters I see before me. Wondering what their stories are, but if I'm really honest. I’m sitting here judging. Judging the mom with four, the topless European, the Grandma with the back tattoo. Even in paradise it is just sooo easy to judge. Until we can let go of judgment of others and of ourselves, we will never be truly present in the right now and happy with ourselves.

How do we let go of judgment?  We can start by being grateful. I am going to start by being grateful for the sea foam green ocean, the never ending sun, the job which provided for us to be here, the children whose energy keeps me young and tired, and for the workers behind the scenes making this trip so wonderful.

We can also recognize that when we judge someone else, we see something in that person that maybe we wish we had. I wish I had the bravado to lay topless on a beach, or the courage to get a tattoo at 38 or 58! With each judgment that little gremlin is whispering in my ear...not skinny enough, not bold enough, not strong enough. I want the "I don't give a $%! what anyone thinks of me" attitude. That's what I want. I'll get there. I'm going to start by letting go of judgment in paradise. #puntacana