Holding a Magnifying Glass Up to My Judgements and Biases

Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve sat down to put together a blog for all of you. I’ve missed it. Writing is not something I’m overly good at or even enjoy that much, but it sparks the sometimes much needed struggle of introspection for me. I feel an urge to express something and between that desire and the end result, I’ve usually unraveled multiple bullshit stories in my head. Many times this process of writing is like holding one of the hotel magnifying mirrors with the high-powered light up to my judgements and biases. If you think seeing some giant pores and blackheads are scary imagine starring your hidden fear-based beliefs in the face! It’s not pretty. But it is effective. If you want healthy skin you have to be able to see what’s there and if you want a healthy mind you have to shine a glaring light on the parts that are causing you and others harm. There is no shortcut. 

I’m not even sure what to write about today. I have some many things blasting through my brain. The last week or so in Wisconsin has been so bitter cold, my urge to hibernate is calling more than ever Then I remember all that I’ve been given and remember that my work is not to just accept those gifts and go to sleep until I “feel” 100%. No, my job is to pound out a few paragraphs because I’m committed to mentioning the unmentionables and inviting others into conversations about those things. Regardless of the outcome, I’m going to write something and share it with those who are listening.

So I’m awake and just gonna jot down some facts to get me rolling. 

  • My anxiety is high and my energy is low, I’ve received the 2nd dose of vaccine, and today I am healthy and able. 
  • I’m living during a time when I can learn more about black history in one slide on social media than I did in all of my K-12 education. 
  • I have a robot-vacuum cleaner, named Harry, that cleans the hardwood in our house daily. Most days, I love Harry more than some of the hot-blooded creatures in my house. 
  • I bought my family locally made Valentines and I mailed them all even though I currently live with 2 members of that family…and I get the mail. 
  • My cat, Sky The Guy, likes to chew on one of the plants I’ve kept alive for over a year now and I cannot get him to stop. 
  • Super cold weather keeps lots of snow looking white and beautiful. 
  • Super cold weather makes my skin itchy and dry. 
  • I hope people who still have Trump signs and flags on display feel loved, supported and connected and continue to feel more love, support and connection everyday for the next 4 years.
  • Everytime I see a lingering sign, I envision myself as an action-movie star, a Die Hard-type badass with bumps and bruises (iykyk) and a bloodied lip. I’m fiercely soaking the harmful relic in gasoline before turning and walking away. As I walk I light a cigarette, take a drag and turn back for one last look and flick the cigarette dead center to create a roaring orange fire destroying the painful reminder of the slugfest.   

Those are facts that live in my head and my heart. I accept them. All of them – even the ones that feel like they cannot exist together. Because they do. I’m a complex person. I’m a fact. I accept me now and later everyday after this as I can say for sure that I’ll make mistakes or errors in judgement or find invisible biases lurking under the surface. Pores don’t stay unclogged. Blackheads are removed and then reappear. Learning to come to terms with that powerful light and magnifying mirror is another fact I am accepting. And just like that this blog is done.


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Julie Stephenson

Julie is one of the founders of Compounding Courage, a company that provides personal growth and leadership development programs. CLICK HERE to learn more.