You can’t judge someone until you walk a mile in their shoes

I judged her.
I remember meeting my first mission companion in the MTC. She was arrived two hours late and as I sat in the lunchroom waiting, I was anxious to meet her.
What would it be like being with someone 24/7, it couldn’t be that hard for me, right?

I was so confident in my ability to get along with ANYBODY that I knew the “companion” part of the mission would be easy for me. How could it not be? Of course I’d heard many ex-missionaries share their horror stories of just fighting all the time with certain companions, but I just felt like I wasn’t like them. I mean I was an ambassador for the University, I had been in student government which = easily likable and popular, right?

I felt like I was above the rest when it came to dealing with people and making friends, I was a PRO in my mind.
I was pretty prideful in my social abilities if you can’t tell.

The second I said “Hi, I’m Hermana Zurcher,” in a chipper voice,” can I help you carry your things?”, she just stared back at me extremely annoyed, didn’t say a word but walked away with both suitcases headed towards our room.

Okay… wasn’t expecting that?

Well the next 6 weeks were pretty awful. I was with someone who hated my guts, or so I thought.
To tell you the truth, I didn’t like her at all either. All I did was try to be her friend and help her look for the positive and she was so annoyed by that. She’d run away from me, she’d leave class unexpectedly and I’d have to go with her, she’d swear at me, she’d yell at me. I was feeling so cheated in my MTC experience and it was HER fault! Here I was trying to learn spanish and learn to teach and soak up the spirit and I was spending most of my time chasing around my companion who hated me, but because she was my companion, I couldn’t let her be by herself.

I was bitter. I spent a lot of nights praying in the janitors closet by our room, it was the only way to be alone for a second. I would sob to Heavenly Father and ask why me? I didn’t feel like I deserved this experience. I wanted to go on a mission but this was leaving me feeling unprepared and like I was a horrible person because I was told that all the time by my companion.

It has taken until THIS year for me to understand her and forgive her. I know where she was coming from. I know what it’s like to feel out of control and to feel like you’re going to explode so you just have to escape and run until you puke. I know.

I know what it’s like to feel so much unexplained pain inside and not know why but you pray and plead for God to take it away, yet he doesn’t. I’m still trying to figure that one out.

I know what it’s like to feel so broken and so down that when others around you act happy and chipper you feel so disappointed in yourself and think, “why can’t I just change my attitude and be like them?”

Unfortunately my companion was suffering with some serious mental health issues. She was lost and confused. I didn’t understand it at the time but I know it must have been SO difficult for her to be around me, a social bubbly person when she was feeling that way. I just thought she hated me but I know that wasn’t the case.

I judged her wrongfully, I know she was hurting inside. She wanted to love me but she was just facing some pretty intense stuff.

I never thought I would be in that same boat, ever! I thought I was above it, like I wouldn’t be given that trial because I just wasn’t wired like her….
But it happened. It starting happening on the mission in fact, but I’ll save that for another day.
POINT OF THIS BEING: You can’t ever judge someone or even truly understand them until you walk AT LEAST 10 miles in their shoes.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

6 thoughts on “You can’t judge someone until you walk a mile in their shoes

  1. >Sarah, I think honest blogging is WONDERFUL! I totally support you in this and think that people should talk about these things more. And um, I miss you. Maybe come over for 3 hours sometime. I'm serious.

  2. >Sarah, I love that quote from Plato. Thanks for your honest blogging. It is refreshing 🙂 You are definitely not alone in your trials, but I always feel that way too.

  3. >That Plato quote is my personal motto.Although depression isn't what I struggle with (though I have had months where I've really battled with it), as you know infertility is, and although the past 2.5 years have been almost unbearable at times, it helps to know that others are going through the same thing I am. (Not because I'd wish it on anyone, of course, but just because it means there are people out there who know how I feel when I feel like the only person in the world with problems.) (If this were an English paper I'd be failing miserably, wow!)Anyway, my point is, thanks for reminding us all that we need to be understanding, reach out to others, not feel sorry for ourselves, and just realize that we aren't alone.

  4. >Um, Hermana…Holy smokes. Reading this just made me get super emotional. I remember SO much this very hard experience, and how hard I prayed every morning and night for your companionship and just hoped that you'd be able to break through. I am so glad to know that you've been able to get this out. I have never been so impressed with anyone trying to love someone so much. And I'm still praying for you every day!

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