We were sitting in a restaurant when I noticed the young couple in the corner. They were snuggling and kissing and just plain lovin’ each other. My initial thought was that it seemed inappropriate, but I realized if I stopped judging I would free myself to enjoy their sweet energy.

It actually worked. I appreciated the tenderness they shared and remembered how wonderful it felt to be young and in love. I squeezed my husband’s hand as I realized how grateful I was to have experienced our long ago teenage love morph into our mature and deep caring for each other.

A few minutes later we noticed the young man get down on one knee and my husband said, “I think he is proposing to her.” I snuck a peek and sure enough something big was going on. It was indeed a proposal and their joy permeated the entire restaurant. I felt pulled in by their authentic happiness.

What started out as judgment transformed into authentic joy. The young woman’s eyes met mine and I heard myself ask, “Did you just get engaged?” “Come see my ring!” she giggled. I found myself hugging both of them and wound up being the first person to wish them a lifetime of happiness.

A heart that judges has little room for joy.


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