Lessons Learned in Life: Releasing Judgement and Setting Boundaries during Hurricane Irma

6 Minutes Read

flooded street after a hurricane, lessons learned in lifeThe best lessons learned in life are the ones you can learn during a catastrophe. After the destruction of hurricane Harvey, everyone was taking the Irma threat seriously.

I started to consider whether we would evacuate. We live on an island. Our home is on the water.

The tide surge was a concern. Could we get washed into the sea?

I understood the potential outcomes.

Lessons Learned in Life: When a Hurricane Approaches, Do You Run or Stay? 

Factors I considered:

  • We would be riding it out on higher ground.
  • We had fuel, water, food and multiple generators.
  • Traffic and fuel to evacuate would be difficult.
  • I knew that I didn’t want to be cut off from my home (re-entry limitations to the island).
  • I am self-employed. My business was indefinitely closed.
  • My husband is stepping into an important place in the family business.
  • I needed to support my husband. He and my dad are modern day MacGyver’s. If you wanted to feel the safety that is offered by humans – these two are the guys to be around.
  • The building we stayed in was ideal; very safe (poured concrete/high elevation) and very quiet – even in a cat 5 storm. I knew we would spend more days in peace leading up to the storm if we stayed than if we chose to evacuate.

Choosing Peace of Mind

I knew we could face any combination of threats.

And yet, I felt peace with our choice. We went paddle boarding on Thursday afternoon prior to any ‘bad’ weather rolling in. My hubby took a break from storm prep and joined us. We had a beautiful experience and saw cool stuff. Between the cardinal that flew across our path to a family of ancient iguanas – I observed God’s world.

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We Stayed …

Because we stayed, our family had the best week.

  • We bonded in new and special ways.
  • We spent time together.
  • My daughter had less screen time and more mommy time than any other week.
  • We assisted in Irma prep at our daughter’s school. We went to the park, paddle boarding, did art and learned about shadows. She understands about Irma as best she can. Remarkably, she remained happy and content. Our daughter was a calming force for all. I had the choice. Be present or be scared. I remained present. We didn’t watch the news. We played.

All this being said – you had noooo idea of all this consideration.

Nor does it matter.

We don’t think the same or believe the same. We are different people.

Yet, you judged me.

I tend to believe you judged me because

  1. I chose differently than you and,
  2. Because I am a mother of a young child.

Guess what? That, was your shit.

Why Did You Judge Me?

Because it distracted you from your discomfort. Rather than deal with your own anxiety about uncertainty, you took it out on me. You wanted me to change so that you could feel better. That’s not how love works.

You told me to ‘stay safe’. This is what most people say when danger is approaching. I responded with “of course” and “you too”. Bland and obligatory replies.

[bctt tweet="Truthfully, I think safe sucks."]


I’m not trying to be obtuse, thick or difficult. I know the difference between taking risks and being reckless.

Taking a risk is a calculated choice. A decision to feel the fear but do it anyway because the outcome could be beneficial. Reckless is acting without thought or concern for well-being of myself or others.

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” -T.S. Elliot

I believe meaningful life experiences don’t happen in the safe zone.

  • If I ‘stay safe’, I don’t challenge myself, try new things or embrace vulnerability.
  • I can’t push the limits of possibility by staying safe.

Lessons Learned in Life – #1: I wish I had the wisdom to express my feelings before you judged me.
Lessons Learned in Life – #2: I should’ve set my boundary early.

  • I was still processing; and, I wanted your approval.
  • I didn’t want to offend, scare, argue or defend.
  • I wish I had said “this is my choice, please respect it, we can debate when it’s over”. Or something like that. But I didn’t.
  • And, I left myself wide open for feedback.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for your concern.

I don’t even fault you for judging me.

Honestly, it allowed me an opportunity to grow. To practice communicating without defending, to check my internal processes and to trust my higher power.

[bctt tweet=”Trust your higher power. #howtobehappy”]

Lessons Learned in Life: Trusting My Higher Power

So, yeah, we stayed on a barrier island in a cat 4/5 storm. Yeah, I did yoga on the highway in hurricane force winds (not very effective lol). Yeah, I ripped my yoga pants climbing the fence to the park. No, I didn’t ‘stay safe’. And, I also wasn’t reckless.

Practicing Tools for Dealing with Judgmental People

I’ve consciously practiced tools for dealing with judgmental people.

Every negative response received was an opportunity to have faith, not act defensively and to practice trusting myself. I also practiced unconditional acceptance of others – even when they were angry, frustrated or afraid.

Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes get sucked in to feeling like I have something to prove. My work is to let go of ego and embrace the uncertainty of life. Because life is messy and dangerous. And it’s also beautiful and joyous.

  • If you can relate to my experience, leave some feedback!
  • Do you want to embrace boundaries or release judgement? I am your teacher.

Lessons learned in life come in many forms.

Let’s work together to learn and grow through this experience.

I can be reached in my Boca Raton or Key Largo therapy offices at (561) 221-5575. If it’s easier, fill out my on the house consult form. We will get your telephone or virtual video consult scheduled asap. From there we will find your win-win solution!


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