Please do not judge me but…my marriage, my kids, my patience, my creativity, my budget, my house, my appearance, my goals, my car, my dreams, my tongue, my friends, my family, my outlook, my heart…it’s…
I read your words.
I hear you words.
I see you stop, just for a moment before you share, and in that moment, that breath, that hesitation is the fear of being judged when we share.
Please don’t judge me.
That’s how topic after topic after topic is started on our Finding Joy Page. And it’s a safe group, my friends, it’s safe. Women open up there and share their hearts and are LOVED for who they are and all of the other stuff doesn’t matter. And yet, yet, there’s this moment of vulnerability in sharing our hearts. Don’t judge me.
My friend Tiffany wrote this, We are always on the defense because we think we’re failing compared to others. And I think that’s often because instead of extending grace and love and saying “me too, sister” we just stay tight-lipped about our personal struggles and worries and concerns….because of worry of judgement and fear of confirmation of our worries that we’re failing. It’s a terrible cycle.
It’s a terrible cycle.
So let’s just get a couple things cleared up, shall we?
One. We’re all only human. We’ll mess up. We’ll fall down. We’ll say things that the next day we’ll be like where in the world did that come from? But in our human state we love deeply. And part of being human means that sometimes we have soda pop or chicken nuggets. Sometimes our house is a mess. Sometimes our kids mess up. All of that isn’t a grade of us as moms.
Two. We compare. And in that comparison we tend to give ourself really low grades compared to everyone else out there. Well, not all the time, because I know we also have those times where we think thank goodness I have it together unlike…. insert name. All of that leads to us, as Tiffany said, being tight-lipped.
Three. We feel alone. I get it. Keeping everything inside under the guise of false utopian existence has its way of wearing on us. And we all set the precedent higher and higher – we apologize for the mess when someone walks in versus just saying come in it’s awesome to see you. We can break the cycle of aloneness by dropping the precedents of perfectionism and letting people in to see the very real life that we ALL live. Messy sinks, throwing up kids, broken marriages, late bills. We all have something. We’re only alone when we hide.
Four. We don’t want to be judged. Not sure I need to even explain this. But, let me tell you – I hate feeling like I’m being judged. Because then, well, then it leads to me feeling like I can’t measure up. Which, as Tiffany identified is a vicious cycle of me feeling like I’m failing. And I know you, too, have that fear as my letter Dear Mom Who Feels Like She is Failing has over 270k Facebook Likes. That’s a whole bunch of us all wandering around feeling like once again we messed up. And to top of it we have to hide it so we don’t feel judged.
Five. None of us are failing. I mean, I guess if we gave up we’d be failing. But, friends, listen to me you are not failing. Sometimes we look at the times that we fall and stumble and lose our patience as absolute failure times. But then we’re missing all the times where we totally excelled and the times when we fought and the times when we operated on nothing but coffee fumes.
Six. We need friends. See point four. But we need to be real. And every single time we start a sentence with the words please don’t judge me we’ve put ourselves in the position of seeing ourselves as not measuring up. You are a mom. You didn’t wake up one day with all the mom wisdom put miraculously in your head. NOPE. Instead, you along with all the rest of us moms that are walking on this world, are instead LEARNING HOW TO MOTHER. And we do our best. We need friends who love us for our best.
Seven. So show up. That. My friend Lori has shown up to me in ways that are crazy. 3 am rides to the airport. She saved me from my purple hair fiasco. Has helped with my kids. Brought me food. Listens listens listens. And loves me AS I CHANGE. When our friends go through stuff we need friends that stick with us. Because, as you can often tell, I’m kind of an emotional mess. My emotions probably sit above the crust of my personality and rarely get shoved in the core. And sometimes that means I have bad days. But friends, and friends like Lori, know that being a friend means loving your friend as a mess.
Eight. Pledge to pause before you say Don’t Judge Me. Because, my friends, I’m not judging you. I’m loving you. Your past is in your past. In fact, so many of us walk around with the past, instead of being behind us, but rather in front of us defining our very moves. We’ll hear the inner critic pestering us and we’ll see all the hard stuff and instead of learning from it we let it define us. And often with fear. Fear robs us of today. And every single time we say don’t judge me we’re fearful. You are beautiful for who you are – if you need help or an opinion – be real and let go of the fear of being judged.
In fact, you, right now, have the ability to no longer tolerate living in a world of judgment. Because those that judge don’t see you for you. And you deserve to see you with the strength to know how much you matter.
We have ONE life to live. ONE time to mother.
It’s time to shed the fear of judgment from our shoulders.
It’s time for you to breathe, to smile, to appreciate you. Yes, you.
It’s time for us to LOVE our friends.
It’s time for us to live with faith for a future that is full of good.
It’s time for you to SEE you.
To see YOUR strength, beauty, power and unbelievable contribution to this world.
You know what I want to tell you now?
Me too, sister. Me too.
ps. My Challenge? Tell a friend “me too, sister” and ask her to tell a friend. Let’s become a culture of moms who loves instead of competes – who shows up instead of looks away – who are real.
now I’m going to go clean my kitchen, fold some laundry, watch a bit of Hulu, wish there was ice cream, change into my yoga pants, kiss my kids on their heads good night and carry on…