I had a tough moment that made me pause and look within which is sometimes a really hard thing to do. I had a conversation with someone today who was judging a person really hard for some words that were spoken. I thought to myself, what if God judged me for every single word that comes out of my mouth as the reality hit me that He does. I am human which automatically means I am so far from perfection when it comes to speaking. I struggle more and more each day to choose my words carefully but believe me when I tell you it is a full time job. I know the effort and dedication it takes and still there are times when I completely slip up and get it wrong. How many times can we see the error in someone else’s words yet we do nothing to bridle our own tongues from speaking words out loud that should never be spoken? Why is our inclination to judge another persons words while at the same time we are so careless with our own? This is a reminder today that the focus should be on the words we speak and so much so that we do not have the the slightest desire to judge words that come from any other. It seems like a simple concept so why do we struggle so hard with this one?
The truth can really hurt sometimes. There have been many times in my life that I have allowed the expectations of others to make me feel inadequate. Inadequate doesn’t even seem like the right word. I have allowed others to make me feel embarrassed about who I am. I cringe as I type the words. I’ve often wondered what it would take for me to feel like I was an important, successful human being. What would I have to do to feel like I had significant value? The answer became apparent over the last two weeks. The truth is, I have always been valuable. I am enough exactly the way I am. My importance and value does not depend on a degree I hold or a job title that sits on my desk just because someone else thinks so. My worth is not determined by how perfect I am as a wife or a mother or even a human being based on someone’s evaluation of who I am. I have allowed my value to be determined by others and that has been my biggest mistake. For years I have let people make me feel horrible about myself because I haven’t fit into the little box they’ve tried to stuff me in.You know what? I am bigger than that. I am bigger than that box. I have been blamed and questioned and allowed myself to fall victim to explaining who I am.
I could never, not even for a second, be good enough for the people who judge me. That is what people do like it or not. They make judgements about who they think we should be, what we should be doing and how we should be doing it. People tell me all the time what I will do or how I should be doing something differently. It amazes me. I am 45 years old and STILL I apologize for who I am.
Today I went for coffee. I didn’t put a stitch of makeup on and I wore my favorite yoga pants. It amazes me that we stoop to the point we even tell people how they should or shouldn’t dress. As if we weren’t capable enough to make the right decision on our own. Today I say buzz the hell off. Go away. I am enough and your opinion no longer holds any value. You will not define who I am or whether I have a purpose in this world.
I listened to someone speak at a graduation ceremony and she said something that really clicked. She explained to the students that they would still be given tests in life but they no longer had to worry about receiving a grade from somebody else. She went on to explain, life is in your hands and only you get to determine what your own grade is and what you’re worth. Amazing that I didn’t realize that twenty years sooner.
My new mantra: I am enough just as I am.
I am beautiful without makeup. I am skinny enough. I don’t need a paying job to hold value. I don’t have to be a perfect mom or perfect wife. It’s okay to make mistakes as I learn and grow. I refuse to live by someone else’s standards and let those ridiculous standards determine who I am. I am unapologetically me and only I get to decide my own worth. I am enough in each and every moment. The opinion of others will no longer weigh me down. I am free to be me. I AM FREE. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. This is who I am and if you have a problem with me it’s okay, just keep it to yourself.
Don’t be so quick to judge, it just might be you who is judged next. The fact is, we all have our own cross to bear and although there will be a few good people to help us along the way, we will ultimately be the one who will have to carry the bulk of the weight. I see post after post knocking Bristol Palin for becoming pregnant again. I ask you this, have you ever made the same mistake twice? If you have, then I guess you have no place to judge. Something to think about.
Some may be asking why is Miss Inspire asking her readers such an offensive question? Truth is I already know the answer. I spent a few years working as a psychic so there are some things I just know. No, not really but I do know. Final answer? You don’t have to fill the world in on what you decide and now all answers are locked in.
You are a jerk, sometimes at least. We all are. We all do and say and think things that would be completely offensive to another and that is okay. We are all human. The important question is do you only notice the jerk in others or can you see the jerk in you too? I know all too well when I am being difficult, complaining, judging. Just this morning, as I was supposed to be letting go of judgements and expectations in yoga class, here were my thoughts. This room is too hot. There are too many people crammed in here. The musics too loud. The music sucks. Why does everybody stink so bad? Is it me that stinks? Why doesn’t that instructor turn down the heat? If she has to ask if it’s too hot she knows all too well that yes it is!
I had to stop myself mid thought and take a step back and ask “Who are you? I needed to get away from myself. I hope you are one of the half that can recognize a jerk anywhere, even in the mirror. If you haven’t seen it in yourself and have only noticed it in others, you might want to ask a sibling if they think you’re a jerk. I promise a sibling will always be honest.
Anyway, step away from your jerk. Point at him. Laugh at him and run as fast as you can to get away. No- body likes a jerk. That’s a fact !
In case you really don’t know, here are a few questions to help you decide.
1) Do you like a post without even reading it?
2) Do you purposely not like a post on Facebook because of who posted it?
3) Do you have friends that you secretly despise?
4) Do you eat your kids Easter candy while they are at school?
5) Do you ask someone to do something for you and then tell them it wasn’t good enough?
6) Do you label people and call them names like fat, lazy, slow, ignorant?
7) Do you purposely drive faster so someone cannot merge in front of you?
8) Are you rude to waitstaff?
9) Do you feel superior to others?
10) Do you drop the door on the person behind you?
11) Do you suck the happiness out of everyone around you?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, then I’m sorry friend, you are a jerk!
I was having a conversation with a friend on Facebook earlier and we were having a discussion about young, gay people feeling like they need to change who they are to the point it sometimes leads to suicide.
I can’t help thinking that all of us feel deep pain. We are living in a time when it’s become routine to be judgmental, critical and cruel to the people around us. I know all too well about suicide. In my 42 years, I have known 4 people who have taken their own life.
When is the last time you have gone out of your way to make someone feel special or good about them-self? Think long and hard and count up the times you have lifted someone’s spirits or just been plain hurtful. We know what words hurt, yet we use them anyway. How are we supposed to feel good about ourselves and excited about life when the negative words outweigh the positive, kind ones?
I think of common comments or generalizations that have hurt me over the years. Those words over time scar. We do not carry shields like super heroes that deflect harm. We consume harm and it eats us alive from the inside out. We feed our pain with fatty foods, we become hermits and choose to stay at home where we feel safe. We cut our own skin or develop compulsive traits that help us deal with the pain we cannot escape.
I don’t have any answers but I do have a suggestion. Just for today, go out of your way to build someone’s self esteem. Say something kind and watch what happens.Try it for a day, a week, a month. Imagine how we could change someone’s life by replacing critical, unkind digs with complimentary, kind words. What kind of world would we become? The amazing thing is, one by one, we can build that kind of world. It starts with you and it starts with me. I’m going to give it a try and hope you will join me on this new journey. Choose your words carefully, because the person on the receiving end may be taking them to heart.
You would think I would learn now to not speak when I have anger bubbling up below the surface of my skin. I should simply smile at whoever makes me angry and walk away by trying my very best to wish them light and love. Well, I tried, at least to keep my angry mouth shut, but failed miserably. I have learned so much through expressing myself through my writing. Sometimes, I think I just write to write, but when I’m patient, the lesson comes. So, I’d like to share my lesson with you.
I woke up rested and in a good mood. I was slightly irritated by the fact that I woke up to the sound of my daughters bathtub running directly over my sleeping bed. But after all, she wasn’t trying to annoy me, she just wanted to take a bath. I let this one go and continued to run my mile, while outsmarting my overheating treadmill by running faster than usual to get the whole mile in before it rudely and abruptly had the opportunity to shut itself off. After all, that treadmill is out to get me but this time I won.
I cleaned up while Scott was spinning, Kayleigh was taking another bath, and Chase was upstairs playing with a friend. There I was whistling and singing the tunes from Les Mis and then it happened. I called my sister. That is when I started to lose it. She was angry her daughter used the hot water and she was making everyone clean because She didn’t sleep well all week, SHE took care of a sick dog all week, SHE had a busy week ahead. I tried to reason with her that my niece and brother in law need the weekend for some down time and probably were not on board with her collaborative plan. We parted ways to avoid an argument, and still I was able to wish her fast cleaning energy and love. Then I walk into the kitchen where I receive a speech on what I shouldn’t buy, a play by play of the discovery of the empty bag of potato chips on Chases dresser and a reminder how selfish he is that he finished every last strawberry when his friend wanted to eat some too. That is the point when what I bury, deep below my smile, my meditation, and new found calm comes spilling out, right down to the very ground I just spent the last month cleaning up. Me, me, me…I,I,I, …you, you you! I just wanted to scream shut up! Because all the voices outside my head, joined with that demeaning negative voice inside my head and I felt myself tail spinning into a dangerous relapse. So, I grabbed my iPad and started writing and this is what learned. When I recognize the very thing that bothers me about those around me, it mirrors back the parts of me that I despise deep inside myself. I have been working hard to change these specific things, especially letting go of judgement and expectation. It is easy to judge the impurities of someone else’s soul, but excruciating when you discover them inside your very own. It stripped me naked in that very moment when I was forced to look deeply at those imperfections and dark sides of myself. Really? I am going to judge someone that I am angry at for judging someone else. I am going to push my expectations on someone who is expecting something from someone else. There is no amount of meditation or yoga that can fix whats broken inside of me, but what it does offer is an awareness of those things that are broke. That awareness is what offers me an opportunity to react differently because of my deeper understanding of myself. I get it now. But guess what nasty little voice in my head, I am going to laugh this one off and while I’m doing that I will offer you a little light and love cause you really could use some. Oops there I go judging again….lol!