I recently decided to let go of what people think.
It’s been almost three days, and I feel amazing.
When I say letting go of what other people think, I mean including me. I am often my own worst critic. And that nonsense needs to stop, immediately if not sooner.
Whenever I’m looking for Glennon Doyle quotes, there’s a photo that pops up:
I love this. The first time I saw it, I assumed it was a note Glennon wrote to one of her kids. But then I read this article and realized it was actually one of her readers who wrote this, after losing her temper with her daughter for making an honest mistake.
I make mistakes ALL THE TIME. In theory, I believe that making mistakes is a natural consequence of doing anything. So I believe they’re okay. No issues whatsoever with mistakes.
But, in practice? I beat myself up for making mistakes on a daily basis.
I think we learn to beat ourselves up early in life. I have friends who don’t have this inclination, but in me, it is a fierce habit that’s proven really difficult to break. I may have learned it in church; the Catholic god can be guilt-inducing and punitive. I think I learned that it wasn’t enough just to make amends when you did something wrong; if you didn’t feel intensely guilty about it, then you weren’t a good person.
Now, me? I’m used to all this self-doubt, self-condemnation, self-hating. It’s been a part of my internal world for forever. BUT I HAVE A KID NOW. And I will be damned if he learns this kind of self-condemnation and guilt from me.
I firmly believe that children learn a lot more from watching what adults do than listening to what they say. I know that from my personal and professional experience, and from my binge listening to The Gifts of Imperfect Parenting, an audio CD from Dr. Brene Brown. Who we are is a better indicator of how our kids will turn out than how we parent.
There was another part of Glennon’s article that I loved. She writes this:
HERE’S THE PLAN: TODAY — when we lose our temper with the kids, when we accidentally eat that third brownie, when we don’t send that thank you card for the fortieth day in a row, when we forget to stop at the gym, when we’re late for that meeting — anytime and every time we fall short of the ridiculous expectations we put on ourselves — we are going to say to our sweet, well-meaning selves:
“Whatever. I’m fabulous anyway.”
That’s grace. TODAY we shall offer ourselves GRACE and see how THAT goes. Let’s make friends with our selves. We deserve to have a good, kind, gracey friend. We can BE that friend to ourselves.
I. Love. This. So. Freaking. Much.
It’s my new mantra. I’ve caught myself at least twenty times these past few days, about to chastise myself for a mistake or an action that doesn’t reflect my values. You know what? I could make nothing but mistakes today, and I would still be fabulous. If you’re living a life that’s not completely aligned with your values, you can work on it; I am constantly working on this. But what good does it do to beat ourselves up? How will we have the optimism and energy for self-improvement if we’re always putting ourselves down? We won’t.
Anyway – it’s been an amazing three days. Onward.