How Judgement Runs My LIfe
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Health and Wellness

How Judgement Runs My LIfe

And what I intend to do about it

How Judgement Runs My LIfe
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Everybody is back to school. For me that means that most of my girlfriends are back in the classroom and my three children are attending school full time. My job, for the most part, follows the school year but I happened to get this week off except for Friday. I start next week back to my regular schedule. So on Monday, after I took pictures of all the kids getting off to school, I returned to an empty house.

It was glorious. I sat on my front porch in a blanket and read my books and did my spiritual practice. Then I came inside and got out my new book I just started and another cup of coffee and settled into the living room comfy chair. I was in this good, peaceful, self-care, present state of mind. I read, ate lunch, watched a little television and allowed myself to fall asleep in the chair. Did I mention I'm constantly sleep deprived? It was so fabulous.

I got up and walked to get my two youngest from school and then started dinner when we got home and settled. That night, after soccer practice got rained out, I relaxed some more and put the kids down to bed at a reasonable time. I felt amazing and present and content.

The next day I woke up later than I had planned. I was tired and kept pressing snooze. When I finally did get out of bed, I had to be in more of a hurry for the morning than I would have liked. And the judgement began. Not from my kids, or the teachers, or anyone else, but from myself.

The judgement voice took off...why did you stay up late last night? Did you really press snooze that many times? Why can't you sleep and wake up like normal people? Here we go again, the cycle of staying up late, not getting enough sleep, and having a hard time getting up. What is wrong with you? So now we are going to feed our kids mini-muffins out of a box and slap a Lunchable in their lunch box? How nutritious of you. We better walk fast or we will be late for school, oh gosh I'm going to be the late mom with the late kids.

I had one thought of going back to sleep when I got back home so that I could catch up and not be so sleep deprived but judgement quickly came in and put me in my place. It said...oh so you get to come home and sleep after everyone else goes to meet their responsibilities and work. If you had a real job like your husband, you wouldn't be able to go back to sleep, so too bad. If you sit around on your butt sleeping, reading, or watching television two days in a row, you are going to be one of those bon bon eating stay at home moms they talk about on television. You better get something done, push yourself, earn your keep, etc.

For the record I don't like judgy me. I think she is mean and cruel but she gets to me and pulls my shame/guilt strings until I listen to her. So I started laundry right away and then I decided to clean the living room. It became an obsession starting with vacuuming the comfy chair. I found fruit snack wrappers underneath it and a pencil in the side of the cushion. This led to a thorough vacuuming of the whole chair and then taking it apart and moving it around to get underneath it. This led me to do this with every piece of furniture in the living room until I ended up hours later with a sore back, sweaty, and a completely clean and rearranged living room. Laundry continued and kids were picked up and dinner was made and by the time I sat down to eat, I could hardly keep my eyes open.

I realize that when judgy me shows up, adult me disappears. What takes her place is a fearful child. The part of me that feels like I have to be good, that I have to earn love, the part of me that thinks there is no time for fun, just time to be busy, earn your keep and keep your mouth shut. The part of me that fears consequences, though I don't know what they would be except judgement by others. The part of me that fears being called selfish, lazy, inconsiderate, or stay at home mom (but not in a good way, in a snarky way like I don't do anything all day). The part of me that thinks that pleasing others and taking care of their needs is more important than taking care of me.

I took time to explore this feeling, be curious about this part of me that drives me to exhaustion with her demands and judgement. I pictured myself as this little kid who feels like everyone is looking at her and that she has to be perfect or be judged. That she has to earn her love, affection, and place in the family. I immediately felt so sad for her. So sad that she didn't know better. So sad that she drove herself to exhaustion trying to act a certain way when it was unnecessary. I began to see that every time this version of me showed up, the adult version of me abandoned her. So I summoned my most adult self I could be at the time and tried to comfort the part of me that felt so crazy trying to run from the judgement. I cried, a lot. And I said out loud to myself that I didn't have to do any of that stuff. That none of it mattered. That the only important thing, the most important thing was that I take the best care I can take of me always.

Was I more productive? Well my living room got cleaned and rearranged but I had spent so much time and energy in that room that I had nothing left when my family got home. If I had just listened to that little voice that said go back to bed, I may have had enough energy when I woke up to do the living room, and go for a bike ride. Did my family need a spotless, newly arranged living room or a present, well cared for, adult mother? The answer for me will from now on will hopefully be the present, well cared for adult mother. Why should I care what anybody thinks of that? I don't know. All I know is that I cared so much that day and so many other days of my life what others would say. And I ignored the loving, caring, adult me voice that said, go to sleep honey. Your body needs rest. It is okay to rest. There was no room for compassion before, just a judgmental taskmaster keeping score of good and bad.

So how do I change? Well, I'm going to pay attention to me. Am I frantic? Am I lifting couches like Wonder Woman or sitting on one with a good book? Am I doing it for someone else? Do I care what they say, think, or how they react to me? Or am I content with my decisions no matter what others have to say about it? Do I notice small things like a bird outside, dew on the grass, or my kids telling a silly joke? Or am I hyper-focused on getting something done and excluding all other things from my mind?

The bad news is that I will fail at this and I know it. It is a new awareness and new information. It will take a while for me to figure out how to change this. The good news is that I can ask the adult me to come forward at any time to take over and stop the judgement and frantic people pleasing. I can get quiet and sit still long enough for her to show up and then change how I finish the day and not beat myself up for how I started it. I can try my best every day, every minute of the day to ask myself what is best for me and then do that. It seems like a more mature way of living and I want that.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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