I want to say this: let’s end the madness! The Great Female Judgment Madness MerryGoRound. This is what I see in my seminars, events, and coaching room. I see:
- Working Mothers feeling like they are falling short because they are not spending enough time doing the mothering thing.
- Stay At Home Mothers feeling like they are inadequate on some level because they are not doing the working thing and financially contributing.
- No Kids (yet, or ever) Women feeling like they are failing somehow for working and not having (or being able to have) kids and be part of the traditional thing.
God. It’s EXHAUSTING.
All this crazy JUDGING of our perceived failings and inadequacies needs to stop!
There is another way. We need to stop doing this to ourselves and to each other. The two are directly correlated. The harder we are on each other, the harder we are on ourselves. And I see that women seem to do it a lot more than men. There is much more of a culture of judgment in the sisterhood than outside it. When did we get so hard on ourselves and each other? Men do not seem to judge each other or themselves anywhere near as often or as harshly. When was the last time you heard a male executive interviewed and asked how he manages to “balance family responsibilities with the job?” Exactly.
Here is the thing about endlessly passing judgment and coming up wanting on our choices:
It makes us forget that the only thing we “have” to do is breathe. Everything after that is a choice. EVERYTHING. Hard choices sometimes, I am not denying that, but a choice nonetheless. A choice to work or not work. A choice to have an income of one level or another. To have kids or not. More kids or not. We need to just choose it. Whatever makes the most sense for our personal situation and then be all there with it. Choose it then STOP JUDGING IT! Just be all there with it. Own that choice fully and unapologetically.
Whilst we are at it let’s stop with the judging of each other’s choices shall we? We are all busy with multiple responsibilities. Every other woman out there is facing a host of choices we know nothing about. She’s made the best choice for her – who are we, really, to be judging that?
In stopping judging each other’s choices so harshly perhaps we can stop judging our own with such weight. If we can extend compassion to the next woman with her life choices perhaps we can extend that compassion to ourselves and stop giving ourselves such a bloody hard time! If we can cut our sister some slack then we can do the same for yours truly.
WE ARE ALL DOING THE BEST WE CAN!
It’s that simple.
Let’s be OKAY with that. Lets stop the crazy self and other women judgment that finds us all so wanting and guilty as charged. Don’t even get me started on the how long to breastfeed v’s formula thing. Or the body shape thing. Or the natural birth v’s c-section competitive rivalry I hear about. For chrissakes. Enough already!
We are all just doing the best we can with what we have. The awareness we have at that point. The things we have personally learned up to that point. We are always doing what we think is the best choice given the circumstances as we perceive them. That’s all we need to know. We do what we know until we know better. The late great Maya Angelou said it perfectly:
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou
So, until you know better, choose your best option then stop apologising for it and judging yourself for it. Just be all there with it. If you already know better, awesome, choose a new thing. Don’t apologise or judge yourself for it. Own it. Be all there with it. Til you know better. Rinse and Repeat. Life is one long string of lessons in a never ending sequence. It’s never done. There is never a perfect choice. It’s always evolving. We are always evolving. We are always doing our best with what we have at the time.
Judging – by it’s very nature – is a process that will find someone guilty. Lets stop with that shizzle all together. Incessant judging finds us guilty of imaginary crimes. It finds others guilty too. It creates a cycle of guilt and creates an illusion of feeling stuck and trapped in our situations when the truth is we are not.
What can we do INSTEAD of compulsive judging? Good question. Radical answer. We could be compassionate. We could be kind. We could evaluate each situation we meet with compassion rather than judgment. The Dalai Lama says “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible”.
Being kind to ourselves. Being kind to our sisters. Meeting ourselves with compassion. Let our internal dialogue be one of kindness. Lets try it. Just for one day. Let go of our own guilt and inadequacy and let everyone else let go of theirs. Stop with the incessant judgment.
We are all doing the best we can. And that’s more than good enough! Be kind to your precious self. Be happy.