“Color the entire page, even the background. You can’t move to a different picture until you finish that one completely. I still see some white space on the page…”
“Eat it all. I don’t care that you don’t like it.”
“It’s broken now so you’re not getting another one. Accidents don’t just happen. I told you to be careful…”
My strict Irish Catholic, Baby Boomer father instilled in me to fear wasting things, to value every possession. Living under Dad’s high standards was tough but I was a daddy’s girl and so I tried – and tried – and tried.
As a young adult out on my own, I’d try to ‘make Dad proud’ and not waste things. I’d use a pen down to its final stroke, use a dime size squirt of toothpaste and not a nickel. When I did waste (never intentionally of course), I’d feel guilty and beat myself up.
Danielle, you shouldn’t have overbought those strawberries. Now you’re tossing out half a carton. What’s wrong with you?
Do you really need those new shoes? You’ve only had yours a year now…
Danielle, how could you lose your purse at the mall? That’s not how you were raised…You don’t deserve to buy a new one.
In my mid-twenties, I slowly realized I didn’t have to carry Dad’s unrealistic expectations. I started to show myself compassion whenever I ‘wasted’ something. Positive self-talk was a go-to of mine when I made a perceived mistake. Danielle, it’s okay. You didn’t intend to drop and break the vase. It can be replaced… Usually a couple deep breaths and some words of kindness eased my nerves.
One of my favorite expressions to give myself when I need it most is, “It’s a part of being human”. This one phrase gives me a huge hit of love and forgiveness. It reminds me to embrace being perfectly imperfect.
A few weeks ago, I was reminded how far I’ve come from my self-criticizing ways. I left my earpods in my shorts and the hubby did laundry with them still in my pockets. The earpods no longer worked after they went for their swim in the suds. Although I was bummed (I mean $120 is a lot of money), I didn’t beat myself up. I gently told myself, “It’s a part of being human,” and I moved on.
It was a beautiful experience to pause and marvel at my personal growth. It’s hard breaking any type of judgment habit, but as the years have gone by and I’ve ‘wasted’, damaged, misplaced and over-indulged, I’ve learned to naturally and instinctively talk to myself in a loving way.
Healing is possible my friends. You don’t have to color the entire page or stay within the lines.
Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friends. The greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.
PS – Here’s an affirmation to give yourself self-love in those situations you need it most, “I am at peace with who I am. I am enough. I am whole. I am love.’
PPS – Are you trying to live up to somebody else’s standards, as opposed to your own? Maybe you’re the ‘party planner’ of the friend group, but you don’t want that responsibility anymore? Or perhaps your family expects you to visit frequently, but you just don’t have the time or desire? Whatever the case, grab your pen and a journal. Write that person a letter. How do their expectations of you impact your feelings and quality of life? What do you want them to know about your wants and desires? Now write a note to give yourself encouragement to speak your truth to that person. To start living life for YOU. Doesn’t that feel good? Now see if you can put your words into action.