My hubby Ron is a project coordinator for maintenance operations at our local hospital. Yes, I know, he is a total badass. The other week, Ron received an emergency request to build bunk beds (of sort) for the morgue so they could have more space for the bodies. Rest in peace you beautiful souls.
Ron, whose biggest fear is dying… Ron, who has never been inside a room full of lifeless bodies, was asked to enter the morgue to take measurements… And he did. He spent the rest of the day building those beds.
When Ron came home, he was drained and overwhelmed – rightfully so!
I – being the kind and yes, overprotective and loveably overbearing person I am – started an impromptu coaching session.
Me: “That was a lot for you to take on today. Are you taking care of yourself?’’
Ron: “Yes, babe. I’m trying.”
Me: “Good. What exactly are you doing for you? To make sure you’re not letting the heaviness of your job weigh you down?”
Ron: “Today I had an ice cream sandwich and me and the guys were making fun of each other all day.” He chuckled like he remembered one of the jokes he cracked.
Now, I have to admit, my own self-healing go-to’s look nothing like Ron’s – I’m more of a take a long walk, read a book, and relax with an epsom salt bath kind of person. So while part of me wanted to suggest one of these, seeing Ron’s shoulders relaxed and his eyes gleam when he recalled the way he cared for himself told me that satisfying his sweet tooth and picking on his friends was the absolute best remedy for his hard and emotional day.
And with that, I had nothing else to say besides, “Good for you babe. I’m so proud of you.” I had no spiritual guidance to give him. No intuitive guru advice. No ‘here’s an affirmation to help you…’ wisdom. Sure, I could have suggested meditation or a crystal bath or journaling, but Ron didn’t need to do anything different or anything more. He, in my opinion, handled the day and his self-care perfectly.
With that being said, do healing your own way. Whatever feels right to you and helps you through the day, that is what you should be doing.
Ron – Thank you for always opening my perspective and heart. I love you.
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 – It can be overwhelming when the world is telling you one thing but your intuition is telling you another. When in doubt, use this affirmation, “Only I know what’s best for me.”
PPS – Do you have enough self-care in your day? If you’re not sure, grab a pen and journal for this activity. For the next few days, right down everything you do that feels like a treat to yourself. This could be watching a guilty-pleasure show, chatting with a friend on the phone, attending a dance class, cooking yourself a nice meal (not because you have to, but because you want to). Was capturing everything you do for yourself easy? If not, maybe you need to do more for you.
The other morning, when my 14-year-old son Aaron asked me where I was going, I cheerfully responded, “To my eyelash appoint.”
Aaron’s nose crinkled as he gave me a judgy look, “Why do you try to be someone you’re not? Who are you trying to impress anyways?”
His response hurt; he was quick to judge with questions oozing accusation.
Excited for a change amidst the 2020 work from home same-old, same-old, a few months ago I started getting false lashes. My lashes have brought me joy. They make me feel more confident, more prepared and prettier for my dozens of Zoom calls. I’ve had fun waking up looking like Marilyn Monroe (hey, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) and receiving compliments from my clients, students and even strangers I meet on my daily walks and trips to the store.
That’s why I was disappointed by Aaron’s assumption; that I was trying to pretend I was someone I wasn’t as opposed to enhancing the person I already was and am: Confident. Prepared. Pretty. I cringed hearing that Aaron thought impressing the world was a bad thing. What’s the problem with wanting to look good for others? I’ve found that the more put together and refreshed I look, the more others perk up and are open to my energy, which helps when I am teaching, coaching or giving a seminar. As long as self-esteem doesn’t solely rely on how others see you, then looking good can fuel self-love and happiness.
To snap me out of my critical feelings towards Aaron and I’s conversation, I found empathy. I reminded myself that Aaron’s limited viewpoint wasn’t his fault. He’s a freshman in high school, an age when many kids judge one another and make unfair assumptions based on appearance. He’s superglued to Snapchat, TikTok and I’m sure other apps I don’t know much about that seem to perpetuate this habit.
I took a deep breath in, looking Aaron straight in the eyes.
“This is important. I don’t like that you judged me right there. I am being ME. Just like my blonde highlights and gel nail polish compliment me, so do my eyelashes. A girl can want to look good and do that for different reasons. Some will do it for herself and others will do it for someone else and regardless, that’s their decision to make. These lashes make me happy. I’m not getting them to try to fit in or hide who I am; I get them as sort of a celebration of who I am. As a way to treat myself.”
I could see Aaron processing. I smiled and said, “I love you kid.”
Aaron told me he loved me back. He then gave me a ‘thanks’ and a head nod that showed me I got him thinking differently. And with that, we moved on with our day.
I’m proud for speaking my truth – not always an easy thing to do – especially to my teenage son. Will he get it? Will he understand? Will he care?
I hope introducing Aaron to a new way of thinking opens his eyes to the importance of not snapping judgements and instead, becoming more conscious of others’ WHY. I hope he starts asking questions that come from a place of curiosity such as, “Does it make you happy? How so?”
Later that day, I started wondering how many people had judged me for my fake eyelashes and how many other females had also been judged for theirs. I then thought about all the women out there getting judged for their botox, their weight or their clothing. That number was enough to inspire me to write this post.
So, to those rocking new outfits that match your flair; those typing away with fake nails; those driving to work with a brand-new hairstyle: Go YOU! There is no need hide or be ashamed. You’ve taken the time to invest in yourself, and that’s beautiful self-love!
As for the others who judge you, remember that their judgment is a reflection of themselves, not you. Hold onto grace and patience in these moments; they don’t know your WHY. If they don’t ask, they probably don’t know any better. Keep rocking anyways.
If you’re making assumptions about others, how can you break those limiting beliefs and work toward appreciating the choices that others make?
And most importantly, how can we have meaningful conversations with our youth to ensure appearances don’t control their perceptions of others?
PS – Here’s an affirmation to help you along your ‘I won’t let sticks and stones hurt me’ journey: “I am the only one responsible for my self-esteem.”
PPS – To remind you that empathy is possible in all situations, get out you journal. Here’s a writing prompt: Think back to a time when someone hurt you. What did that person do? How did they make you feel? Although you may not forgive that person, can you find empathy? What human experiences may have shaped the way they treated you? How do you think they feel about the situation now?
A higher version of YOU
Onwards + your inbox = access to advice, personal stories, events, tools and more