How someone else views you, mama, how they speak of you or look at you or write about you actually has no bearing on your life. It doesn’t change the DNA of your spirit any more than it changes the DNA in your blood.
Do you realize that? None. They don’t follow you home and sleep in your bed and shadow your every move. They don’t make your money, deliver your children, cook your meals. You do those things. You make those decisions. You say what you can handle and what you cannot. Where your convictions lie and where they do not. If someone thinks their’s is better…so what?
You manage your heart. They manage theirs. Life moves on.
I know the feeling. That feeling. The feeling of judgement. Insecurity. “But, you don’t even know me….”. My stomach turns and I can’t decide if I want to thrash to my own defense or crawl under the table and cry. You see, I’m the gal who births naturally. I’m the gal who breastfeeds for a freakishly long time and who brings healthy cupcakes to birthday parties. You may think I do not know the feeling of judgement, but daily there are words put into my mouth and intentions put in my heart. I “must” be judging you. Women who are afraid to tell me about their c-section, or feel ashamed to pull out the Cheerios, or dance around sharing their decision to (fill in the blank). You don’t think I get the same looks you do when I won’t let my kid drink that soda or watch that movie? Please. That feeling makes me want to throw a bag of pizza rolls at my kids just to make everybody else feel better.
Here’s the thing. Until we realize we are the ones who manage our hearts, the ones who control our own offense…this feeling will linger. It will set up camp inside our souls like a colony of termites and eat, eat, eat away at our joy, until all that’s left is a frail pile of what once was a strong fortress.
The truth is, nobody needs to adjust their life because I can’t manage my own heart.
You are a powerful person. You may choose to read that blog, swim through all those comments, stay in that friendship, or assign a motive to the look you just got at the grocery store.
You also have the power to read things that feed truth into your soul. You have the power to walk away from the relationship that constantly compares. You have the power to give someone the benefit of the doubt. To assume goodness. To be confident in what’s in your cart, your home, your spirit.
YOU! You have that power. Unless, of course, you give it away. Unless you choose to be a victim of comparison. Unless you make yourself helpless to the judgements of others.
We are stronger than this. Better than this.
Can we start choosing to manage our hearts? Can we recognize that another’s choices is not what is to blame for our offenses? Can we take some…responsibility?
This war, mommies, it’s really within ourselves.
Let’s win it.
This article originally appeared Keri Duckett’s blog.