If you follow the rules in conventional society, then no matter what you are wrong. The picture below was when I was doing just that – dressed appropriately for my accounting job, in an unhappy marriage that I was trying to make work, diligently attempting to follow all of the rules that I had been taught to follow to have a wonderful life. Honestly, I was completely miserable and all of it was falling apart.
You are the wrong size – you are too skinny, you are too fat. Not only that, you are the wrong shape. Your skin is the wrong color. How dare you be so short, so tall! Let´s not even get into how your feet are totally the wrong size.
If you wear non-designer clothes or shop at thrift stores, then you are poor and pathetic. If you only wear designer clothes, then you are a snob, think you are better than every one else, and a golddigger. Let us not forget if those clothes are last season instead of THIS season. How dare you show yourself in last season’s clothes, last year’s clothes! Someone THAT size should NEVER wear THAT!
As an employee you can never do enough, strive for a high enough position, make enough, give enough. Then again, there are the ass-kissers who go above and beyond no matter what, who do everything to be loved by the boss. As a woman, try being assertive for yourself or others – you´ll be called a bitch and bossy, among many other words. Oh, and never EVER have an emotion. Men at least are allowed a couple of emotions at work: anger and frustration.
You are never a good enough parent. Everyone is judging how good of a job you do by how your children act. If they are having an emotional moment in a store, it is because you do not discipline your children. If your kids have been pushing your buttons all day and you slip for a moment and lose it, you are a horrifically awful parent and Child Protection Services should be called. As a mom, if you work you are hurting your children, you are allowing others to raise them, you do not keep track of what your children do. If you do not work outside the house you are a lazy person, you are not teaching your children to be productive members of society, you are babying your children. As a dad, if you work: you are working too much, you do not spend enough time with your children, you are not advancing in your position fast enough, you are not increasing your salary fast enough. If you are a stay-at-home dad: you shouldn’t even count yourself as a man as that is women´s work, you should not be giving your children baths as that is possibly molestation, you are just a lazy good-for-nothing mooching off your wife.
If you workout: why aren´t you in better shape? Why don´t you have the perfect body? Only THOSE people do THOSE workouts. You have to push yourself to the point of injury or you are just not good enough. Yoga is NOT a workout. Everyone should run. There´s another fat person at the gym – what is your bet on how long they will last? You don´t workout at least 2 hours a day?!
How DARE you have allergies! They are all in your head. Gluten doesn’t cause anyone problems, you are just making it up. That fat person only eats crap. That thin person needs to eat a cheeseburger. So-and-so is on a diet so let´s offer them cookies and cake! An invisible illness that is not cancer? It MUST be made up!
Ugh! That person has the perfect life! I will never have that! Ugh! Here´s that person complaining about their health again. Why can´t they just stop?! Someone with an opinion other than mine – I must delete or attack them!
So how do we stop feeding this ugly beast and step off this horrifically awful spiral? It´s actually quite simple. Choose differently.
When you hear people judging others, ask them how the things they are pointing out are a reflection of their own life. Including yourself. When we judge others we are actually judging ourselves, and our inability to measure up to the unrealistic standards we set for ourselves.
Start by loving yourself EXACTLY as you are. This body you are in is yours, from your birth until your death, and it is there as your cheerleader never walking away from you no matter what occurs. It is the one thing that is there for you 100% of the time no matter what. Tell it “Thank you” for what it provides for you regularly, and tell it that you love it.
Love the amazing uniqueness you bring to the world that absolutely no one else can copy, as only you are a product of your life experiences, and you are so precious and important because of this.
When you feel jealous of others, instead of lashing out at them, see if what they have is something that you can work towards in your life. Maybe ask them for pointers on how they got there.
Listen to how you talk to yourself and talk about others. Do this for a week and see what comes up. Maybe it is time to start a different conversation with yourself or about others, that honors instead of knocking down. Perhaps you will find that you and those others are WAY more amazing than you ever thought.