Did you just have a get-together or chat with another homeschool mom? Instead of feeling so happy that you connected, do you feel guilt for how you are not as awesome as that other mom? That is how I feel tonight. I know it is foolish, because every homeschool family finds their own rhythm, their own values, their own priorities and their own strengths. Because I know it is foolish, I have come here to tell you the truth about some things.
1) You will never be like any other homeschool mom, so stop trying. Be you and love yourself. Enjoy life. Love the journey. Embrace yourself. Love your strengths. Love your weaknesses. Grow in your own right. Be yourself.
On a higher plane, allow the other woman to shine. Let her be the awesome, unique person she is with her own set of strengths. Enjoy her beauty and uniqueness. Enjoy that she is a bright red strawberry and that you are a perfect avocado. Let her be a juicy fruit! Love her for being that! Let yourself be a soft avocado full of healthy fats. Love yourself for being that! (I hope you get my metaphors. I love metaphors.)
Don’t knock yourself every time she talks about being a strawberry and say to yourself that you wish you could be juicy like a strawberry. Don’t do that. Notice her strengths and be glad she is your friend and she is unique. Then look at yourself. When I was 12, my church leader gave me a paper that said, “God don’t make no junk.” You know that is true and did not need me to say it, but sometimes comparing gets out of hand. Note your strengths. Guacamole is great. It would not be with the avocado missing. How could you then replace that ingredient. Could you fake that one for a dinner party? No. Nobody could. Avocado is irreplaceable. So are you.
Sometimes I have to have dialogues like this with myself. It is not bragging. It is just arguing with Satan, who tells me how worthless I am. Satan is a liar. I am amazing! God loves me and He made me who I am for important reasons. Turn your imagination to an “It’s a Wonderful Life” scenario. What if you had never been born? Would that lady have learned that from you and in turn influenced those others? Would your children have been born? What would your spouse be up to? Your parents and siblings? How have you helped to shape their lives? Would this or that great thing have happened in your community without your having done one small, seemingly insignificant thing?
This helps me to love myself for who I am. It helps me get rid of Satan’s voice of hatred toward me. It helps me to hear my Heavenly Father’s voice instead.
2) Let everyone see the real you and don’t notice the look they have on their face or their tone of voice. Begin to let go, or let go completely, of the caring about what others think. If you do speak with someone critical, even if it is someone you love and care about, ask yourself some deep questions. Ask yourself this one most especially: Is this my life, or theirs? Then ask this. What will it take in terms of my relationships for me to begin living the way I have always dreamed of living? What would have to happen in life for me to let go of what others think?
Note: Usually my issue is thinking another woman is thinking something negative of me. One time, my husband asked me who I am to judge another woman and assume she is judging me. Isn’t that me judging her? Why, yes, it is. Since my husband gave me this gem of wisdom, I now think, ‘She is probably thinking kind thoughts about me, because she is such a kind person.’
Try that one on for size. I promise: LIFE CHANGER! My husband is so wise!
3) What about what you think about you? If it is negative and you are the one criticizing you, think and ponder much. Decide where you got this from, when, or how it developed. Then figure our a way to think only positive thoughts about yourself. I am not saying, stop trying to improve. I am saying, stop beating yourself up mentally for not improving fast enough. Just remember the story of the tortoise and the hare. Who won?