In the spirit of my dear friend and mentor Gabrielle Bernstein's book launch, Judgment Detox, I thought it appropriate to write a little something for the mommas out there about judgment and forgiveness.
We all know the term forgiveness. But I think it's fair to say that's it's generally a term we associate with other people. You need to forgive your mother, your sister, she didn't mean it, just let it go. But if you are a student of spirituality, you may know that often time the most important person to forgive is yourself. But what does that actually mean?
If you know me personally you know that being a mom is truly my dream fulfilled. It's been my greatest joy as well as my greatest challenge. As moms there is so much that is expected of us -- work, keep the house in order, grocery shop, buy toiletries, cook, do laundry, research preschools, keep the kids happy, fed, etc. It's a constant juggling act. We are bound as human beings to mess up somewhere. We may forget to give the kids money for the book fair or still haven't gotten them proper snow boots so they can go and play in their first ever snow storm (totally guilty of this), you're late for pick up, you give them French fries for dinner (yup, guilty again!), or you don't even make it home in time for dinner like you promised. Whatever it is, we make mistakes and things often don't go as we planned.
On top of feeling shitty for whatever we've forgotten or done wrong we then mentally kick our own asses. How could you forget? They were counting on you. What's wrong with you? All of the women I see on instagram have it figured out. Why can't you? Maybe you're not the mom you thought you were. These negative thoughts send us even further into the dark and make it that much harder to come back. Not only have we made a mistake but we've judged ourself for having messed up. Being in this headspace only causes you to make more mistakes, you're setting yourself up to screw up again in some other way.
One of the biggest lessons I've learned is how to be kinder, patient, more forgiving, and less judgmental of myself.
Did you know that you can give yourself permission to forgive yourself?
And what I mean by that is taking the opposite approach to what I just described above. Be kind to yourself. When you mess up, simply say, "It's okay, I forgive you. You're doing the best you can. This is not the end of the world."
You're being your own worst critic in these moments. And you have the choice to stop.
It's that simple. Make the choice to change the mental conversation. It's not easy and it doesn't happen overnight. But the next time you're feeling shitty, ask yourself, "What am I thinking? It is possible I'm making myself feel worse? And if so, can I make the choice to release self-judgment and forgive myself?"