Can't We All Just Get Along?
One day, not that long ago, I was wasting time on Facebook. It’s easy to do. Why is it such a time suck? I digress; that’s not what I’m here to talk about. So I was scrolling through Facebook when one of my friends’ posts caught my eye. She had uploaded a picture from a magazine from an article on making your kids’ lunches fun and cute. She was upset by it because who’s got time for that? She’s a busy mom (working outside of the home) of school-aged boys. She felt like she was being reprimanded in a way for not being THAT mom. She was asking how she can keep up with all of the demands in this Pinterest-obsessed world. She kinda ranted.
Of course, that made me feel like I was being judged because I try to be THAT mom - the one who makes cute lunches for her kids. The one who writes cute notes to put in their lunch boxes or backpacks. The one who likes to decorate for all the holidays - nationally observed or not. I mean, who doesn’t want to celebrate National Cookie Day or National Ice Cream Day?
So here we were. She felt judged. I felt judged. Everybody felt judged. There’s enough judgement going around to span the Earth 8 million times. Ok, I made that last bit up. But still. At some point in our lives, we have felt like we are being judged. Social media and our gotta-have-it-now society doesn’t help. We can easily see what we want to see, which is that we are not measuring up to the perceived standards of someone else’s lives.
We all think so-and-so has it better than we do. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, my friend. We really don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. We only see the good or the bad that people choose to show us. And we’d be better off remembering that our perceptions based on someone’s social media feed isn’t all that rosy.
For example, you probably don’t realize that when someone is posting about the panda shaped sandwiches she made for her 9 year old son, she is hiding behind the fact that her marriage is falling to pieces and she’s trying to hold on and make things better in whatever way she can for her kids. There’s no WAY for us to know that because she hasn’t chosen to share that with the rest of the world.
And most of the shame we feel about not holding our own with someone else is on us. We can either choose to feel judged, or we can acknowledge that there are people out there who like to fold origami cranes with secret messages hidden in them to send with their child to school. If we can let go of the comparing, we can let go of the feelings of judgement. Because those feelings come from within. They are a projection of our own ideas or faults. They are not reality.
Remember, doing these things only becomes an expectation if you make it one. So let’s all remember that it takes a whole lotta different people to make the world so beautiful. If we all did the same thing in the same way, it’d be so boring. We get enough of cookie cutter houses lining the streets of suburbia and homeowner associations that dictate how many feet away from the curb you can put your trash can. We don’t need to have any more conformity. If you stop the comparing, you’ll stop the feelings of being judged. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Besides, judgement day isn’t here yet.
I love what Rebekah says about these things only become expectations if you make it one. Do you believe this is something you create for yourself? Share a story with us in the comments below!