For too long I’ve let what my ex-husband and his new wife think about me bother me. All I wanted was for the kids to see us all get along and to bring them up in a peaceful and accepting environment. But it seemed that the more I tried the worst it got and as much as I tried to just suck it up and hide how much it hurt me, the kids could tell something was wrong. My life was great until I had to drop off or pick up the kids or communicate with the “other side” at the kids sporting events. I was even tempted to stop inviting their father and his new wife to save everyone from the crushing tension of having to be in the same room. It’s very obvious that neither of them likes me and I thought I could change that without sacrificing my own dignity.
Then I realized that not only can I not make them like me but I don’t need for them to like me! I don’t even need for them to accept me. The only thing that matters is that I like myself and I accept myself.
A few weeks I had been running around like crazy doing my very best to balance school, work and being a mother when I had to miss my sons makeup baseball game because I had to work. My ex said something to the effect that I should start caring about what my son is doing and it really hurt. I cried and cried until it hit me that I had been going about this all wrong. I had been trying to get my ex and his new wife to like me and in doing so I was giving them power to judge me. It was like saying “Please like me so I can be happier”. But as I’ve told so many of you, your happiness doesn’t come from others.
That’s when I decided that from then on, I was going to let go of caring about what they think about me. I was going to care about what I think about me more and I think I’m a damn good mother. Actually, I know I’m the best mother my two kids could have. I don’t need for anyone to tell me what kind of mother I am and I don’t need to change how I parent my children to please anyone else. God made me their mother for a reason and the only way anyone else can judge me is if I give them that power. So I’m taking my power back and giving myself even more peace and happiness.
Recognition. The first step to dis empowering someone else’s judgement about you is by recognizing how their judgement makes you feel. It’s easy to feel the negative energy after someone has judged you and just lash out carelessly. But if you can step back and recognize the feelings that have come about inside of you, you can become aware of them and awareness gives you the power to decide what you do about those feelings.
Acceptance vs. Resistance. Once you’ve acknowledged how someone’s judgement has made you feel you can decide to either accept it or resist it. Acceptance does not mean that you just put up with it. Acceptance means that you decide to let something be so that you can let it go. By accepting something, you let it be in its place and you don’t spend any more of your precious energy by trying to change it. You let that something go so that it can no longer effect your life and in doing so you free up more space in your heart for more happiness. You cut out the bad, set it down and leave it and you make more room for the good. Resistance is the opposite. When you resist, you fight against something and you try to change it. The truth is the only person you can change is yourself. You can’t change someone and by fighting against them and their attitudes, you only drain yourself. I had to learn the hard way and the minute I decided to stop resisting my ex-husbands judgement of me, I felt free.
Empowering yourself. Take back your power from someone else’s judgement of you by making your opinion the only one that matters. This is how you let go and empower yourself. By taking all of your energy and thoughts and directing it inwards to yourself instead of outwards to others, you give yourself all the power to control your feelings and happiness. Ask yourself, “What do I think about me?” and if your opinion is negative in any way, ask yourself why you feel this way and then take small steps to change your opinion. For example, I realized that I thought I was being too grumpy with my kids in the morning because I’m usually rushing around trying to get everyone out the door. So to change this, I started getting everything ready the night before and making it a point to sit down with my kids at breakfast and tell them how they’re going to have a wonderful day at school. Just that small change enhanced my thoughts that I’m a good mother so much! The power is all yours but if you’re wasting it on worrying about what your ex, his new wife or anyone else thinks about you, you’re selling yourself short.
Honesty and Respect. There’s no reason for me to hide how my kids’ father thinks of me. I used to tell them that we get along and that we like each other but kids are smart and in learning to be okay with their father’s opinion of me, I’ve learned that I can inspire my children to not let others judgements get in the way of their happiness by showing them that it’s okay if he doesn’t like me. Now I know what you’re probably thinking…”how can you let them think its okay for him to disrespect you? You’re the mother of his children!” It’s not like that though. You see he can dis respect me or dis like me all he wants to but again, my opinion is the only one that matters so no matter what he does, he has no power over my peace and happiness. My kids see this and they know that even though daddy isn’t too fond of mommy, both daddy and mommy love them very much. And they don’t only hear how happy I am but they feel it too.
Even though their father doesn’t like me, I still respect him. We are all entitled to our own feelings and opinions and we are all in control of the power we give to others by letting their opinions matter to us. I choose whether or not he can affect my happiness now. And I choose to only let the things that add to my happiness matter such that he cares for and loves his children very much. So when I speak of him to my children, I speak from a place of appreciation. And this doesn’t mean that when I’m around him, I have to even talk to him because honestly I’m not quite there yet nor do I know that I’ll ever get there. I don’t have to go out of my way to be nice to him. All I have to do is stand in my place of peace with an open heart.
You are amazing, beautiful and imperfectly perfect in your true form and there’s never any reason to change for anyone. Your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters. You deserve to feel like a beautiful person and all you have to do is let go of others opinions and care more about yours. No one can judge you unless you give them the power to do so. Love yourself that much and in doing so, you’ll inspire your children to do so as well.