Two Assumption that can Stop it in it’s Tracks
She’d never been a mother, and yet, she was absolutely confident in her mothering ability. (Aren’t we all confident when we have not yet experienced it?)
“What I did next was cruel. And from where I stand now, after thirteen years fighting deep behind the enemy lines of the Mother Hood, I can tell you with certainty: any tribunal would call it a war crime. What I did next was launch a violent emotional ambush that left my unarmed sister wounded in the field.” Shonda Rhimes in Year of Yes
With absolute conviction she said something like, “I will never hire someone to take care of my baby. That’s just lazy. . .” Now with her third child in tow, she hires help. But in that moment she looked at her exhausted friend, a mother with a newborn, who hadn’t showered in a few days and shamed her. We’ve all learned the art of shaming each other. It’s one of the weapons we use to fight the terrifying battle in which we find ourselves.
We feel the shame and pass the shameful verdict on to the next person because it looks like everyone else has figured it out. If we shame someone else, at the very least, there will be one more person who hasn’t figured it out. “It” being parenting, relationships, business, community involvement, building a brand, you fill-in-the-blank. After all, when we scroll, we can clearly see that everyone has it figured out.
The idea that we don’t measure up, keeps us feeling ashamed. There is a battle that rages within us and the chief enemy — ourselves. We don’t need to ramp up the intensity of the battle by shaming, judging, comparing. It defeats us (and them) before we ever step out on the battle field.
What if we start assuming two things: First, they do not have it figured out, even though it looks like they do. In fact, they are just as human as I am. Second, they are not judging us, even though it sounds like they are. When we make those two shifts, shame - judgement - comparison stop sticking to us. Those weapons are rendered useless. If we stop looking for the enemy in everyone else, we stop finding the enemy in everyone else. The battle stops raging and we can actually find ourselves, not our enemy.