I have recently come to the rather painful decision that I need to end my blogging tenure with CTWorkingMoms. I admit, I’ve found this decision to be much more difficult than I imagined, and though I imagined feeling a bit of relief once I gave myself permission to let this go, I feel much more sadness and loss than relief.
CTWorkingMoms has been home to my reflections for over two years. Yet I believe I’ve learned a lot more from the experience than I’ve offered. When I initially explored blogging, I spoke with a blogger-veteran about the taglines, “Support, Strength, Sisterhood” and how important they were to the site. She added, “and we try to keep a pretty strong commitment to non-judgment.” “No problem,” I thought. Yet, I’ve found that to be the most challenging growing edge of all.
It is Brene Brown that said, “we judge where we are most vulnerable to shame,” and I believe that to be strikingly true for me. I fall into judgment most often when I feel helpless or wronged. Usually, when I dig a little deeper, I can unearth the raw place in me that’s been triggered. Perhaps I feel someone rushed to judge me, and I retaliate similarly. Perhaps I feel that my efforts in one arena are simply not enough, and I judge when an ally hangs up the white flag of surrender and takes a break from the fight. Supporting moms choices for breast or bottle, home school, private or public school, and what we put on their plates are not my trouble spots. I struggle so much more letting go of my beliefs about vulnerability, endurance and surrender.
Over the past two years, I have very slowly but steadily challenged myself when I find myself in judgment, and I’ve made the deliberate decision when I catch myself to turn the mirror around and look at myself. The reflection has not always been pretty, changing is never easy, and dropping my righteous indignation feels like giving up. Yet, each time I do, I find myself staring at a reflection that is a little kinder not only to the world, but to myself.
Compassion has started to sneak in.
Light-heartedness has expanded.
The true gift of my experience with CTWorkingMoms has been redefining my relationship to judgment, and using it as a prompt to spend some time exploring, challenging, changing, and comforting myself as I continue to evolve into the person I aspire to become.
The other profound gift of CTWorkingMoms is the understanding that this degree of introspection and change cannot happen in a vacuum. We need the “support, strength, and sisterhood” of community to truly embrace the growing pains. We are all pretty much doing the very best that we can, but once we’re aware of a place where we need to grow, taking the leap is tough. We need each other’s honesty to keep us from reverting to those comfortable places in which we hide. Loving accountability is not easy to find, and it is this I wish for everyone in this “brutiful” (Glennon Melton), messy and incredible journey we call life.
May you find loving accountability. May you live with compassion for yourself and others. Thank you for over two years of lending me your heart and your ears. I am better for having been here.