As if there isn't enough pressure to be a good parent. I pressure myself to love unconditionally, to embrace my child's authenticity and model good behaviour. To be a good wife and mother, to have a clean and tidy house, garden and mind. And if that isn't work enough, for me, I need to love myself to do this properly.
I spoke with a parenting (authentic parenting / attraction parenting / attachment parenting - does it need a label?) counsellor, and I outlined our issues and she said to me something on the lines of why am I letting people criticise me and belittle me? Why am I letting myself be bullied? I, she pointed out, am modelling poor self esteem, I'm showing my son it's okay to be abused. Ouch. But sadly it is true.
In trying to seek approval from people that won't accept me or my opinions, I wonder - have I missed out on a most important trait to model - self respect and hence, self love?
I let other people's (albeit perceived) negative voices seep inside me, to creep up so I get angry believing my children should or shouldn't do something. I am letting other people's self-limiting beliefs limit me.
I know I should not speak ill of others and if I have an issue with someone treating me wrong I should say no. But that part of me, is just going to have to wait. Because it takes time and energy to fight my inner negative voice, and I don't have it in me to take the pain out of every stressful thought when every negative encounter brings more.
In the instance that you encounter a negative critical person that you cannot be assertive with for whatever reason, the most loving thing to do is create a distance, politely.
Because if you let someone treat you badly, you're not respecting them either. Truly. l have absorbed other people's negativity and then I seethed and had bad thoughts about them. I've wronged us both because I've withheld an opportunity for mutual growth and respect.
So whether I smile and walk away, or stay and assert my true voice, it has to be done with love.