Today after work and school, and an hour of quality time with our respective electronic devices, I summoned my kids to go play at the school playground while I got in my exercise. Upon arriving I was disappointed to see two other moms there with their children. It’s not personal it’s a comfort zone. If I’m there by myself I can let my thoughts stray from this to that and keep an ear out for my children. What happened instead startled me and reminded me of something I had advised my teenagers on several times this year.
If someone at school says you are weird or something is wrong or ugly or blah blah blah about you doesn’t make it so. In fact it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. Reason being; if they reject you first they no longer risk the chance of you rejecting them. If they haven’t said something specifically to you then decide for them how they feel about you reject yourself in their behalf. The proxy rejecting prevents the chance of a real rejection keeping you safe in a land of rejection, the very thing you’re looking to avoid.
How does this apply to moms at the playground? As I started my walk with my earbuds in enjoying the warmth of the sun I suddenly checked in with my thoughts and they were unkind things about the strangers at the playground. Grateful for the awareness I corrected my thought pattern, I would not be pre-rejecting anyone today. A short distance later I found myself deciding for them all that must be wrong with me, pre-rejecting myself on their behalf.
The bad news is I’m still learning lessons that first showed up when I was young. The good news is I have teenagers to remind me of how to get through it.