This week’s guest blog post is written by my apprentice Julieanne Chazotte. I love how Julie embraces her humanness and finds freedom in letting go of self-judgments. Her invitation is for us all to see that our human foibles cannot and do not mean anything about us. And in the letting go of pressure on ourselves to be better, the resulting internal freedom naturally allows us to show up in more loving and compassionate ways.
Over the past few weeks my husband, Dror, and I have been going through an IVF process. This is a costly intervention with a lot of unknowns, and it involves all parts of us. Mental, emotional, and physical well-being are very helpful during this experience.
For the most part, Dror, and I have been doing amazingly well considering all it involves! And, there have been times when I’ve been extremely fatigued and behaved in a way that my family would call ”evil” when I was growing up.
I use to think I had to go to great lengths to hide the fact that I can be ornery and short at times. People are sometimes shocked if they see even a hint of me being grumpy because they are so used to me being sweet and loving. But it’s true; I can be a bitch (in the totally de-stigmatized sense of course)!
I share this because there’s liberation in knowing that just because I can behave in a bitchy way, does not mean I need to feel ashamed of myself.
When I see my behavior for what it is, the result of me reacting to my thoughts being destabilized, I don’t need to make it mean anything about who I truly am. I am simply doing the best I can in that moment!
The clearer I see this; the less it makes sense for me to “sneeze” my moods on anyone when I am feeling this way. The more familiar I’ve become with this state of mind, the easier it is for me to see that it’s not my best quality thinking and that there is little to no value in sharing it, so I find myself expressing it less and less. In the past, when it looked like this thinking had validity to it, I would go into battle on its behalf.
Does seeing this now mean I won’t “sneeze” or act out from this place ever again?
Absolutely not! This is part of my human learning curve.
I think it’s important to talk about these less than glamorous moods, especially in the age of social media. It’s so easy to only share the “best” parts of us. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But when we think we HAVE to hide what happens when we are destabilized, it only adds more internal pressure to our suffering.
Recently Dror told me that at times I think I’m better than him. When he said this to me previously, I either brushed him off or thought to myself, “that’s because I am better than you!”
This time when he said it though, I saw that my thinking this about him wasn’t a sign of clarity. It was actually a sign that I had lost my bearings and forgotten that we all experience low moods and do the best we can. We are innocent when this happens.
When it looks to me like I’m better than him, it means I’ve invisibly decided that his louder low moods are worse than my silent, but colder low moods.
However, when I remember that all of us are cut from the same cloth, that we all experience changes in our state of mind, and we simply get lost in low quality thinking at times, I have so much more compassion for myself and for Dror.
This does not give us free rein to express our low moods like toddlers having a temper tantrum, although we will at times. It does mean we have more room for the honest, full range of our human experience.
There is less internal pressure and more inner freedom. This brings out the best in us.
As I’ve experienced this shift, my low moods have been less intense and have shortened in duration simply because I am not adding onto them by judging my husband or myself as much as I use to.
My greater inner freedom brings me more clarity and more perspective.
Judging bitchiness as evil does the opposite. It stirs up more thoughts so we have less perspective, and in my case, it had me feeling arrogant that my low moods are somehow better than his.
I would rather be clear. I would rather have perspective and see my behavior for what it is and own it. I can be really prickly at times and this means nothing about me, and it means nothing about you too!
Julieanne Chazotte is a Transformational Coach & Three Principles Practitioner. She supports people in transforming their lives and businesses by helping them understand the role thought plays in creating their experiences so they can experience their own well-being, have greater perspective and take aligned, inspired action that makes sense for them. To learn more, visit: www,julieannechazotte.com.