I'm so tired of this.
Updated: Jul 16, 2019
Over the holidays, I was at lunch to celebrate one of the kids in our family's birthday, Isabelle. Before we arrived, Isabelle's mother, Emma, sent a text and asked that we not mention anything to Isabelle about being a teenager. I didn't think too much of it and just made a mental note to pay attention to that. While we were mingling, Fiona, the grandmother of the birthday girl and I were talking and the text came up in conversation. I told her I got the text too and was fine with the request. Fiona told me that she is constantly getting these orders about what she can and can't say or do with her grand daughter and she was sick of it. Fiona burst into tears.
Fiona and I left the room so she could compose herself and we chatted some more. She was telling me how she didn't want to wrap the presents anymore (you could tell she spent time thinking about the wrapping and made a beautiful tower of presents) because he family told her she was too over the top and it wasn't necessary. She told me a few more stories about some things that had been going on, where her family would have an opinion of things she would do and she felt belittled.
Not judging anyone for their choices or opinions, I put my hand on Fiona's back ad just said "you're not wrong". The look on her face was one of shock - she got it right away that she was feeling like she had done something wrong in each of the situations she described to me. We discussed that doing things from the heart, and right for you, were things that she should not feel wrong about.
What was so very interesting to me, was that this reflected back to me times when I felt like I was wrong because I was criticized for something that I did or didn't do - I have been so conditioned to react in an "I'm wrong" way that I couldn't see any other story in these types of situations.
2 things happened that day, Fiona had an "aha" moment and walked away not feeling so wrong about some things that made her feel happy and I walked away with a greater awareness that the little comments and opinions can add up and really wear you down over time. This awareness has helped me to recognize when the felling of "I'm wrong" may not be necessarily so.