You Don’t Know Me

To the lady in Starbucks who just called me a bad Mom very publicly for all within earshot to hear,

You don’t know me.

And that’s too bad for you.  Because I believe, if you did you wouldn’t feel the need to place judgement on me as a Mother to my son after observing us for 72 seconds.

And moreover, if you did know me, I would hope that I would have had some positive influence to inspire you to be compassionate rather than hateful.

This is not a typical Art of Beingness post.  This is a vent to release the toxic energy directed at me from a complete stranger.  This is to ensure that I continue to be a good, nope…nope…fucking great Mom to my son, the best I can possibly be, because I know I am and I know holding this type of low level frequency is unhealthy for me and takes away from my stellar Mom-ing abilities and also shackles me to her negative vibes.

As much as I try my best to be present and non-reactive and filled with gratitude and joy, when I was judged harshly today while out in public with my son, I felt a tide of anger and disgust rise in me forcing out a reaction to meet exactly the force she was projecting at me.

When she turned the dial up to 11 and said to her husband, “Just look at that, he’s (my son) been standing there trying to snuggle her and staring up at her this whole time (referring to the time he was in the washroom doing washroom things) and she is just sitting there on her phone completely ignoring him! Ugh!” Each word progressively becoming louder.  At which point, I turned to her…already walking away from me to exit the building (and hopefully my life forever) and I said quite loudly back, “Uh ya…he’s okay…I love my son!”  Not one of my better moments for sure, but I was incensed with what she was suggesting and how completely out of context she was making her judgement, let alone passing this judgement as if it were hers to share with all of the Starbucks staff and patrons.

I know that before the good Mom police arrived, I was sharing an after school treat with my son and helping him with a math concept he had been struggling with for the past few days.  I know that I left my teaching career of 11 years, to be a better Mom to myself and my son.  I know that recently I have been exploring other ways to be, one of which is honouring my creativity as a photographer and writer; this has given me another form of work and volunteer opportunity to acknowledge other people in our community who have faced challenges and need an act of kindness to raise them up.  I know that all of this is powerful and impactful for my child.

Today I asked my son to wait a moment, while I quickly responded to a work related photography email.  He said, “sure” and then commenced the snuggle/puppy-dog-eye routine which was then misconstrued in a snap judgement by a complete stranger in the span of time it took her husband to do his business.  It’s one thing to judge in the privacy of your own mind, it’s a whole other matter when you roast someone in a shared community space. It made me feel, quite simply…violated.  It hurt my heart.

Now of course I can fantasize that this woman will read this and feel remorse, but I know that is not realistic.  She didn’t strike me as a blog reader, let alone someone who might subscribe to one called the Art of Beingness, but then again, I shouldn’t judge her book cover or her book jacket synopsis should I now.  So I do this instead, to release myself from what I know is untrue and also in the hopes that we might all think to take pause and not throw hateful or hurtful things around our communities that we share, as you just don’t really know the whole story.  And I will even go as far as this limb…that even when we think we do know the whole story or the whole person, likely we don’t.

She doesn’t know me but lucky for me (and my son), I do.

 

 

5 comments

  1. This seems like one of those moments, I call them “the mirror” moments. This is when someone in pain makes a snap judgement based on their own stuff, their own history, their own pain, their own regret. So why do we respond to this? Is it our own moments ” in the mirror?” If this same event at Starbucks happened to me , like a rolodex, my mind would go to many places, particularly the guilty places that we “humans” have. Comments like those from a complete stranger in Starbucks evoke reflection. Rather than anger, dig down into those uncomfortable places. While I am a great mom, I am a “human” mom, who is imperfect, who has made uber mistakes and, sigh, has regrets. Regrets are not the negative soul-sucking emotions society would have us believe. Regret serves as a reminder to not repeat an action that we wished we could take back. At the end of the day, to me, it’s all about intent. Did I “intend” to harm my child? “NO!” Once I reach that place of intent, nothing can harm me. No comments can dissuade me. No look can inflame me. I own my self, my parenting, my moments moving through this life flawed bit honest.
    People come in to our lives for a reason…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This seems like one of those moments, I call them “the mirror” moments. This is when someone in pain makes a snap judgement based on their own stuff, their own history, their own pain, their own regret. So why do we respond to this? Is it our own moments ” in the mirror?” If this same event at Starbucks happened to me , like a rolodex, my mind would go to many places, particularly the guilty places that we “humans” have. Comments like those from a complete stranger in Starbucks evoke reflection. Rather than anger, dig down into those uncomfortable places. While I am a great mom, I am a “human” mom, who is imperfect, who has made uber mistakes and, sigh, has regrets. Regrets are not the negative soul-sucking emotions society would have us believe. Regret serves as a reminder to not repeat an action that we wished we could take back. At the end of the day, to me, it’s all about intent. Did I “intend” to harm my child? “NO!” Once I reach that place of intent, nothing can harm me. No comments can dissuade me. No look can inflame me. I own my self, my parenting, my moments moving through this life flawed but honest.
    People come in to our lives for a reason…

    Like

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