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Posted on 12 Oct, 2015 | 16 comments

Don’t Compare Your Insides To Other People’s Outsides

So I had a conversation at a party – what is it with me and conversations at parties? People are going to start avoiding talking to me…

Anyway, my lovely conversation partner mentioned she reads my blog and finds it amazing that I can share things so publicly. Things she can’t even bear to share with her husband – like if she shouted at her child that day. “It seems so easy for you”, she said self-deprecatingly, “I guess some people can just do that.”

Hoo boy.

First of all, when someone tells me they read my blog I immediately feel exposed. Aargh, they know things about me! Maybe they like what I write; maybe they think I’m a narcissistic misguided fraud… Breathe in, breathe out, reassure self, relax tensed shoulders…

To make it harder still, she reminds me that I share things that are potentially shameful and I want to run and hide.

yikes

Breathe in, breathe out, remind myself what it’s really about, open up and lean into the discomfort…

Maybe it looks easy for me. It’s not. It has been excruciating at times to expose myself in this way.

So why do I do it?

Because it’s SO darn good for me. (not to mention how much FUN I have writing and drawing…)

My main reason for writing this blog is that it helps me plough through, heal and release OLD fears and preconceptions that hold me back or keep me small. It helps me to stay conscious in my life and parenting and it is teaching me about keeping my self while I parent – what does that even mean?!

A second but important reason I write here is the healing for others. In my work I’ve been allowed the awesome privilege of hearing the truth about people’s lives. Not what they present to the world, but how they really feel inside the facades. It is a privilege I cherish deeply. And person after person comes to me and says, “Other people seem to have it sorted. Is it just me that struggles with this?”

Parents especially are a strangely isolated group. For all the chatting and play-dates, not many dare to speak about the real stuff. The shameful moments. The hidden smacks, shouts, rough grabs that we cringe to think about and prefer not to look at. It only takes one brave soul to stand in truth, dare to be vulnerable and speak out, for others to learn they are really NOT alone in their fears and struggles. That is why I choose to expose myself. I’m backed up by the definite knowledge that I am one of many dealing with this stuff. I know it’s normal.

So yes, I cringe when a relative stranger mentions my shouting at my child, but I have no illusions that I’m the only one who struggles with it. (Mostly past tense I can proudly say) After all, the reason she even brought it up with me is because she relates.

To those of you who read this and feel relieved; to those of you who can’t bring yourself to write a comment after the posts – I know you are out there because you write to me privately. I am grateful this is bringing you reassurance in some way.

sending love out there

We only see what other people present to the world – and it’s usually very convincing. I mean just look, she thought this is easy for me! If only she knew the depths I regularly have to plumb to do this.

DO NOT compare what is going on inside you – and how you feel and behave in your worst moments – to what other people are willing to show the world about themselves. Chances are, there are others who look at you and think you have it all sorted. They probably feel inadequate in comparison to you.

Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides. There is nothing wrong with you – or them. We are all dealing with our struggles.

Tell me one way you can let yourself off the hook this week?

Share, share, SHARE this post. Let’s remind and reassure as many people as possible.

16 Comments

  1. This is so true! Thank you Eilat for all your sharing!! I would love to meet you one day!
    This post is especially good especialy amongst us moms , who are to scared for the fear of being judged that we messed up some way!! It would be so special to share opnely with each other like you do with your audience every week!!
    What a different place the world would be!

    Us moms need to support each other as we are the ones who shape the children!

    Thank you thank you thank you!!

    DONT COMPARE!!

    THE RACE IS LONG AND IN THE END ITS ONLY WITH YOURSELF!! BAZ LUHRMAN!! 🙂

    Awe – sum stuff!!
    MWAH! XX

    • Yay Kylie!!Thanks for this. Love this:DONT COMPARE!!

      THE RACE IS LONG AND IN THE END ITS ONLY WITH YOURSELF!!”

      Go US!!!

  2. I think that may be your new name…”Parenting the Self.”

    • Hmmm… Lisa that IS quite nice… Thinking ’bout it 🙂

      Thanks

  3. Loving this and you. Sharinggggggggg….

    • Lucky me!

  4. Hi Eilat,

    Thank you for your posts.

    You often bring tears to my eyes, you have such a way of writing elegantly, yet from the heart, about subjects that usually feel so messy… It’s always so warm and reassuring I’m not the only one going through “stuff” and you even have the courage to put yourself “out there”.

    And yes, I often thought you had it so together, would compare myself so negatively to you. And discovering your “insides” just makes me admire you more!

    So why do we fear exposing ourselves so much, for fear of rejection, when it’s that very same exposure that makes us more liked?

    You are one very, very brave Soul. Bless you!

    • Sniff, sniff. And a thank you hug. Words seem not enough right now.

  5. LOVE this post. Thank you for being such a light in the world xxxxxxxx

    • Wow – thanks Susan 🙂

  6. My Darling Eilat

    I LOVE your blogs and read them EVERY week. I love how you say it out loud in its purest form. Every time I read from your soul I connect with you more. I connect with other parents too and I find a space of freedom to just BE. A space where there is no judgement, no guilt, no shame … just what is actually so. And when we are in this space we honour each other as who we can be when we are held to account for what we commit our lives to.

    So thank you for SAYING OUT LOUD! I look forward to your next blog xx

    • Tish you bring a lump to my throat. I’m so touched that you love it and that you find freedom to be,

        SO

      glad. It’s what I’m striving to give myself and to those around me. Not always an easy thing to do. But it’s the way you and me and this world will heal I think. Because in truth, we are all just beautiful as we are – messy bits n’ all.

      Here’s to SAYING OUT LOUD. I may do a post with that title… 😉

  7. Hi,

    Thank you so much for writing this post! I LOVE the title. I think I am going to write it somewhere and post it. I have often pondered what is going on for people inside when I see them briefly at a store or out and about – even friends don’t reveal all of their inner struggles. (I’m not saying they have to.) I have often thought about sharing my inner struggles via a blog, but I am too apprehensive for fear of what people will think and know. For now, I will keep writing my current blog. Thank you so much for sharing part of your inner world so to speak! It is really so helpful, and I look forward to your weekly posts.

    • Wow Mama Z it’s so precious to ‘hear’ you say this. It’s been a massive journey of being ok in myself to be able to share this stuff ‘out loud’ because, besides my line of work where self-disclosure isn’t always the optimal choice, I’ve always been somewhat private. I have to walk a fine line of what to share and what not. But each time I’m honest I see the relief of others who feel the same way. So I am getting braver and more comfortable with it. And of course, it’s helping me grow and heal – and make new friends – with myself and others. What can be better than that?

      Thank you for joining on this crazy, awesome, beautiful, challenging path of parenting the self. I’m so glad you are out there 🙂

  8. And the honesty is so refreshing! It points to our humanity. Thanks Eilat for being brave enough to do it and have fun along the way! Xx

    • Yayayayay!!! Imagine if we all were just this honest? And having fun…
      Thanks for being there Yael. You are one of those who creates a gentle accepting space for my honesty.

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