Sunday, September 28, 2014

Maybe I’m being too Hard on Myself? By Cassie Traasdahl

 My sister met up with friends recently. Friends she hadn’t seen for a while. As they greeted each other, she received a lot of compliments on her hair, clothes and tiny frame. As she told me the story she said, “It got me thinking…”

“Maybe we’re all being too hard on ourselves.”

I have a friend whom I admire. A friend I’ve looked up to since the day I met her. In a conversation between my husband and I a while back, he asked me to name three people I want to be like, and hers was the first name out of my mouth. While talking to her one day, she told me a list of things she’d been struggling with. A list of insecurities about her role as a wife, mother, daughter and friend. I honestly couldn’t believe what I was hearing. In my mind, this girl walked on water! There was no way she had issues similar to mine. No way her life was anything but perfect.
But that was my first problem. Believing that her life was perfect was my first and biggest problem.
I have a love/hate relationship with social media. Because the thing about social media is that you see what people want you to see. So all those pictures that are posted with perfect captions of perfectly dress kids, in perfectly decorated, spotless houses, that belong to perfect-looking couples who go on perfect dates and perfect vacations are there because that’s how most people want to be perceived. Most people aren’t going to show you when their house is a disaster, or when date night is spent on the couch with a greasy top knot and no makeup, or when they’re three seconds away from ripping their hair out because that perfectly dressed kid of theirs just won’t. Stop. Crying.
I’ve had to learn that perfect doesn’t exist. And whether people post the things they do for fear of being judged, or because they just prefer to keep certain things private, or because they don’t want to be negative, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we have to remember that perfect isn’t a thing, at least not as long as we’re human.
Earlier this week I got the sweetest text from a friend who admitted that she’s looked at my life and thought, “man she really does have it all.” Umm, what? Me?  Can’t keep my house clean, doesn’t cook as often as she should, watches way too much TV, pushes the limits on how many days a person should go without washing their hair, me?
That’s the thing though. She was looking at my life admirably while I was doing the same thing back to her.
Maybe she’s being too hard on herself.
I now realize I \need to stop focusing on what I don’t have, and start being more appreciative of what I do have. Maybe my house looks fine in all its everything-is-from-Ikea-or-Target glory. Maybe I don’t need nicer sunglasses, because I always lose them anyway. Maybe it’s okay that I can’t justify spending money on extensions because my hair seems to manage without them. Maybe my future kids won’t win any awards for best-dressed, but maybe that doesn’t matter because once I have them, they’ll be mine and they’ll be my husband’s and after all we will have been through to get them here, what they’re wearing just can’t be that important.
Maybe my life is wonderful just the way it is.
Maybe I need to stop comparing myself to others.
Maybe I’m being too hard on myself?

 -Cassie is the granddaughter of Frank and Corrine Wilbur of St. Johns. A special thanks to her for letting me share her message.   "I'm enough… " video link

As a side highlight to this topic, watch this video and appreciate that you aren't perfect, but you can be perfectly you!  

"I'm enough… " video link

Perhaps many of you have seen this video by The Mrs., all female band.  It is an awesome example of how critical we usually are about ourselves, and a reminder that other people's perceptions of us just may surprise us!


  1. This article could have been written by me! Some of my constant everyday thoughts. I have had friends comment on what a good mom I am and I always think, "oh you should have heard me sobbing at the sink while scrubbing dishes last night because I was so exhausted from it all." Then I quickly think, now so-and-so... They have it all together. I think as wives and mothers we should be kinder to ourselves and uplift one another

  2. Agreed! I know I am too hard on myself. I really needed to read this today! Thank you!