In the very recent past (maybe a few months) alone, I have spoken with no less than 6 women of varying ages who have been certainly marked by criticism from an older woman in their lives. I can also be included in this group. The "older" women are of varying ages also. Please don't hear me saying that older women are critical...PLEASE don't hear that...some of the "olders" in these situation aren't "older" at all, but they are just "older" than the "younger" in the situation.
By and large, these "youngers" can think of a list of things to criticize the "olders" about, but these "youngers" I speak of wouldn't, just wouldn't, do it.
My heart wonders why. Why, oh why, would we intentionally make this hard life harder? Girls, we need each other. We are on the same team, trying to navigate life. I have no need of you pointing out that I have 60 pounds to lose...I am WELL aware of it...and, really, when you point it out, honestly, I just want to keep this fat girl around, hoping desperately that you will love HER. No girl needs to hear that she is currently not making it as a mom...she is very aware of her shortcomings. Please don't tell her that her house is always cluttery...she is really just trying to make it through the day with everyone fed and still alive. Could you please not point out that her job is heading nowhere? She is passionate about it and loves people through her work every.single.day.
Instead, offer to watch my kids while I hit the gym. Tell her she is doing a great job as a mom and you are proud of her. Hang out with her in her cluttery home...you will NOT break out into hives, I promise...and ask her how she's really doing and then listen, really LISTEN, as she speaks her heart. Tell her you are proud of her for using her gifts to love people, and then take her out to dinner because you know she doesn't make enough money to take herself out.
I wanna live like that. May it never be said of me that I criticized when I could have loved. Join me?