One of my favorite lines comes from the Stephen Sondheim musical “Company”.
It’s Amy and Paul’s wedding day and Amy is one hot, neurotic mess. She’s terrified of marriage, has never seen one work out and is worried that she doesn’t love Paul “enough”. She says some biting remarks and is very snarky but you can tell that underneath it all, the woman is terrified.
Paul is the voice of calm, reason and love. It’s a great scene but there’s one line that haunts me a bit. Paul asks Amy:
Do you see what you’re doing to yourself? If other people did to you what you do to yourself, they could be put in jail.
Do you do that? Do you treat yourself worse than you would treat anyone else?
I have to confess that I do. I’m Amy. Sarcastic and scared.
I’m getting better at this. I’m becoming more aware of it and realizing the fear for what it is. But the biggest strides I’m making in this area is because of my kids. I see my kids being scared of trying new things or stepping into uncharted territory. They are very hard on themselves. All three of them do it. I get it. I really do. I know what they’re feeling.
And I can’t let them become paralyzed.
I force them into conversations they don’t want to have. I make them confront their fear. I reminded them that their dad and I have their back no matter what. I tell them regret is an awful thing to live with.
They don’t always listen but sometimes they do and I see them grow a bit and become more confident for it.
When that happens I get really proud of myself as a mom and think “I’ve got this.”
Then I realize that I tell my kids to do things that I’m not willing to do myself.
Hypocrite, party of one?
If other people did to you what you do to yourself, they could be put in jail.