in 1913, the anti-defamation league was founded. its primary goal then was to stop the defamation of the jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all.
more than 100 years later, the anti-defamation league is a premier civil rights/human relations agency in the US. adl continues its dedication to
making our country a more inclusive home for all; where being different is not a liability, and diversity is a cherished strength.
in order for a group like the anti-defamation league to exist, hate must also exist. if there is no system, no group, no individual who seek to damage the good reputation of someone, there would be no reason for a group to exist to counter that action.
why you need an anti-defamation league of your own
sunday morning, my son woke up bright and bushy-tailed and sneaking past my bedroom door. at 9 year olds he’s figured out that if he gets up before me and if he’s quiet enough he can eat junk food and watch a movie of his choice or play video games without being told to make his bed or brush his teeth. i know i should get up. i want to get up, fix a nutritious breakfast, build a blanket fort, and teach him how to make snow indoors.
seriously, i really want to be the mom who wakes up before her kid on sunday all geared up and ready for sunday school with brunch in the crock pot and a lamb marinating for the big family dinner.
i want to be the mom who always looks camera ready, with energy on 100, and the right answers to every question. i want to be the mom who plans science experiments out and then gazes in wonder when it all goes perfectly well, everyone has their eyebrows and there’s no permanent stains on the dining room table.
but i’m not that mom.
sunday, while my son was sneaking past my bedroom door in the wee hours of the morning i just wanted 10 more minutes of sleep. that later turned into 30 more minutes of sleep. and when i finally sat up to drag my weary butt out of bed, my first thoughts were
Dear God. Help. Me. I am so overwhelmed. My house is a mess. My son is living off hot cheetos and video games at this moment. I don’t have the energy to do anything that requires energy. I don’t even know the last time he actually read a book. My kid hasn’t read a book! I’m failing, God. I’m failing as a parent. I’m failing. Help. Me.
first thought out the gate is me berating myself for not being good enough. what. is. that? i can’t even wake up good without talking smack about myself? before my feet even hit the floor, i’ve already listed out all the things i’ve done wrong even though i haven’t actually done ANYTHING!
if you’re anything like me, and i’m guessing you are, you do the same thing. before you wake up good, you inundate yourself with yesterday’s leftover lists of not done’s while simultaneously creating your to do’s for the day.
and because you’ve got so much undone’s from the day before your to do’s are now longer than your 9 year old’s arm. so what do you do – talk shit about you.
see, if you had an anti-defamation league of your own it would counter every negative you toss out at yourself. your personal anti-defamation league would defend and protect you from the onslaught of guilt and regret you toss your way.
you’ve seen the meme but what does it mean
in her book, daring greatly, brene brown wrote
The important thing to know about worthiness is that it doesn’t have prerequisites. Most of us, on the other hand, have a long list of worthiness prerequisites—qualifiers that we’ve inherited, learned, and unknowingly picked up along the way. Most of these prerequisites fall in the categories of accomplishments, acquisitions, and external acceptance. It’s the if/when problem (“I’ll be worthy when …” or “I’ll be worthy if …
if you had an anti-defamation league of your own they would render the worthiness prerequisites obsolete. they would fight to fullest extent any allegation that you in all your you-ness are not worthy of praise, of commendation , of exaltation.
consider the seemingly improbable idea that you alone are enough. that whatever you’ve accomplished was enough. imagine that you exist in a world where the effort you put into a thing does not equal critique by an inner bitch who deems you unworthy at every angle.
i have a rule that i don’t say anything to myself that i wouldn’t say to my son.
it’s a rule i started right after i’d regained the weight it took me nearly a year to lose. i was disappointed in myself and the weight gain. i couldn’t believe that once again i was back on the yoyo. i had wanted that time to be the last time.
so there i was face to face with my nemesis, the bathroom scale, feeling completely defeated with only myself to blame, right?
i mean whose fault was it, if not mine?
so right as i was in the middle of really letting myself have it, my kid walks in. at the time he was 6 years old and he’d just made this heart out of play dough that he wanted me to have. and i melted. i thought how perfect that my baby would give me this heart at this moment. i didn’t think for a second to question his color choices, or why his heart was shaped more like a diamond.
i appreciated his effort. i appreciated the fact that he thought to do something nice just for me just because he wanted to. and in that moment i asked myself, ‘don’t i deserve the same consideration? don’t i deserve to be appreciated? don’t i deserve to be enough?’
i give me all a’s
once upon a time i was a very young very green social worker. i happened upon a meeting that it was my responsibility to chair but i someone got corralled into the role of note-taker. i was taken aback by being made to play second fiddle to this person, i took for a hustler. but this was the day i decided to not make waves (more on that later) so i sat back and took notes.
the ‘hustler’ started the meeting with the idea that everyone everywhere is always searching for, seeking and willing to do whatever they must for Acceptance, Appreciation, Affection, Attention, and Approval.
dyan yacavelli explores these 5 a’s more thoroughly in her book the 5 a’s: acceptance, affection, appreciation, approval, and attention: the journey to emotional fulfillment. but in my introduction to this concept of emotional fulfillment, i began in to wonder in my 20’s if it were possible to give myself all 5.
as a girl child i was taught to seek the approval of others always, to be ready to give affection, and not be an attention hog. humility in a woman, i was taught, was attractive and desirable. to be an uppity woman, who thought too much of herself, would leave me lonely and without the protection and acceptance of a good man.
i, like everyone, want to be feel accepted, appreciated, and approved of. i want affection and positive attention. and through the years i’ve learned to give those things to myself without waiting on someone else.
this doesn’t mean that i don’t need or want acceptance, affection, appreciation, approval or attention from others. it means that i don’t go to others empty hoping they will fill me up. and neither should you.
you spend enough time berating yourself for not getting through the big and minor details of life. but do you spend anytime at all just accepting you for who you are?
what if your very psyche, that voice inside of you, was dedicated to making your inner self a more inclusive home for all of you; a space where your differences are not seen as liabilities, and your diversity a cherished strength?
what if when you woke up late, feeling rushed, with more on your to do list than your done did’s…what if instead of telling yourself, ‘do better.’ you said, ‘i got this.’ because you always have and you always will.