Posted by: Robin~AllThingsHeartandHome | February 5, 2009

Breaking up with my Better Judgement

“Your fears establish the limits of your life.”  Pastor Pete used that quote in a message I heard online. The Husband and I listen to Pastor Pete a couple of times a week. Sitting snuggled on the sofa with hot chocolate enjoying our time with Cross point TV, when he said “your fears establish the limits of your life” we both took in a deep breath and held it for a second.

I looked down. The Husband’s eyes bored a hole in the side of my head.

“Holy crap”, I whispered eloquently. “If that’s true, I’ll be confined to the bedroom any day now.”

The Husband said nothing but I caught a glimpse of his eye brows shooting towards the ceiling as he nodded.

My friends say it like this, “If you want a worse case scenario, ask Robin.”  I call it my Better Judgment. And it’s capitalized for a reason. It’s a separate entity, this Better Judgment of mine.

It talks! It tells me things. Lots of things. Things like, “keep away from the ledge while holding your baby or puppy…you know what could happen.” Or “don’t let the 2 year old chew on that rubber band”…or “don’t let the 4 year old bite into the hot-dog” (without cutting it down the middle), or don’t let your 10 year old ride his bike after dark, there are crazy people driving in this neighborhood.” These are things I still listen to when my Better Judgment whispers in my ear. But don’t judge…I don’t always listen.  Sometimes I just roll my eyes and mock my Better Judgment. Here’s a great example, my Better Judgment has always had a thing against bridges and would scream to me: “if you drive over this bridge and the bridge collapses you’ll need to get the heck out of this car and you can’t really swim, I’m not even sure if you could save yourself in a pinch. Stop! Don’t go over this bridge, it’ll be the end of you!”  I can roll my eyes at the bridge situation.  Now. There was a time though, that crossing bridges in a car made me hyperventilate. And sadly, I’m not kidding.

My Better Judgment gets really problematic sometimes. I am constantly hearing: “why are you writing, it’s a silly waste of time.”  And the daily, “don’t bother working on the book today, you’ll never finish it and if you do it’s just a big waste…time, energy, effort… wasted on what? Nothing that’s what. Do something else that you can’t fail at, go clean your bathroom.” (Grrrrrrr)

Yeah…after hearing the quote “your fears establish your limits in life” I kinda felt betrayed by my Better Judgment. I’ve been in fact, growling at it for days. Just this morning when it said: “go eat the brownie, you’ve already messed up your eating for the day anyway…” I broke the news to him…

“I’m done with you” I said.  “You heard me. I’m breaking up with you. It’s just not working out for me anymore. I’m weary with letting you establish my limits in life. We’re soooo over.”

Now I’m on the lookout for a new Better Judgment. One that will urge me on. One that will say happy things along with cautions. I’m ready to let God establish my limits. What about you? Do you need to give your Better Judgment the boot? (PS~turns out it wasn’t my Better Judgement tempting me with the brownies, it was my Sweet Tooth. Yeah, she’s a real pushy broad. But I’m not ready to cut ties with her just yet.  It’s not the right time, today I’m making Valentine sugar cookies and cupcakes. Maybe next month.)



  1. Does this mean that I no longer have to lock my doors (in case of carjacker) while driving 70 mph on the freeway? I’m just kidding. I think this will prove a powerful lesson for you to learn!

  2. Fear, for me, is like taking a drink for an alcoholic. I’ll think–okay, let me just spend some secret time with this worry. One little “what if.” Dwell on it for a few minutes. Obsessive thinking about one tiny fear grows, connects with another fear, and stirs up a desire for more. Makes no sense. Why I’d be lured into something that can take me down.

    For me to write, I’ve had to do some mighty scary things:

    Sit it a critique group. Smile and say thank you.

    Get on an airplane alone and fly. With no sense of direction, I have to talk to myself so I don’t get lost when finding airport restrooms, gates, baggage claim.

    Speaking to groups of people–the scariest of them all.

    What unnerves me is that I can’t do it–any of it– by myself. I have to say, “Help me, God.”

    Thank you, Rob. This post was for me.

  3. Robin, the way you share your heart! So beautiful and eloquent. What Julie is saying is spot on. In my counseling classes we really did use time limits for things like worry and anxiety… and they were short, like a minute. But just the fact that you get how the tapes in your head affect your behavior is so key to helping you step in a new direction. Change the tape Robin!

    Your willingness to expose your vulnerability in your writing is what makes it so powerful! Take that “Old Better Judgement!”

  4. Thanks for the nice comment about my blog. Your blog is equally nice. Great post today! I think we all need to break up with Better Judgement….what a butthead!

  5. Hmm…This is a good lesson, I do agree. I needed it, too. In fact, I launched into a big argument about how hot dogs are the number two cause of choking death–until I went back up and read ‘four-year-old’. Okay. Might want to let them grow into a whole hot dog eventually. 🙂 You were right.

    I love that you called Fear out and made him take off the Better Judgment mask. Beautiful.

  6. This reminds me of that book title “Running With Scissors.” Does it have anything to do with this topic?

  7. I’m wondering, if my better judgment were more in line with God’s BEST judgment, would I be as limited by my fears? Would I have as many as I do? His BEST judgment tells me to trust Him more.

    At the same time, he did give me a measure of discernment. So, yeah – no walking on the ledge holding a baby or anything.

    Good post!

  8. I had a lot of these same thoughts through out the course of the past year. I finally realized I was limiting myself and God’ best for me due to my fears, insecurities, anxieties, etc. I wasn’t living the full, abundant life He died for me for! I am trying to do better, but it is definitely something I must remind myself of frequently if not daily.

  9. Where is the brownie you saw this morning? Do you have a private stash?

  10. Ha! at the Husband. If you really want to rid yourself of brownies, just ship them to me 🙂

    I think the Better Judgment you’ve been living with, the one who is whispering in your ear that your dreams are a waste of time, has a middle name: Satan. He sees the beauty in you, the way people see you and relate to you, and wishes so much you would keep yourself quiet and not do what you can to change hearts. So glad we’re rid of that fool.

    If you need a Better Judgment with a new middle name, you can call her Gitz. Because she believes in you beyond measure.

  11. Oh man did I need to read this today. I’m the queen of “what if”. I avoid driving over the only overpass in town just because it freaks me out. What if another car hits me? What if it’s too icy to stop on the way down? Even letting my kids stay overnight at my sister’s house is stressful for me. I breathe a sigh of relief when they come back, safe and sound. What if there was a fire in her building?

    Thank you for sharing this. Gives me a lot to think about.

  12. just gotta say–i love all your blog friends.. 🙂

  13. I love my blog friends too…and the red headed writer friend of mine that I’ve know for 700 years 🙂
    Anita…I’ve never read that book, always wanted to but was a little afraid of it, I bet Julie’s read it though.

  14. Anita, I read most of it. Had to stop maybe 3/4 of the way through. The writing was amazing–but it got too heavy even for me.

  15. Julie, heavy how? Sad? Demented? Did he get too wordy? I really can’t remember anything about the book. Maybe I should go read a description of it again.

  16. Glad to see the husband here again. Keep coming back, Robin’s Other Half!

  17. Sad, Anita. That was it, I think. There may have been a reference to God that hurt, if that makes sense. But I also read Dry after Running with Scissors. Seems like I finished Dry.

  18. The things you wrote in this blog are things that I have known about you for a long time. What makes this even better for me is the fact that you managed to love me, allow me in your home, AND let me hang out with your daughter, knowing that in your eyes I am one. Giant. Worst case scenario.

    I’m still waiting on my seatbelt cutter and window smasher.

    Think of you every time I go over a bridge or check into a creepy motel or chew my food only 10 times instead of 30.

  19. Robin,
    Thank you for the link to Cross Point TV. I wanted to check it out but couldn’t find it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject.

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