Connection not Comparison

I love to entertain. I like hosting dinner parties, game nights, girls’ nights, taco nights you name it, really any excuse to have people gather at my house. We have a wonderful and ever-growing and evolving group of friends, but here’s the thing: Most of my friends have beautiful homes. Like magazine gorgeous homes. My house is small. My furniture is old-ish. I keep things tidy, but I’m not a clean freak. So, I often talk myself out of inviting friends over because I feel inadequate about my house. This is ridiculous; right? So why can’t I get over it?

Hi Honey, I get this and admire you (I am mostly a hermit.) Let me ask you a few things: What do you enjoy most about hosting get-togethers? Do you like hanging out and laughing with your friends? Sharing stories and wine? Do you like to nurture and care for people by feeding them?

Chances are if you love entertaining people, people love coming to your house. I imagine you radiate hospitality and warmth, and your guests probably couldn’t even describe what your old’ish furniture looks like because they come to your house for you: your heart, your love, your kind and welcoming spirit. Maybe the food too?

Lots of my friends have beautiful homes as well, but what sticks out when I visit them is not the size or decor but the energy. It sounds like your home has good energy. I rid myself of people who came to my house with white gloves on, and it sounds like you have too, so don’t get caught in the comparison trap.

I don’t love to host or attend big parties. They drain me. I’m a one-on-one type of person. However, after failed attempts at being part of organized religious groups, hanging out with friends, eating, drinking, talking, laughing has become “church” for me.

So host away! More girls’ nights, taco nights and dinner parties. Play games and share stories and have communion with your friends. Enjoy your parties and don’t give a second thought to whose house is bigger or better because yours is happy and filled with love and so are you.

xoxo

 

Sometimes People are Assholes

I think that we probably have a lot in common. I’m always trying to improve myself, to the point of sometimes missing out on the happiness already in my life. Do you do that? Anyway, I’m always on a quest to be a better person, but there is one area where I really struggle: I want to expose people who are fakes. It enrages me when people think someone is such a great person, and I have personal knowledge that they are, in fact, a jerk! I don’t know why I feel this way or how to stop it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Hi honey, it does sound as if we have a lot in common–including beating ourselves up for not being perfect 😉 I do know exactly what you mean and have struggled with this as well. For years, I thought it was my super-power to see the best in people and encourage them to be their highest selves.

Newsflash, that’s not my super-power.

Over the years, I’ve realized that sometimes my idea of someone’s potential doesn’t line up with theirs. Shocking, I know. That’s okay. I mean, I spent way too many years trying to live up to others’ expectations of me. I don’t want to put that pressure onto other people.

No one is perfect. The best we can hope for is to do our best. To do, as Glennon Doyle advises, “the next right thing, one thing at a time.” People’s character will be exposed…it’s not our job to put anyone on blast. Trust me, there are many times I’ve not done the right thing, and I fear there might be a time in the future where I will not do the right thing. I can only hope that my transgressions will be met with compassion and forgiveness. So, I will try to pay it forward.

And finally…I hate to say it, but sometimes people are just assholes. Sometimes they aren’t but for whatever reason, we don’t click. And occasionally, gulp, they think WE are the asshole. Right? I know. But it happens. And when that is the case, it’s not our job to fix or expose them, to change, convince or befriend them. We can simply to wish them well and move on.

Isn’t that liberating? I hope so. Keep on keeping on, my friend. We are all works in progress.

xoxo

Talk That Belongs in the Trash

By society’s standards, I’m a highly successful person. Great marriage, good career–I like my job where I am treated and compensated well– two lovely children, though they are still quite small, and my dream home. I’m happy and surrounded by good friends and a loving family. All that said: Why is it so much easier to listen to a few negative voices that want to tear me down versus the many many positive ones lifting me up?

You sound wonderful and charming, and I’m very sorry that there are any voices speaking negativity into your life. Your life sounds wonderful–enviable, even–and it’s my suspicion that the people who are speaking negatively to and/or about you probably wish that their life was as happy as yours.

Think about it: Do you spew negativity onto the people in your life? Doubtful since you’re a happy person. I feel you, sister. I do. I try to be positive and kind…to uplift those around me. And guess what? There are still people who talk shit about me. There are still people who try to bring me down.

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”― Dita Von Teese

Your reaction is normal. Most people feel hurt when someone says mean things to or about them. Sometimes, we harbor deep insecurities that are triggered by those comments. Sometimes, we might wonder if we “deserve” whatever good fortune we have. Sometimes those “Debbie Downers” sound like our own nasty inner shrew which seems to lend some sort of credence to what is actually nonsense. Whatever the reason, it can be hard to put that talk into the right compartment–the trash bin.

My mom always said: Consider the source. I never really got it when I was younger, but now I do and try to keep that in mind when someone comes at me. Full Disclosure: I rarely succeed at first.

People who aren’t happy with their own lives sometimes feel threatened by other people’s happiness and success and want to rain on their parades. Newsflash: There’s plenty of happiness and success for everyone; no one gets ahead by tearing others down.

Those who speak negativity into your life are only projecting their own feelings of unworthiness and unhappiness onto you. Don’t let them steal your joy.

I hope you can let the negative voices go straight to the trash where they belong. Live your happy life! Enjoy your marriage and career and children. Especially if they’re little. Cause girlfriend, I’m warning you now: Tweens are no day at the beach.

xoxo

 

Fear Sounds Like Your Worst Enemy

I have been so afraid to “launch” this website. But I realize now that my fear was based on what people would say about me. How people would judge me. So I said to myself exactly what I thought those would say:

Who does she think she is?

She’s not a good writer.

She’s fake.

She’s full of herself.

She needs attention

What kind of credentials does she have?

She’s a bitch.

She’s stupid.

And then I realized: Being a listener is my gift, and if I don’t use that gift to help people, then that is actually selfish.

So I listened to a lot of podcasts. And I read a lot of books. And Liz Gilbert, Brene Brown, Cheryl Strayed and Glennon Doyle Melton gave me the courage to cast that fear of rejection aside. I’ve learned that some people will criticize even your most kind and genuine efforts, but that shouldn’t stop you from being kind and generous.

My goal in making this website was not selfish or ego-driven; it was motivated by the desire to help people feel heard and validated. It’s so important to have someone who listens to us. In so many conversations, other people are only waiting for a pause so they can respond. They’re so busy formulating their opinions or coming up with a witty comeback that they can’t process what we’re sharing. Not very many people hear, and fewer actually listen.

So…here it is, friends. Be kind 🙂