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 ūüėČ 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.

‚ÄúYou can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.‚ÄĚ‚Äē 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

 

You’re Already Amazing

This sounds so petty that I feel awful even writing it…but I’m jealous of my friends. It seems like they are all¬†in great relationships, with exciting careers, moving forward with these amazing lives, and I am stuck. No man. A boring job. Blah. I love my friends so much and don’t want to feel like this.

 

Oh honey…I am sorry you’re feeling blah, and I promise you I feel your pain. It¬†can be difficult to see others–even people we¬†love–realizing dreams when life seems to be in a holding pattern for us. It’s hard not to compare ourselves with¬†others or feel envious of their achievements if we feel like¬†life keeps¬†handing us lemons.

I promise you we have all been in this situation–even your fabulous friends with their great relationships and careers and lives. One of my favorite quotes is by Stephen Furtick:

‚ÄúThe reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else‚Äôs highlight reel.‚ÄĚ

Goodness, isn’t that the truth? I wish I looked half as my own picture right now¬†(thanks, Amy). The truth is, I’m in yoga pants, with my dirty hair in a bun, drinking a cup of coffee I’ve warmed up 3 times (update the dog just drank it) and smelling cat pee somewhere near–or on–me.

Sometimes, I think we view life as having a limited number of opportunities … as if someone else’s¬†success makes our own less possible. Your friend didn’t snag the last good man or great job, love. The universe is a place of abundant opportunity. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling bad, but if you aren’t happy with where you are, by all means realize that you have the power to change your circumstances.

And honestly, honey, I’m guessing if you are surrounded by such fantastic¬†people, you are probably far more amazing than you can¬†even imagine.

xoxo

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