Why I can’t care

” I can’t care about that…” 

A friend of mine was telling me how someone else perceives me. I appreciated the input because I’m not a sociopath (meaning I’m incapable of feeling one way or the other).

If there’s some kind of weirdo behavior that I’m exhibiting and someone else notices then I want to know. 

The reason I said, “I can’t care about that” is quite simple:

I’m a recovering people pleaser. 

In the situation being discussed, there was absolutely nothing I could do about this person’s perception.

So, I just can’t care. 

The alternative is that I become an obsessive, anxious maniac who can’t function when said person is around.

No thank you. Not interested. Been there, bought the t-shirt. 

We can’t control how others think of us. Even if we could control it, that’s not a healthy way to live.

I don’t want to be a robot, so everyone else has to be a robot? Where’s the health in that situation?

Perception is a double-edged sword.

You’re in denial if you think it’s possible to not have a perception about someone, yet you have to be on guard against faulty perception.

I have learned that a faulty perception is the first step toward a bad judgment.

I’m actually proud of myself today because I spotted a situation that is beyond my control, decided to let it go, and articulated why I was letting it go to someone else (i.e. my friend and now my readers). 

This is a step in the right direction.


Hodgepodge Monday

My mind’s been all over the place, which means piecing together a normal string of thoughts is next to impossible. 
Here are 3 things I’ve been chewing on:

  • The importance of my words. 

There were several times today that I really needed to shut up. I ended up saying a few things that would’ve been better left unsaid. 

On Sunday, Bob Goff talked about transferring $500 to any person he has a critical word for because words always cost us something. 

Obviously, I can’t transfer that kind of money but Bob’s right. Our words have a high cost. 

  • Learning to be more honest with myself. 

I am a recovering feelings stuffer. Not owning up to what’s happening in me and around me is what I’m naturally good at doing.

 This is not healthy, of course, which is why I have a network of trusted friends and family to help me. 

  • I can’t believe JoJo didn’t get the final rose on The Bachelor!

Yes, I watched The Bachelor this season and got sucked into the craziness of Bachelor Nation. 

And I just knew JoJo was the one…

Oh well! She’s the newest bachelorette, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens there. 

What are some things on your mind today?

The thing about advice

Beware of “If it was me” statements. 

You know the ones I’m talking about…

  • If it was me, I wouldn’t go there. 
  • If it was me, I wouldn’t do this or that. 
  • If it was me, he/she wouldn’t have gotten away with that behavior. 

I am bad about making these blanket, hypothetical statements. 

There’s nothing wrong with different temperaments and personalities. Being different is not the enemy. 

On the other hand, doing stupid, sinful things is a problem and I’m not condoning bad behavior. 

Not everyone, though, is asking for my advice and not everyone cares what I think. 

Sharing these kinds of thoughts in conversation with others can quickly morph into gossip and criticism sessions as well. 

Just be careful with your words. 

I can’t stress this topic enough because it’s of utmost importance. 

Being rude and tactless is not an effective tool for anyone who wants to have a place of influence in another’s life. 

I’ve also seen these rash, unfiltered comments slam shut the door of the gospel. 

Every word counts, every word is powerful, and every word either builds or destroys. 

Think about that the next time your mouth gets away from you. 

Wrestling with the Truth

IMG_1694Who doesn’t love stories about go-getters who look adversity in the eyes and say, “I know you don’t believe in me, but I’m going to do it anyway”?

I know that I love to read about the tenacious efforts of other people.

Their lives are filled with adventure and learning. No amount of barriers or persecution will keep them from achieving their goals.

Are you excited yet? Can I get a hip, hip, hooray?

But there’s one person you don’t cheer loud enough for. One person who you think is limited or needs to be limited. One person who must not try unless success is guaranteed.

Yourself. Or, in my case, myself.

I’m not talking about becoming a pompous jerk who is self-absorbed.

I’m not talking about getting angry when others do well.

So what am I talking about then?

  • Allowing yourself to believe that you are talented, equipped, and able to do all the things God puts in your heart to do.
  • Allowing yourself to believe that now is the time to live your life.
  • Allowing yourself to try–even if you fail–and knowing that your efforts are not in vain.

Maybe I should just stick a Dear Audra at the front of this post and call it a day……

I struggle with these truths.

In the face of a great adventure with a greater purpose, I want to throw up. Knowing that all of the risk and work will result in a beautiful story, a God story, doesn’t make it any easier.

Remember what we talked about yesterday?

Following the voice of God does not always leave you comfortable.

But I would rather have holy discomfort than stay in any comfort zone I build for myself.

I want to be tenacious, but I need some help. Help from the Holy Spirit and help from you too.

Karaoke and Creativity

I am a BIG fan of karaoke.

Ask my friends.

There’s no “I’m only going to sing one song” with me. I put 5 songs in the hat and ask that the Dr. Peppers keep coming.

I enjoy karaoke because no one is concerned with perfection.

You will not sound just like Ed Sheeran or Taylor Swift. And that’s okay!

Of course, being able to carry a tune helps, but no one is disappointed if you can’t.

Ready to sing?

Ready to sing?

I know there are other karaoke lovers out there.

Even for those of who wouldn’t sing karaoke for a million dollars, I know you sing in the shower or in the car.

We all need a creative outlet and that’s why everyone loves music.

There’s a reason bands have the biggest tribes in the world.

“Look at them,” we think, “they get to do what they love for a living.”

I wish school and work was more like karaoke night at the local greasy spoon. More people would be willing to be creative, to put themselves out there.

Everyone is creative. There is no exception.

But many of us are afraid to write, to sing, to dance, to paint–whatever it is you do.

Maybe someone laughed at you.

Maybe your parents discouraged you.

Maybe a teacher called you dumb.

Critics are everywhere and they want you to stay small. Most of the time, though, it has nothing to do with you. They want you to stay small because their dreams were crushed or they’re jealous.

I want to encourage you to stop hiding. Don’t be afraid to show up.

Take some advice from a karaoke lover: Sing your hardest. Quit trying to be perfect.

Internet 101: Don’t write opinion (I mean, open) letters

I’ve noticed a lot of open letters floating around the internet.

Did you know there’s even a definition for them?

An open letter is:

“A letter, often critical, addressed to a particular person or group of people but intended for publication.”

Here’s Audra’s definition:

“An letter is your opinion–masked in self-righteousness–and broadcasted to the world because you don’t actually have a voice in that person or group’s life.

Own up to your opinion, okay?

Don’t hide behind an open letter and say, “Just sayin’…you (and the rest of the world) needed to know.”

Letters–real letters–are very personal. Someone took the time to sit down and express their thoughts. It went out to a special person and led to a deeper relationship.

Blasting out hate mail in the form of an open letter is wrong. Plain and simple.

I’m not saying there haven’t been good open letters too.

But everyone knows the truth.

A letter to “the poor, lonely soul in the corner” is about the writer expressing their opinion as another “poor, lonely soul in the corner”. (To all poor, lonely souls: Please don’t stay that way because I stopped an open letter from being written to you.)

I hope open letters are not how our generation chooses to communicate.

I don’t see the need to write open letters.

If I want to share my opinion, I’ll just blog about it.

Wait a minute!!!!!

You mean my blog is entirely based on my perception of the world?

Like an open letter?

Mind blown.

There are so many ways to express yourself online–without hiding behind anything.

My mirror laughs at all my jokes

I simply can’t look at myself in a mirror without making funny faces. 

And, this might seem a little strange, but I often find myself laughing at the funny faces I make. But then again, I often laugh at my own jokes. (Why would you tell a joke that you, yourself, wouldn’t laugh at?)

I’ll explain more about this odd introduction a bit later….

Silly face!

Silly face!

Mirrors are a lot like guns, money, and social status. They are not evil in and of themselves.

 When you stand in front of a mirror, it’s not saying or implying anything.

All of those critical voices you hear as you stand in front of a mirror?

Wow, you’re looking pudgy!

Look at those wrinkles!

Did you get dressed in the dark?

Your sister, brother, mother’s cousin’s boyfriend looks better than you.

Yeah. The mirror is not saying those things. (And, if it is, run!!!!)

The voices we’re hearing sound a lot like ourselves or the critical people in our lives.

It’s true. The mirror is not our enemy.

We need to stop hating the mirror and start dealing with the real monster: Our self-perception.

Which brings me to why I make funny faces…..

It’s because I like who I am as a person and I’m not going to let negative chatter slow me down anymore. I get that there are some flaws, but guess what? That’s a part of life.

If you blame the mirror–or someone else–for your faulty perception nothing will change. Then you’ll just be angry and bitter, which will only make it worse.

Changing how you think about yourself? Now that changes everything.

So, next time you’re in front of a mirror and the voices start screaming, make a funny face and tell them to buzz off, okay?