When I got remarried, we kept my house. My husband had been renting a condo temporarily and had only lived there for a year. My kids had lived in this house for most of their lives and was all they had ever known. While it would have been nice to start over somewhere together, and make it ours, it just didn’t make sense to uproot my kids.
So I decided to redecorate the whole house so it was “new” to both of us. Hubby started finishing the basement so there would be more room for all of us. So half the house was already taken care of in the “new” department. Meanwhile, I started on the upstairs. I haven’t finished all the rooms yet. Some of them are on hold until the kids move out of them and into the new basement. But everything I’ve finished I LOVE.
One of my projects was a gallery wall of our extended families in the hallway. Every time I walk down the hall I think to myself “Dang, this looks good.” It’s just a hallway. And I LOVE it. Each time I walk down the hall I get a little boost of dopamine to brighten my day.
I love what I’ve done with my house so much that I don’t care what anybody else says about it. My best friend could look at my gallery wall and tell me it’s awful and I wouldn’t care. An interior designer could come in and tell me every single thing that’s wrong with each room in my house. Wouldn’t care. I love it. It brings me joy. And nothing anybody else says can change my mind.
As I was enjoying my hallway this morning my brain had an idea: This is how I need to love myself. If I just loved every single thing about myself, nothing anyone ever said about me or to me would matter. I love me. I know I’m amazing. Your opinion of me? It just doesn’t matter.
Can you imagine how freeing that would be?
My mentor at the Life Coach School, Brooke Castillo, gave an example once that has really stuck with me. If someone walked up to you and said “I hate your blue hair,” what would be your response? You’d be like, um, ok. I don’t have blue hair, but whatever. It wouldn’t phase you emotionally. You wouldn’t be offended. You wouldn’t feel defensive. (Unless, of course, you have blue hair, then this analogy obviously doesn’t apply).
We feel offended and defensive because part of us agrees with whatever the person is saying to us AND thinks that thing is a problem. But what if I loved myself like I love my decorating?
If someone says, “Mindy, you’re a terrible mother,” I can reply with something like “That’s true. In some ways I am a terrible mother.” I’m not offended. I’m not defensive. And I love myself so much that it doesn’t bother me that I’m not a perfect mother. Does that mean I think I’m a terrible mother? No! I think I’m an amazing mother. But in some ways, I’m really not the best. And that’s ok. I’m the exact kind of mother my kids need to be the people they are destined to be. So what?
Did you know there are people in the world that don’t like pizza? I know, right? Imagine I’m the best slice of pizza in the entire world. There are still going to be some people that don’t like me. Some people just don’t like pizza. And that’s ok. Everyone isn’t going to like you. It doesn’t say anything about you. They just don’t like pizza.
Stop making decisions on what other people might think. You can’t control that. When you try to be someone you’re not so that other people will like you, do you want to know what happens? You don’t like you. And in reality, they don’t like you either because they don’t know the real you.
Do you like the clothes you’re wearing? Do you like your haircut? Do you like your decorating? Do you like how you’re showing up in the world? Do you like the kind of mom you are? The kind of wife you are? That’s all the matters. Love yourself. Love how you’re showing up. Love the person you are and the person you’re becoming. Love your reasons for the choices you make. And forget the rest.