Today, for MONDAY MOTHERHOOD MATTERS, I want to talk to my teenage daughter, Ella.

I bought Ella some face wash recently. And they advertise, right on the front of the bottle: Treats pimples weeks before they are visible. Now, to a forward-thinking teenager, that would sound great! But, when I was a teenager, I wanted my facewash to treat the pimples I had right then and there. I didn’t think at all about my future-self, weeks from that moment. This product would not have appealed to my immature mind. It still does not appeal to my monkey brain, which is still just worried about the here and now. Terminate all zits now! That is what my monkey brain is looking for, even at the expense of future-me’s skin and health.

There are a few things that I want to share with my teenage daughter. And this is one of them: We both want to get rid of our zits, now. I want to feed my hunger, now. I want to resolves all conflict, now. I want to see success in my goals, now. I want to solve all my “problems”, now. I want to improve my relationships, now.

And there are some things you and I and my teenage daughter can do, now, to solve some of our “problems” and to improve relationships. Today we are talking specifically about relationships. What can we do, right now, to improve relationships?

“You can believe that people like you. Right now, if you want to. I personally made a decision that I was going to decide that people like me. I just think they do. People like me. And the ones who don’t like me are just confused. That’s all. And that’s okay. And when I show up that way, I’m not so nervous anymore. And I’m not worried if they don’t like me. That makes no sense at all!

…Really choose right now what you want to believe about yourself and feel free to have any experience you want you in your life. Don’t wait for other people to invite you to make it happen.”

That is something that we can do, right now. Decide. Live and interact with others from that place.

That is a great start. But we still need to recognize that intimacy in relationships usually takes time – sometimes a significant amount of time.

“It’s shared experiences and having that experience of being safe with the other person that tends to create that space where we feel safe being authentic, and that’s what creates the true intimacy.”

Another thing I want to share with my teenage daughter is this:

“Most of us, when we are meeting a new person, have thoughts happening in our head about US. ‘I shouldn’t have said that.’ ‘I wish I wouldn’t have worn this outfit.’ ‘Her hair is so much cuter than mine.’ ‘I wonder what she’s thinking of me.’ So we make it about US! And our thoughts are about US! It feels terrible – it feels scary. And it doesn’t create connection. Instead, I want you to redirect your head to be thinking about THEM. Be curious about them. ‘I wonder what’s amazing about this person. I wonder what makes them unique. I wonder what they eat for breakfast. I wonder what their house looks like. I wonder what needs they have.’ When you do that, you become very good at listening and at asking good questions. I make it may main goal to find out what is really unique about this person… I want to understand something a little bit deeper.”

And that is counsel you or I would get from our grandmother’s, right? But we need to be reminded of every once in a while.

Finally, this:

“You are not for everyone. I don’t want you to water yourself down. I want you to be you. Don’t try to adjust who you are, based on who you think this other person wants you to be. That’s how you become a watered-down version of you, and you’re not attracting anybody.

If you are not repelling anybody, you’re not attracting anybody! Be the most you version of you that you can be. That is going to feel best to you. And it’s going to attract the right people for you. You don’t have to be best friends with everybody. You’re not for everyone.”

And this makes sense to our minds, but somewhere in our hearts – those of us who are people-pleasers – we resist that idea, we are sure that we are the one human being who can win everyone over. And maybe we don’t think that exact thought, but we try, right? We try to be everything to everyone.

But we are not everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s okay. And it’s okay if not everyone is our cup of tea, either. We don’t need them to be – we don’t need to make them that for us. That thought serves us well now. And it will serve us well in a couple weeks, or a couple years. And maybe, if we’ve accepted us for us, and we are okay with them being them, maybe we will find, in time, that they are our cup of tea, after all.

Next DAY #361 DESIRE

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