True.

Any Grade A people pleasers out there?

The older I get, the more I realize how much this title fits. My instinct in most situations is to bring any type of peace and comfort that is missing. I hate that void left open when someone confesses a weakness, a struggle, or a need. I love to sense a balance where negativity used to reign, and level out the bumps and bruises that line our lives.

I’ve had to come to terms that sometimes the cost of giving peace means giving up, well—my peace.

This is not a litany of my talents…but a debrief of how God built this heart.

Say yes to helping kids with math during my lunch break and then do recess duty back to back? Absolutely.

Pay more on the utility bill because I know my roommate has been super stressed? No problem.

Move my whole schedule around because a friend feels I haven’t been around lately? Got it.

It is a beautiful thing that we can bless each other’s lives. But I have stretched myself into some crazy contortions trying to make sure I am what people want. My desire to fill the niches missing in what they hope to see comes from such a place of genuine concern—but wow has it come around to burn me sometimes. I’ve equated asking for something or saying no as so selfish. Believe me, selfless love is one of my favorite purposes in this life (thanks Jesus), but yah can’t really help others if you won’t even help yourself.

Enter WEDDING PLANNING. If you want to really find out who you are, plan a wedding between your deeply Catholic family, Baptist in-law family, with your out-of-state fiance, in a matter of 9 months, with the beginning of a deployment. I LOVE this journey, but it has quickly revealed all kinds of areas to grow.

Becoming an adult means I want my parents to be proud, and everyone to share excitement for what lies ahead. But we all know how much everyone loves to add their two cents and opinion on anything from the ceremony readings to how much the flowers should cost. 

I quickly learned after our engagement that I simply cannot sweat whether or not my wedding and timeline fits other people’s vision of what they would like it to be. Don’t get me wrong—it is incredibly important to hear family’s input and outlook in serious concerns about your life. But I’ve found some of us tend to add our two cents where ultimately—it’s about the SMALL stuff. And I’m even guilty of adding my opinion on somebody’s life choices when it has zero negative impact—it just doesn’t fit what I would do. Why do we do this to each other?

Through this, I’ve thought a lot more about the idea of being “true to yourself.” True to what you love, true to what you hope, true to what you need…

I think being true to yourself means showing up unedited. No tweaking, no brightening, no blurring the sharp parts so others aren’t jolted uncomfortably. It’s crazy how much MORE peace I’ve felt since consciously leaving room for my own perspective. I’m less torn between satisfying opposite demands.

I can give so much better when my giving is on the solid foundation of who I really am. Before, it was just a shaky shamble of shape shifting. A firm footing has honestly made life a lot more fearless.

Just like they say you can’t pour from an empty cup, you can’t give peace from a pieced up heart. We need each other whole, so here’s to living a little more true…

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