“I Know That Already–At Least I Think I Do”

This morning, I remind my oldest daughter that she doesn’t need to be perfect, and she doesn’t need to make everybody happy.

After years of a codependent, people-pleasing kind of living, I’m acutely aware of the pitfalls that trap us.

What I want to tell her (and myself) is that we’re free. Jesus loves us perfectly in all our imperfection. We aren’t responsible for the happiness of other people, so right now, we can stop trying to manage everybody’s moods. We don’t need anyone’s approval.

“I know that already, Mom–at least I think I do.” She pauses and looks at me.

We know we’re trying to swim against a great current–of being good and making everyone happy–and it’s not how we’re supposed to be. Don’t take the bait, child. You’ll lose yourself in others and forget wonderful you!

We’re free and deeply loved. We can relax and let others be themselves too.

 Did you grow up trying to keep everyone happy?

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