Monday, July 25, 2016

Uninvited

I had the good fortune to preview Lysa TerKeurst's new book Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely. Lysa's writing goes straight to my heart. She's real. Transparent. She writes about losing her temper, yelling at her kids, fighting with her husband, drowning her sorrows in chips and queso and learning to say no. If you have heard her speak, you know she delivers all this wisdom in the most delightful sweet-as-pie-Southern-belle voice. I. Love. Her.

Her books Unglued, Made to Crave and The Best Yes address issues I regularly pretend to deal with and offer sound advice as well as the perfect amount of, "Me too, sister," to keep readers engaged.

When I heard about this latest book, I couldn't wait to hear what she had to say. I've written a time or two or 12 about my issues with feeling left out.

I'm not sure where it comes from. Being the youngest child and not getting to go along on adventures with my older siblings? Maybe. Being home-schooled and not having many friends? Possibly. Honestly, it doesn't even matter anymore where that feeling comes from. What matters is that I don't like feeling that way and don't want to anymore.

Here's the thing: In the past, if someone left me out, or I perceived that I was being left out, I immediately erected a big wall between my heart and the offending person. Not exactly an emotionally mature or responsible way of dealing with situations. Especially when the slight was more in my head than the other person's actions.

I'm still pretty gun-shy and keep my circle super-tight, but I've been trying. (#4 Always do your best.) And I realized the other day that sometimes in my haste to protect my own heart, I've been guilty of committing this detestable offense against others. Worse, I can't claim it was unintentional because it was totally my intention to keep people I perceived as disingenuous as far outside my circle as possible. I didn't engage with them. I didn't entertain them. I certainly didn't invite them. I left them out.

There's a face...more than a face...a posture that all three of my kids assume on occasion. I tried unsuccessfully to capture it. If you meld the three of them into one: Chloe's sassy face, and P's scowly face, and Lil's slumping body and disgusted face, then you kind of have an idea. Imagine they're melting, disgustedly, but somewhat at their own hand.
Sass. For. Days.
The untrained eye might not detect his scowl. Look closely.

She's melting. Literally.
In this moment of realization, that's how I felt. Kind of like melting into a puddle of self-loathing. Mind you, there are some colorful expressions I'd use to describe my demeanor upon hitting this moment of clarity head on, but Imma keep my language PG, when I talk about LT and her books.

Now, since I've also been practicing making positive changes rather than ruminating over my shortcomings, I simply decided to do better going forward. Stop taking things personally (#2), own my own behavior, step outside my tight little circle and be vulnerable. Let people in even when they chose to shut me out. Remember that the best antidote to meanness is kindness...even when the last thing you feel like being is kind. Be. Kind. Anyways. That's a good mantra.
So, back to Lysa's book--which will surely leap off the presses and onto the NY Times Bestsellers list--and feeling less than, left out, and lonely. Well, if you have ever felt like that, you'll definitely want to check it out. And please tell me: Do you ever feel left out? How do you deal with those feelings?




3 comments:

  1. Yep, I have those feelings in spades. I deal with them by isolating myself even more. Healthy, huh? I am realizing that I've been in a bad cycle of this -- insecurity keeps me from being assertive, which makes me feel defeated and keeps me isolated. I'm looking to do more reading in these areas, so thanks for the review and recommendation!

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    1. I tend to isolate and build bigger walls as well 😕 Thanks for sharing, Mel! Let me know what you think of the book or if you come across others you'd recommend.

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