Just One Thing

Perhaps because I’ve recently seen death (or perhaps because I have a totally morbid and eternally fascinated imagination), I’ve been thinking a lot lately as to what would happen if I were to die. You know, what kind of flowers would be at the funeral, would DB remember not to wear black (would he even care I’d said that since I would, after all, be dead?), how often would I be allowed to check in on the kids, would DB’s second wife be a redhead (she’d better not be, boy!)?

This isn’t nearly as depressing as it sounds, I promise. It did, however, lead me to one actual serious contemplation. If I did have to leave my children, what one lesson would I want them to learn from me before I went? Of course, the obvious answer is faith in Jesus Christ. However, I’m going to ignore that one on the assumption that DB would be more than happy to take care of that for me (thanks, dude. You’ve always got my back), and pick something else. I thought perhaps that knowing how to boil water would be good, or maybe how to chase stalker boys away. Then I got more serious and thought maybe I’d want to leave them with the ability to learn, or a love of service.

In the end, I scrapped all of those. They’re so important, but it’s not the one, unique lesson that as their mother – strike that, as Carolynn The Dyer, that I’d like to leave with them. I’ve finally decided, in fact I’m almost certain, that the one thing I’d leave them with if it were my choice is this simple piece of knowledge:

 It’s okay if some people don’t like you.

Let me say that again, in case the people in the back didn’t hear.

 It’s okay if some people don’t like you.

This is probably the part where I’m supposed to wax philosophical about why that particular lesson’s important, but I’m not going to. I should think everyone can supply a good list of very practical, objective reasons concerning why. For me, it’s personal. For me, I realize that every major moment that I look back and shake my head over in my life is a direct result of the fact that I wanted so badly for someone to like me, it didn’t matter anymore if I liked me, so I betrayed myself.

Betraying yourself. God gave you one thing that you can hold on to, that you can call your own, and that’s your own decisions, your own ‘self.’ What does that mean, when you’re so set on others liking you that you betray yourself?

I’d also like to know, what good does it do?  We’re here to be the best we can be, to contribute that one thing that only we’re capable of. I don’t know that putting on a different crepe mask for every person that comes into your life counts as being all you can be. Actually, I’m certain that’s what it means, because … how to put it? What’s inside of you, it has to come out. It has to shine. But it can’t if you’re so busy trying to reflect back at people what they want to see that you turn into a mirror instead of a window. Who wants mirrors on every side of their house? I’d rather a giant bay window.

Maybe that’s just me.

 It’s okay if people don’t like you.

If I say it loud enough, do you believe me?

Do I believe me?

Do you think it matters?

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About Carolynn the Dyer

If I've learned one thing by having three children in four years, it's that babies are not, in fact, the best birth control. ... Okay, just kidding. I've really learned that laughter is the only way to survive the wilds of parenthood, and life in general. Also, that it is indeed possible to do dishes, parent, and carry on a conversation at the same time. If that sounds like fun, or just impossible, then come join me on my blog--and join me in the jungle.
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2 Responses to Just One Thing

  1. rjcarr says:

    I like this blog because it’s so true! I do believe it is rather important to know that it’s okay if other people don’t like you. I find myself too not saying something or doing something just because I’m afraid of what other people will think of me or that they won’t like what I have to say. This is a great thing to read for anyone at any stage of life (and I especially like getting the reminder right as I head of to college:) thanks for writing it!

  2. Susan says:

    Very nice. I should tell myself that more often. Definitely.

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