When a friend of mine visited last week, I welcomed her into my cluttered house, its floors badly in need of vacuuming, by saying, "I'm not even going to apologize for the mess--this is just what it looks like at my house. I'm keeping it real."
That was the truth, and it's good as far as it goes: Let's be honest about our messes, instead of putting on a front. But while my desire is to be authentic and encourage others not to fake it, I sometimes forget that this mindset can also carry a frustrating subliminal message. If "messy is authentic," then "you're only real and authentic if you're a mess." And is THAT the truth?
I don’t want my friend to clean frantically
before I come over; I want her to remember that I’m interested in seeing her, not her house! But so often, it doesn’t stop there. My healthy perspective morphs swiftly:
“I want your house to be messy because it will make me feel better about my own messy house.”
“If your house is clean, I feel threatened, inferior.”
“If your house is clean, I’m afraid you will judge me.”
“If your house is clean, I will preemptively judge you for being fake and trying too hard.”
How do we break out of this gross whirlwind of comparison and competition? I'm asking and attempting to answer such questions today over at Ungrind. Click over to read my thoughts on "Chasing a Standard We Can Meet."