In about an hour, we have friends coming over for a socially-distant lunch. I’m looking forward to seeing them, it’s been a few months. And, my heart and mind are anxious. I feel like too many things aren’t up to snuff… things are wrong. We’ve been painting color swatches upstairs in preparation for repainting the bedrooms and the bathroom. It looks a mess. It’s chaotic and jarring visually. We are going to have lunch on the deck. Our deck isn’t finished and I feel self-conscious and embarrassed about that. There are things all over the place, nearly anywhere my eye might settle, that aren’t up to my standards. I’m afraid they won’t be up to our friends’ standards either. I don’t want them to look down on me. I don’t want to be wrong. The fear of being judged burns into me like a brand.

To help diffuse the intensity of what I feel, I often describe the sensations to Paul. I did and he asked me what the worst-case scenario is for me. I told him I’m afraid of being judged, shamed, or disliked. He asked why that was a concern and I replied, “Because I want to be liked.” Paul in his clear-sighted wisdom replied: “You don’t want to be liked. You need to be liked.”

I’m not even sure how to go about it. But, right now, I’m committing to practicing not needing people to like me and what I do. If you have any tips… I’m all ears.

Want is different than need
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