Friendship (And Other Concerns)

11 Jan

Have you ever had a moment where you’ve gotten a glimpse into a simple truth from a completely random source? A funny thing happened to me the other night. Not funny “ha ha,” but funny “huh.”

photo from alison tyne photography on etsy

A few of my girlfriends decided to form an impromptu virtual book club because we’d all been tweeting about how awesome The Hunger Games are. We were sitting around discussing the books, having a great time, and decided that the club needed to keep going. For that to happen we needed another book. We were all throwing out titles of books we’d read or heard were good, and Lady D. brought up a book she’d been thinking about reading: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. And something funny happened. As soon as we heard the title, every lady at that table said with one breath “oh my gosh, yes!” No, we weren’t saying we were into reading the book (though I have read it since then, and it is very funny), we all had the same reaction because at one time or another – probably more often than we care to admit – we’ve had that fear.

To be honest, I was completely shocked. I’d thought that was my fear. I looked around the room at all these beautiful women, women who I look up to, who have struggles and fears, sure, but who always seem to have it all together. Women who have fabulous tailored wardrobes and don’t struggle to find the right balance of accessories. Women who don’t call their friends after they’ve had too much wine to say how much they love them because they’re worried that no one cares. Women who look like the type of girl who could get a handful of friends together at a moment’s notice because everyone wants to hang out with her. And they all worried that everyone was hanging out without them, like I do? Shocked.

Not long ago I decided to get some wise counsel because I was feeling insecure. I realized that, after years of work and study, I’d learned to accept love from God and I learned that I was worthy of the love of my husband. But for some reason, I still felt like having friends was a fluke. Not all the time, but sometimes, I feel like an imposter who is living someone else’s life, and as soon as I do the wrong thing or say the wrong thing people are going to realize their mistake and won’t want to be my friend any longer. It’s a horrible insecurity for a 99% secure person to have, and I needed some help to get my mind to go somewhere positive when I started feeling insecure. My wise and wonderful therapist gave me some great advice, but nothing drove the stupidity of my insecurity home more acutely than seeing all these amazing women exclaim as one because they recognized themselves in a clever book title.

On New Life Live the other day, Dr. Henry Cloud told a caller with a question about excessive worry something along the lines of “you can’t keep a bird from flying over your head, but you can keep it from nesting in your hair.” So simple, so Philippians 4: 6-8. It’s what I did when I was learning to love God, refused to entertain the persistently knocking thoughts that said I’m not good enough for Him to love me. It’s what I did when I learned to love A, brushed away the thoughts that clung like cobwebs, saying that I didn’t deserve the love he was offering. So here are thoughts that I will work on letting fly over my head, like a nasty sea-gull that I would never dream of holding on to long enough for it to build a nest:

If people really knew me, they wouldn’t like me.

It’s A that people want to hang out with, I’m just the tag-along.

My friends are hanging out and I’m not invited. Do they not like me? Are we really friends? (This one is has been especially popular lately, thanks to twitter.)

People don’t get my humor and think I’m weird.

I’m too much sometimes, I need to be more like everyone else. (That one makes me laugh when I think about it, I love being uniquely me! But it still rears its ugly head sometimes…)

If I didn’t call/text/reach out to people no one would ever hang out with me.

No one really cares.

Fly away, crazy thoughts. You make no sense, you make me sad, and in the light of day you aren’t real. I won’t let you steal my joy. I am loved by many, and even if I wasn’t, I am loved by God. And that’s more than enough.

Do you ever let thoughts you know aren’t true get you down? There’s healing in sharing, my friends. Say it out loud, and know you’re not alone.

7 Responses to “Friendship (And Other Concerns)”

  1. Bethany Fitelson January 11, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    Thanks for sharing this post – you are so right! What’s funny is that I’ve been reading the same books as you guys coincidentally, and I’m sad that I don’t get to join your discussions! So yes, everyone feels that way at times. I loved that Mindy Kaling titled her book that way because she seems so COOL, and if she feels that way then maybe feeling left out at times is not a matter of coolness and uncoolness. I loved reading that book and totally felt that Kaling and I could be friends, which is a testament to her writing because I think she makes everyone feel that way! I’ll be interested to hear your group’s thoughts.

    And keep swatting away at those negative thoughts. You are one of the most self-possessed and confident people I know, and I think you’re pretty awesome!

    • Christy Aylesworth January 11, 2012 at 10:38 am #

      Hey, if you ever want to come down to the south bay for a discussion…:)

  2. Elaine (@BanieMcBane) January 11, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Yeah… a lot of these sound like me too >> Especially #3 (also thanks to twitter and facebook :/ ). I get beyond carried away worrying sometimes. Hopeful that my new years resolution will help with that.

    Also, I have started a List (inspired by you & Adelle), and you & A are specifically noted on one of the items 😉 Love ya!

    • Christy Aylesworth January 11, 2012 at 11:07 am #

      Hooray for lists! I can’t wait to hear about yours!

      • Elaine (@BanieMcBane) January 11, 2012 at 11:13 am #

        Yes ^_^ C is going to make my website blog WordPress, so comments will be easier… then I shall blog more and put The List up 🙂


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