Anybody who knows me will tell you I don’t host visitors in my home… for so many reasons (or should I say, excuses?). The reasons spill well beyond the fact that being a young mom, my home is my happy, sacred place, away from the chaos outside. It’s where I get to be and my children get to be… simply, us. It’s so scared to me that I feel that hosting a visitor would be a betrayal of the peace it brings me.
My kids and I are crazy and loud and I like it exactly like that, and honestly, if you asked me, I’d say something to the tune of; “I don’t want my children to feel restricted in speech, or deed due to the presence of a visitor”. And yet the truth is; I’m just as insecure about hospitality as any other woman I know, and the thought of hosting another frightens me. Not only because us women judge one another even without realizing it sometimes, but because I don’t want to undo or disrupt my comfort, which comes with a floor strewn with Lego toys everywhere, a floor I only find time to clean every second day. See? There you go with the “judgy eye”! 🙂
We have to be careful with the concept of hospitality and what American Author, Jill Savage, has since termed the Perfection Infection clash, because unrealistic expectations can come into play here
Hospitality is a term usually associated with how we treat guests in our homes. I like to think of it as how we treat friends and family both inside and outside our home. Hospitality is our opportunity to be kindness, love, compassion and peace to those around us.
We have to be careful with the concept of hospitality and what American Author, Jill Savage, has since termed the Perfection Infection clash, because unrealistic expectations can come into play here. Whether it’s hosting the extended family dinner or just making our kids’ friends feel at home in our houses, our expectations can be set so high that we can only see our failures.
Too often we talk ourselves right out of hospitality because we fear that our efforts won’t measure up. Measure up to what? That elusive “perfect picture” we have in our minds of what our houses need to look like, what kind of food we need to serve, or even how we want our kids to behave. One mom put it this way, “I don’t have people over because I don’t keep my house looking like a page out of Better Homes and Gardens. I am a clutter hound, and we have so much stuff. Everything seems to be in place at other moms’ houses, but never at mine!”
When I asked my Facebook friends what kept them from inviting someone over, the honest responses were overwhelming: “My house isn’t good enough.” “I’m not a ‘fancy’ cook.” “My home and belongings don’t measure up.” . . . One mom drew this equation: “It has to be perfect to have someone over + it’s never perfect = never having people over.” Wow, so many of us are afraid of something when it comes to extending hospitality! We allow our fears to control us and our expectations to paralyze us, which keeps us isolated and disconnected from the relationships we need the most.
I’m going to take a risk and maybe even step on your toes for a bit: Is your resistance to hospitality and allowing your fears to control you really an act of selfishness? Are we caring more about how we feel than how our hospitality may make the other person feel? One mom shared, “I was just invited over for the first time by someone I barely know, and I felt so thankful and honored. Just her invite was enough to make me feel a little special.”
Could we open ourselves up to the possibility of extending hospitality by thinking about how the invited person would feel rather than how we will feel? Can we stretch ourselves enough to face our fears and expand our network of friends? What if we started with a baby step of simply inviting someone over to let the kids play in the yard and share some lemonade? Or maybe just inviting another woman to meet you for a picnic at a park? That’s hospitality, too! It doesn’t always have to involve the house; hospitality is an extension of our hearts!
Could we open ourselves up to the possibility of extending hospitality by thinking about how the invited person would feel rather than how we will feel?
Challenge: Extend some unconditional love to someone else today! You have so much to offer! Connect with another woman today, either via the ‘IAmPossible Sacred Circle’ or through your own network of friends and actually meet and honor them with your company. Share laughs or go watch a movie.
Yes, we all have big goals we aspire to achieve within this 52-day wellness and self-development course – #Mission52 – but setting a goal as simple as getting out of your comfort zone and sharing your home or honoring another woman with your company can be a very satisfying achievement. Trust me. So go on and invite a lady every weekend till the end of 2016 and tell me how that goes 🙂