“Well, listen. Don’t worry about spilling stuff all over yourself. I’ve already dropped peas on my pants and then they fell on the floor. So, essentially, I just “pea”ed on the floor.” We laughed as I tried to let my friend know she was not alone in her mess.
There’s something encouraging in knowing we aren’t alone in our mess. In a world filled with comparisons and trying to be better than the next person, it’s comforting to hear others admit they are messy, too. None of us really have it all together if we are completely honest, but yet, we fall prey to the assumption that others are navigating life so much better than we are.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all walked around with tags on our shirts so we could immediately relate and connect to each other’s mess? Broken, neglected, abandoned, rejected, low self-esteem, fear of failure, scared, overlooked, hurt, bitter, lonely, depressed, anxious, addicted, sad, overwhelmed, stressed, sick, doubting, tired, questioning. Social settings would be much easier to wade through and our guards would immediately fall as we look into the eyes of other people whose messes look a lot like our own.
As we navigate life, try and remember that under that protective “I’ve got it together face” there is usually a person with messes like our own. Instead of wearing your own self-protective mask, take a chance and throw out your mess for others to see. “Pea” on the floor first so that others will feel comfortable around you and know it’s safe to let you see their mess.
Sharing life with others at the messy level develops friendships that can last a lifetime. It’s always worth it. So, what are you waiting for? Maybe it’s time for you to “pea” on the floor.