Scary Stories the Other 364 Days of the Year

You know I posted this earlier today but took it down after my words sat on the page lonely and unattended for like two hours. I thought oh well, they can’t all be read...and honestly my timing was all wrong since I launched it when all you mamas were busy getting ready for trick or treaters!

But THEN I received a private message from a reader who said “Where’s the post? I can’t share it!” She went on to explain how much she related to the story. Wow. If it meant something to her ...even one person....then I’m glad I wrote it.

So here it is again....in case it means something to you or one of your friends...

✨A Scary Story That Happens the Other 364 Days of the Year✨

C'mon, go through the whole Haunted House with me....then share with a friend.

I’m curious.

On an average day, how many of you wear about 13 different masks depending on who’s around you because you're afraid of not being liked?

The mask that hides your face as you bite down on the soft, fleshy part inside your cheek when you’d much rather growl at the person talking with you.

The mask that helps you laugh it off when someone jokes about something you did for the 57th time but it embarrasses you?

The mask that covers your insecurities and doubts from whether or not the person online or at work really likes you or if they’re just tolerating you?

God, it hurts so much not to be liked. So we put on a mask and people won’t know.

We mock bravery from all the spooks and goblins tormenting our positive self-talk. Down deep inside of us, we value what we offer to the world, but we’ll show others how we can shrug it off when they don’t think that much of it. We make our faces bright and cheerful and we hope for better the next day from the next person.

Our heart believes that if we encourage and support others that encouragement and support will be returned. But it isn’t. Not all the time and life won’t always give back what you give. At least, not in the same way you think it should.

There are a few memes making the circuit on my news feed lately about frenemies.

“If your circle doesn’t cheer for you get a new circle.”

Or this one which is a little more biting,

“I tell you what. I’ll give you a call back as soon as I remember why we’re friends.”

Ouch.

Frenemies are so much harder to deal with than someone who just doesn’t like you or you don’t like them. The mental and emotional work we go through is so much more difficult when we aren’t sure. The ones that you think maybe, possibly don’t like us but then we question your instincts when they do something “nice.”

You can't be sure if they have good intentions and kindness or if they’ve got their own mask snuggly fitted and they’re growling at you behind it. Surely not, our heart reconciles. Our mind struggles to meet our heart on the same page. Okay, okay, we tell ourselves. They do care. And, on the other side of that - are we just being polite or do we really care?

It’s exhausting. So exhausting.

It’s way easier to know who we don’t like and who doesn’t like us back. Even though we’re afraid to admit that it hurts. But hurt feelings when you know what you’re dealing with is so much better than uncertain feelings you constantly work to figure it out.

The feelings you have to mentally sort. Decide whether or not they are being completely earnest in their friendship. It's why we are worn down and too tired to even try. We have trust issues with new friends and it’s easier to keep the old ones at a distance so we can keep an eye on them. Size them up. Decide if they are a good witch or a bad witch or not a witch at all. Will they really be kind and encouraging to me? Will I be for them?

I think this is why people - especially women - crave true, honest, heart-wide-open relationships but we’re terrified of all of it.

ALL OF IT.

I know that we’ve had friends who we could call on and say, "I need you. Please help me." And we’ve definitely had our share of friendships only because it’s convenient to hang out when our kids go to the same school or we’re in a group at church.

I think what happens is we open the door to the Haunted House of Friend Relationships and decide it’s too scary and we run and hide. But here’s the best part of this scary story. IF we're brave enough to go through the motions of kindness then the practice will become a habit. If we behave like a true friend and a true supporter then eventually we will feel the rewards of that for ourselves.

I think we have to make our way through the whole thing - the whole relationship - the whole haunted house to determine whether or not it is good or bad. We are letting our fears get in the way of something much stronger and truer. When we don’t go all the way through, if we only manage a couple of spooky rooms and we stop. We say this is too much and we can’t do it then we haven’t seen the relationship to the end. We haven’t given it a chance.

If we keep going, we might find the people who walked with us through the scary parts are the ones we’ll have on the other side. That’s where you’ll find your true blues. Not everyone who starts the Haunted House with you will finish but pay attention to the ones who did. What they look like after the mask comes off, may surprise you.