People get excited about things. The books they read, the shows they watch, the vacations they take, the ministries in which they are involved.

I get excited, convicted even, about things. Books, shows, bible verses, family stuff, home stuff, faith stuff.

I’ve noticed – when sharing my stuff with other people or when people share their stuff with me – the excitement doesn’t always transfer. Instead, I or they, depending on who is sharing and who is being shared with, might feel judgement or pressure or a vague sense of wow, that person is so much cooler than I.

Please don’t tell me I’m the only person who has struggled?

It took me a long time to figure this out, and I’m still pretty bad at it. I’m lame like that. The first time I really understood the challenge of being excited without portraying judgement was when I first started homeschooling. I’d been to conferences and read books and bought curriculum, and I WAS EXCITED. I remember talking with a friend about some of what I’d learned about homeschooling, and she said something negative (I don’t even remember what it was) and I realized she felt she had to justify to me her choice to send her kids to school. I actually didn’t realize this right away; I was initially just hurt and kind of confused (lame, remember?) but after I’d thought about it, I understood. And other comments people had made about school issues started making sense.

My response to my epiphany? Stop talking about homeschooling.

And that’s pretty much been my Go To response for everything that seems (to my skewed and insecure perception) to rub people the wrong way, since. Just stop talking about it.

I’ve been wondering how many other people have stopped talking about their passions and joy for the same reason? How many people don’t talk about their ministries or their hobbies or their goals or their experiences because they’ve been shut down in the past, maybe by me? This makes me sad.

I’m going to stop being so sensitive. Honestly, I’m so much better than I used to be. I’m going to stop thinking another person’s success is an arrow pointing out my failure. I’m going to stop feeling judged by your cool experience or the passion you are brave enough to follow. I’m going to surrender my false feelings of not enough, and I’m going to congratulate you as often as I can for your beautiful gifts, whatever they are. I’m going to celebrate your convictions, and share mine with joy.

Life is way more fun that way.