Our Lucky Charms
Do you know how they say, “The Lord Provides?”
Well, the other day I was scrutinizing my transaction history trying to figure out where my money went, when I got the most timely text message ever! It said:
“Would you be interested in more details
on how to put Honey Bunches of Oats
sticker decal ads on your vehicle? $550 weekly.”
Well, maybe. It depends on the optics: What does the decal look like? Does it match the color of my car? What is the font type? I am VERY over Arial.
I picture myself pulling into the car loop at school, rocking some bangin’ new designer shades and my Honey Bunches decals. Heads would really turn!
“WTF is she thinking??” my friends would wonder.
“Such an aggressive bumper sticker,” someone might say.
“That explains it,” the teachers would nod.
This reverie makes me cackle. Maybe I could get some product to give away: I’d be like the 30-something version of a Jameson Girl. Imagine I got sponsored by Lucky Charms too??? My kids would be the coolest kids in school, for sure!!!
And then — once I got some time as a cereal spokesperson under my belt, I could approach brands with more cache’. Like Kashi. Or Cascadian Farms! And then, I will REALLY be rolling in the dough; I’ll have enough dough to bake THOUSANDS of bowls of cereal.
I decide to run it past my husband. Sure, the decal might pique some judgment but he’ll probably say yes because what I love about him is that negative feedback doesn’t really seem to bother him; it doesn’t seem to bend his spine. It’s like he respects himself, regardless of what other people say. It’s like he doesn't calculate every move, based on primal fear of rejection! It’s like he’s never been in a circle of females gossiping!!
It’s as though my husband has Confidence Armor, where he is so confident in his own integrity, he doesn’t give two shits what other people think. And I want some of that.
I text him the offer, in full.
“Huh?” he types. “No thanks.”
Uh, WHAT?? Okay — WOW. If Cookie Crisp had contacted him, he’d already be wrapping his truck.
What is he not seeing?? This passive income would mean more FREEDOM! More opportunities for our family; more time and money to achieve our dreams! Less work; more travel; more goodies; more adventures!! A cleaner house! More time to write! Even takeout — every night!!! And all we’d have to do is sell out harder than a slab of engineered quartz. I mean, what a no-brainer!! Sometimes, gifts from God look different than we imagine, and this offer for easy money might be an actual blessing, delivered.
I pick up my phone and flip to the original inquiry. Well?? Am I, in fact, “interested in more details” on whether to put Honey Bunches of Oats Sticker decal ads on my vehicle??????
Ummm… Yes! I am.
“Interested,” I type….
Because, really. People are gonna judge me no matter what I do. There is literally nothing I could drive, wear, do, say, eat, be, to not get judged. And it feels like I just can’t win: Get judged poorly, and my reputation suffers. Get judged highly, and I’ll feel pressure to keep it up and might have to deal with people’s envy — or even their fear and hate!
Since, why do people judge anyway?? It’s because we’re insecure! Judging is basically just comparing yourself to other people to see where you stand in the pack; to make sure you’re still in the pack. (To make sure you’re still safe.)
And God forbid you do something really bold (like wrap your car in a cereal ad to make money that’ll help you live your ideal life) and you’ll be subject to triple the stares and extra vicious disdain because most of us are subconsciously threatened by those who live out their YOLO since most of us are too *chicken* to follow our hearts — and it’s more comfortable to ridicule the brave and the bold than it is to face one’s own cowardice.
So why get strung out over insecure chickens when I can say “screw it” and make tons of easy money simply going about my day???
So that’s why I type “Interested.”
Well, I type it… but I don’t press send.
Because – ugh, I wish!!! Let’s be real: This is an unthinkable idea. I would lose respect, status and maybe even “friends.” I could become ostracized! Or, maybe worse — irrelevant. And I don’t think my best friends or family would distance me if I decided to be so bold, but what about the peanut gallery??? Could I withstand a sea of ridicule and disdain?
Well, maybe; IF the prize were in sight and the choice felt right. I mean, just because people throw opinions at me doesn’t mean I need to let them in.
The question really isn’t: “How harshly will others judge me?” The question is, “How harshly will I judge myself?” Will I allow their single-minded opinions to shame me??
Come to think of it, I DO have confidence armor – like with style! When a style choice feels pitch perfect and true to me, ain't nobody gonna burst my bubble. Confidence lives within our cars, not without; not on the cold hard steel.
When we‘re constantly searching outside for approval to fortify our integrity, it distracts us from the things that light us up inside -- from the drives that were born of our hearts and souls, not necessarily our egos.
And we should take our cues from our hearts and souls, because they are the source of our holiest gifts: the things we were meant to do.
But it’s scary! Because our gifts, they make us unique – and what makes us unique is also what makes us most seen. And when you share your deepest, most personal offerings, and someone doesn’t love them, it can feel like they don’t love the most radiant expressions of you!
And all of this heightened exposure can make us feel threatened, and very, very vulnerable.
But... here’s the thing: If we can learn to tolerate feeling vulnerable, then we can become unstoppable!
And – the world might benefit!! Imagine how much richer our universe would be if everyone were brave enough to contribute the fully-realized fruit of their unique inner gifts.
We have one life to live. In the grand scheme of things, the discomfort of facing judgments is fleeting. But the benefits of showing the world who we are, and what we’ve got, can reverberate across generations.
The Lord, xe does provide. And I wonder: which opportunities from God have I been too chicken to embrace? Which stories should I share that I am too afraid to tell, and who — besides me — will feel alone because I am too afraid to tell them?
As the Greek Politician Pericles said around 400 B.C., “Happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.”
Likewise, as a brilliant teacher told me circa 2022: “There’s a lot of freedom in no fucks given.”
So that’s why I’m gonna file “no fucks given” under my #goals. In the meantime, I’ve decided I would sport the Honey Bunches decal under only one (hopefully not more) of the following circumstances:
1) To save a life
2) To keep my home
3) To save my two front teeth. But not to save a molar. Being not-tacky is more important to me than a molar, but less important to me than my two front teeth.
Nah, this decal’s just not my style.
So those are my parameters, at least for now — though I do appreciate the universe’s gesture.
Ps: **Which lucky charms are YOU letting pass by, due to fear of judgment?**
“Everything is possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”