I Don't Entertain Because I'm Not Perfect Enough

The other day I heard these words: I don’t entertain because I’m not perfect enough.

Oh, ouch. Those were painful words to hear.

Women get caught up in the shame web, says Dr. Brene Brown, whose book I’m reading and love. It’s called Daring Greatly, and seriously, anyone who has issues with inviting others into your home should read this book. It’s full of wisdom, tips, insights, truths—about vulnerability, perfectionism, image, relationships. Doesn’t that just have READ written all over it? I really am enjoying learning more about how God has designed me, and how I can be a better person and friend, and accomplish the goals and dreams that God has given to me. We should never stop growing as a person, right?

Dr. Brene says that perfectionism is rooted in shame. Mm-m-m … that can hurt, and it can also go deep, like back into our childhoods. She asked women their definitions or experiences of shame, and this is what she heard:

Definition or experience of shame:

(words in parenthesis are my own)

Look perfect. Do perfect. Be perfect. Anything less than that is shaming. (Wow – it’s all about how we appear on the outside!)

Being judged by our mothers. (Or, our friends?)

Being exposed—the flawed parts of yourself that you want to hide from everyone are revealed. (We want to always look perfect.)

Good enough – no matter what I achieve or how far I’ve come, where I came from and what I’ve survived will always keep me from feeling like I’m good enough. (Never good enough.)

Expectations – even though everyone knows that there’s no way to do it all, everyone still expects it. Shame is when you can’t pull off looking like it’s under control. (A mess on the inside, but looking good on the outside. Marriages and our kids, too.)

Never enough – never enough at home. Never enough at work. Shame means never enough.

Never cool enough – no seat at the cool table. The pretty girls are laughing. (No seat at the cool house? Again, I say create your own party and fun! Don’t wait for others.)

Healthy mentors.

I really believe we need healthy mentors when it comes to hospitality. Young women should be learning, growing, experiencing what it’s really like to invite a family over (and not feel like it has to look like a Pinterest table setting or meal), to watch and see how it’s really done, from the imperfect.

I’m from the “imperfect” category. We have people here all the time, and our hospitality is real.

I Don't Entertain Because I'm Not Perfect Enough

Vulnerability.

Most the time I feel that my parties aren’t really magazine-worthy, but I don’t really care. I move on to what’s real and important.

People only care about coming to spend a few hours with our family! We get to know these people more!

Having things not perfect will actually help me grow, and helps me become more vulnerable.

It’s okay for me to be humbled if a mistake happens or the food isn’t a huge hit.

I Don't Entertain Because I'm Not Perfect Enough

Our kids are watching.

When it’s all said and done, if we haven’t learned this lesson by now, I really feel for our kids who are watching our lives and how we do things.

I want to keep what’s important and real at the forefront of entertaining, and not lose sight of that.

In the end, we’ll all be blessed.

Do you feel you aren’t good or perfect enough to entertain?

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