Note: It’s a pleasure to share this except from Myquillyn Smith’s book, The Nesting Place. You can find more encouragement and inspiration from Myquillyn at The Nester. This article contains affiliate links.
As I entered her home, two things were obvious.
She had impeccable taste and she had the budget to back it up.
I was welcomed in with an apology for what a “huge mess” her home was. I found myself secretly happy because I could relate, my home’s not perfect either. Solidarity.
I looked around but no mess caught my eye. Not to worry, my host pointed things out in every single room; they’ve been meaning to buy new drapes, she’s begged her husband to repaint that wall forever, she doesn’t like the pillows on her sofa.
After the tour she covered everything with a shocking statement “I’m so embarrassed, this house is such a mess.” Every time a new guest rang the doorbell she welcomed them in with an apology, making sure to point out every flaw.
All I could think of was that if this beautiful, well-appointed home wasn’t good enough for her, then my ramshackle, half-finished, second-hand home would never be okay.
I made a mental note to never invite her over.
The problem was, I had fallen into that same apology trap myself.
By default and habit I had always apologized for my home to protect myself, so people wouldn’t think I was a tasteless slob. Or at lest so they would know that I acknowledge that I can be a slob and I’m well aware that my house isn’t perfect and I’m not okay with it. I have much higher standards than this and my house doesn’t come near to meeting my lofty requirements.
But that day, after being on the receiving end of an ENDLESS apology I realized that when I apologize for my house I’m declaring loud and clear that I’m ungrateful. My discontentment was showing.
Why You Have To Stop Apologizing Yesternow
When I apologize for my house I’m basically saying:
- my house isn’t good enough for me.
- I’m silently keeping score.
- I put great importance on how my home appears and that maybe, when I come to your house I’m keeping score too.
In the same way that I would have LOVED to have those things that my apologizing friend was embarrassed of, I realized many people who come in my house would love to have the second-hand, half finished things I’m apologizing for.
When we apologize for what we have it makes our guests feel uncomfortable, it discredits what’s been provided, and it reveals the true state of our heart. Ouch.
Since visiting my apologizing friend, we’ve moved to a different town. But now, I’d have no problem inviting her over. Not because I think my house would finally meet her standards but because I know that she probably wouldn’t even notice those lived-in and loved-on parts of our home that have worn thin.
People caught up in perfection are usually much harder on themselves than they are on others. And if she did notice all those imperfections in my house, maybe the fact that I’m okay with them would be just the kind of freedom she needs right now.
No apologies necessary.
Such an important reminder from Myquillyn. May we all have and give that kind of freedom freely.
Myquillyn is the creator of Nesting Place, a site from which she encourages women with hope, motivation, and inspiration for their homes. For more encouragement like this, check out The Nesting Place and be sure to visit her on Instagram–no perfection necessary 😉