I’ve had several conversations recently about the expectations of the “normal” American mom.
According to society, she’s got a limited set of things she gets “graded” on. How clean her house is. How well-behaved her children are. How peaceful her husband’s life is when he’s home, and how supportive she is of him when he’s not.
Now, does every woman actually care about these things? Is a clean house and polite children part of what makes every woman’s heart come alive? Is that every woman’s dream life?
Who cares! That’s what our culture has to say to that. It doesn’t matter what she actually cares about. This is how her value is determined. Not based on what she thinks is valuable about her—but based on what is demanded from her! Not based on what she wants to give, but based on what others want her to give!
Doing what others expect you to do because they think that’s all you’re good for is what a prostitute does.
Whether as a mother, a business owner or a friend, when you ignore your own heart in order to fulfill the demands of others for whatever little bit of payment they’re willing to give you—you’re making yourself into a prostitute.
I’m not trying to be crass. I’m trying to get you to see the reality of your situation, and how bad it really is.
Think about it this way: Every good prostitute has a pimp, right? What’s the pimp’s job? To keep the prostitute under control. The pimp gives her a little bit of money. A little bit of security. A little bit of value. That’s her compensation for having sex with strangers. That’s her compensation for ignoring her own value.
So, who’s your pimp?
Who’s keeping you in line, making sure you remember where your “real” value lies? This person may not be an evil genius. They might even be well-intentioned, or ignorant. They might be your kids, your husband, your church—maybe even your idea of God. Who that person really is or their “good intentions” for you are not the point. The role they’re playing in your life is the point.
The fact that you have much more to offer the world than a tidy kitchen and a little boy who knows how to sit quietly while the adults talk is the point.
The fact that you were created to live an astonishing life full of power and freedom is the point.
The fact that the only thing holding you back is how long you’re willing to turn tricks is the point.
“But Brandon,” you say. “You don’t understand! Somebody’s got to do all this work. Besides, it’s not so bad. I can deal with it.”
You know what? You’re right. It’s not so bad. I bet a lot of prostitutes tell themselves too. They can deal with the pain it causes them. So can you. I don’t doubt that.
But ask yourself this: Is that all you really want?
Is that the best you think life has to offer? A day-to-day existence where you’re just doing whatever you can tolerate, because that’s what’s expected of you?
You know what happens to people who settle for a life of things they can tolerate? They start numbing their pain with whatever’s closest at hand, be it a donut, Xanax, vodka or just a day on the couch watching stupid tv shows. They have don’t have enough energy to pursue the things that actually make them come alive, so they spend whatever they do have on things that keep their hurt bubbling beneath the surface, all the while getting less happy, less beautiful, and less hopeful.
No! You only have one life! One! Don’t spend all of it trying to mop up your own dissatisfaction! There is more to life! There is more to YOU!
I dare you to dream bigger.
Most people live a life where about 90% of what they do is just whatever they can deal with, and the remaining 10% goes to what’s actually ideal for them.
Is it possible to get your life to the point where you’re doing 100% things that are ideal for you? Probably not.
But is it possible to at least flip the scale so you’re doing more of what makes you come alive? Is it possible to at least end up in the black at the end of the day, instead of feeling exhausted by just trying to keep your pimps happy with your performance?
What’s holding you back?