A Hard Truth

March 18, 2015

I was unloading a myriad of frustrations to my therapist recently, which is one of the beautiful offerings of therapy. It’s a safe place to dump feelings without judgement. Most of the issues had to do with interpersonal relationships and my desire to fix what seems broken. She interrupted me with an incredulous face and blunt question, “Did you really think you could make everyone happy?”

I replied with a heartfelt, honest, enthusiastic, “Yes!”

Which lead to her eyes softening, her tone quieting, and a long explanation of a hard truth that she figured I had accepted years ago. The essence of the explanation boiled down to a concept most people probably know and know well.

You can’t make everyone happy.

I really, truly, earnestly believed I could. Really. I had spent 34 years reaching the seemingly attainable goal with a few exceptions. It was rare that I would face conflict with anyone that couldn’t be smoothed over with a chat or hug.

But a crisis or trauma tests that belief to its core. Heck, just being a human and living amongst humans makes that belief pretty much impossible.

So, here I am. Learning a hard truth much later in life than most do.

The support of my friends and family has been overwhelming positive. I can’t make that clear enough. It makes my heart burst with gratitude and can bring me to tears almost instantly. There is so much beauty and love in this life. But there have been some very ugly, heartbreaking scenarios with people I care about that have played out since Simon’s death. As if losing him wasn’t awful enough.

That’s where this journey is at the moment: grasping a simple yet profound idea. Learning not to dwell on the negative. Appreciating the good. Doing what I can to be right with God knowing I can’t always be right with man. Surrounding my fragile soul with those who can meet me where I’m at.

That’s where happiness is.


  1. Judy on March 18, 2015 at 11:27 am

    I find pleasing God is so much more important than pleasing man! You are a precious woman of God and you have gone through a lot in the last 7 months teaching people how to cope with life with a positive attitude and showing people that there is happiness through grief and trauma.

  2. Marisa Oste on March 18, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    It’s amazing how many times you can hear that saying, “you can’t make everyone happy,” and never really internalize it. You are a kind, loving, gentle person.. Of course you only want to bring joy wherever you go. You do a pretty good job of it.

  3. Michelle Stevens on March 18, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    I love you. Hard truth yes, but also so freeing. May Jesus be the only one you care about making smile. As you do that, you’ll be right with others whether they are happy or not. You bring me joy! I am grateful to call you friend

  4. Judy Colwell on March 18, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I, in the past, put the “P” in people pleasing…In the last 3 years, I have begun to live into Matt 6:33..seeking first The Kingdom. The aftermath has been the disappearance of people whom I thought were there for me and faithful…Not so…If we strive to be the pleaser, which often includes rescuing, we will be used, sometimes like a doormat and taken advantage of…We tend to “stuff” our feelings to prevent others from becoming uncomfortable around us. Seeking to put Jesus first, though there is still some debris and fallout of supposed friendships, has been the best choice. HE loves us unconditionally and is always there for us…HE picks up the pieces, as well. Sorry for the discomfort, Kristy, but we know that the battle is the LORD’S and HE (and you) will prevail.

  5. Bev on March 18, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    God comes FIRST! We must be nice to “those people”. We spend our love on those who love us. And, some of the people we realize God has put in our lives for a reason or a season.




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