If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with ChapStick. It’s my FAVORITE lip balm. My dad used it all the time, I use it all the time, it’s great. (I promise there’s a point to this.) I recently discovered Graham Cracker flavor, which is my new favorite — but my family doesn’t get my obsession with ChapStick, and in fact, Grady is grossed out by the smell of Graham Cracker. But that doesn’t change how much I love it. They just don’t understand!

Now, I want you to think of someone that you love and admire, whether it’s a friend, a family member, a spouse — and then I want you to think about someone outside of your close circle NOT liking that same person. If some person told me they didn’t like my sister or my dad or David or my kids, I’d be confused, and I’d have to say “you don’t know them like I do. You just don’t understand!”

Now (okay, here’s the point) imagine that someone who has no tangible stake AT ALL in your life is angry with you or dislikes you. Should you feel something in terms of a reaction? And if so, how should you feel? When you cultivate self-love and practice a mindset that offers empathy, grace, and compassion, you’ll be the friend that you need — you can safely ignore opinions from people who don’t live within your walls and don’t know you like you know yourself. They just don’t understand!

It’s hard work, but everything gets better with practice. So let’s practice together!

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