Feeling Hurt? It’s Not About You. thumbnail

Feeling Hurt? It’s Not About You.

3 Things for Mom by Lindsey Mead, A Design So Vast

3 Things for Mom by Lindsey Mead, A Design So Vast


“Be Kind.  Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” — Plato

One of the biggest mistakes we make is mixing up other peoples’ outsides and insides.

I have learned the hard way that there exists a vast gulf between what we assume about someone and what is true. It can be perilous to imagine that these two things are congruent. I’ve been on the receiving end of judgment more than once, and each time I’ve been shocked and startled, amazed at how differently I can come across than I intended. This has taught me to question my own assumptions about others.

I know it sounds hokey, but I really do believe that we live in a benevolent universe, and that most people are truly doing their best. In moments of aggravation and frustration I try to remember that, and to be kind instead of short or snappy. Believe me, I fail as often as I succeed. But sometimes I’m able to remember how wildly I have been misperceived in the past, and this helps me reframe my instant judgment of someone into a less hardened frame.

This truth dovetails with another that I am still learning, even as I try to teach my daughter: it is almost never about me. Most reactions by others, even the most hurtful, are about those internal battles others are fighting, and not about us. This is for some reason incredibly difficult to remember – to know – but I believe it completely.


“Not when you last did, but when you next can.”

This principle, which I use to guide a few important parts of my life, certainly doesn’t qualify as rocket science. The place I find this mindset most helpful is in fitting exercise into my day, but I think it can be applied to other activities and choices too.

When I consider when I’m going to exercise, I never think about when I last ran. I think about when I will next be able to. So, it’s irrelevant that I ran yesterday if I know I won’t be able to for the next four days. In that case, I run again, even though it’s two days in a row. I explained this logic to my husband and was surprised to see how much it changed the way he thought about when he might exercise.


Just Between Us: A No-Stress, No-Rules Journal for Girls and Their Moms by Meredith and Sofie Jacobs, has been a terrific tool for facilitating communication with my 10-year-old daughter.

As she gets older, keeping us talking feels like my highest priority. And Just Between Us, which has blank pages with prompts and questions for mother and daughter respectively, is a great way to talk back and forth about some things that are hard to discuss in person.

We take turns filling out the pages, some of which are blank and some of which have prompts. I always enjoy the funny and unexpected questions or phrases which trigger reflection. Some are the same for mother and daughter, like “my top 10 favorite songs.” Others vary slightly, like “what I wanted to be when I grew up” and “three things I might want to be when I grow up” or “who my friends were when I was growing up/how my friendships have changed/what I’ve learned about friendship” and “my best friends are/what I look for in a friend/ the challenges I face in my friendships.”

We don’t write in the journal every night, so it’s a treat to find it on the bedside table. I highly recommend Just Between Us as a channel for special communication with a daughter.



Contributor: Lindsey from A Design So Vast
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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lindsey March 6, 2013 at 5:52 am

    It’s such an honor to read my words here. Thank you!!

  • Lauren {3 Things Editor} March 6, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Lindsey — it’s an honor to have you!

  • Ellen March 6, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Great insights…thanks!

  • Jenny Barker March 6, 2013 at 9:59 am

    “Not when you last did, but when you next can”… what a great principle and one I haven’t thought of before. Very helpful and inspiring. In fact, I think I’ll go run right now because I can. (smile) Thanks for sharing, Lindsey!

  • Allison Slater Tate March 6, 2013 at 10:35 am

    So happy to see you here, and as always, finding your wisdom to be a gift for me. I love your tip about when I next can. Perspective is everything!

  • denise March 6, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I learn so much from you, so often. Not about me. When I next can. I will turn these words often over the next few days. (And, our kindred-ness continues–I was just writing about the Just Between Us journal the other day. It’s such a great place to have conversations with Abby that might not happen otherwise.) xoxo

  • Bethany March 6, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Lindsey, the universe is indeed a benevolent place because you are a part of it. Always sharing. Always inspiring others to share as well. I love continuing to learn about my digital friend. XO

  • Kristin Shaw (Two Cannoli) March 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    I’ll read you anywhere, Lindsey. I’m going to share the journal idea with my sister, who has three girls – 7, 10, and 13. I think she’ll love it! And your words about living in a benevolent world are so true; it’s easy to believe the opposite when you are in a spiral, but then you see something beautiful and BAM! You realize how much good there is.

  • Margaret March 6, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    As usual…brilliant!! I love reading your words and how exciting to have another venue at which to find them, and to discover other inspiring writers. Thanks!

  • Blissmamaof3 March 7, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Oh Lindsey, I love you in the most non-weird if ways. I am forever grateful that we are traveling this parenting path together with children the same ages. You are able to say so eloquently all that I am feeling.

  • Nina March 8, 2013 at 8:38 am

    This was wonderful, L.

  • Hallie Sawyer March 18, 2013 at 1:29 am

    Spot on on all three, Lindsey! Love the understanding you have about others, “it’s almost never about me.” Also, I’ve had many days where I really want to take a day off from working out but then realize what lies ahead in my schedule. Forward-thinking has helped me so much as well. And the book! I so need this with my 13 year old! Thanks for sharing this find.