It’s Not All About Me

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It's Not All About Me

We’ve all heard this statement, maybe even dismissed it as another oft-quoted cliché. Intellectually, I know it’s not all about me. But if I’m honest, I can get so focused on to-do lists, goals and schedules that I can drift into thinking the world does, in fact, revolve around me and my needs.

That it does not was brought home recently in a surprising—and rather amusing–way. Our firstborn got married last Saturday, which was a wonderful thing, complete with beautiful celebration. His new bride is lovely and we couldn’t be happier for both of them.

But two weeks before the wedding, my daughter (one of the bridesmaids) and I went to the bride-recommended alternations shop to have our dresses hemmed. There was lots of activity in this tiny building, people rushing to and fro, frantic coming and going.

It's Not All About Me

Our “It’s Not All About Me” Dresses

We stood off to the side in our gowns, awaiting our turn. Finally, the owner waved me over and told me to step up onto a box in the middle of the room, facing the large mirror. She waved a hand in my direction and barked, “So, who are you in this wedding?”

Startled by her abrupt tone I said, “I’m the mother of the groom.” She flapped a dismissive hand and declared, “Oh, you don’t matter. You’re nobody in this wedding.”

My daughter and I exchanged raised eyebrows and the lady realized maybe that didn’t come out quite right. Or maybe she decided that wasn’t the right phrasing to use on a paying customer. Another hand flap. “Well, you know what I mean. The bride matters. And her mother matters. The groom’s mother…(hand flap) doesn’t matter.”

My daughter and I grinned at each other and I nodded solemnly at the woman. “Yes, I know. I am well aware I don’t matter in this wedding.”

We’ve been chuckling about that ever since because it was such a stark reminder, such an unexpected put-me-in-my-place moment. My daughter said it was like a cosmic thwack on the forehead, a not-so-subtle reminder from God that even when you’re standing on a box in the center of the room, unless it’s your wedding day, it’s really not all about you.

Do we all matter? Of course. Do we all have incredible value? No question. But we are not the sun around which our loved ones orbit.

We all have our parts to play in this great symphony called life. We may get assigned the occasional solo, but for the most part, we’re members of the orchestra. Mostly unnoticed, but infinitely important. Whether in the spotlight or behind the scenes, showing up and performing our part to the best of our ability is what makes this piece called life work and blend as it’s designed to do.

So when I look at the wedding photos, not only will I think about how much I love my family, but I will also be reminded that it’s not all about me.

How about you? Have you ever had a reminder like this one? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.


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    The Conversation

  1. Jean says:

    I haven’t had one of these moments lately and needed the reminder today.

  2. Wow, Connie.

    I commend you and your daughter. (gorgeous, by the way) You handled the situation with such grace. It’s good to be reminded we aren’t the center of the universe occasionally, but that seamstress has an interesting marketing strategy. I would have been tempted to raise more than an eyebrow. 🙂 Nice post.


    • Connie Mann says:

      Thanks, Mac. It was one of those moments where you have to decide: I can laugh, or I can get mad. I decided to laugh and take it as the heavenly reminder it was. And now it’s a fun story to tell… 🙂

  3. Maddy says:

    Not lately, but at the same time I’m reminded of my father who on rare occasions was known to say, “The world and the great Universe does not revolve around you,” whenever one of us three children was getting superegoed. I’m tempted to use it with my own children. So far I’ve resisted. Maybe I shouldn’t hold back too much.

    • Connie Mann says:

      Maddy, I like your Dad’s approach. I wouldn’t hesitate to pass that down to the next generation. It’s a good thing for all of us to be reminded of from time to time. 🙂

  4. Jan Jackson says:

    For me personally, I need to get out of my own head sometimes. Focusing on the needs of others, is a good way to do it.

  5. no wonder you were so worried about your dress. haha.

  6. Doris Neumann says:

    I love the fact that you shared this Connie!! Great reminder and I am so blessed that you are a part of my family:) I love you!

  7. Fun story, Connie. I’ve been the mother of the groom a couple of times. It wasn’t about me those times either, but it’s always better to laugh and show grace in moments like you had in the dress shop. You were in the spotlight and you performed well. 🙂

  8. I would say you both showed great poise and restraint as you shared the fun of it instead of the insult. You’re right. Sometimes we take life way too seriously.

  9. Shirley Maynard says:

    I applaud you for remaining gracious in that situation. And yes, I think I sometimes need to be reminded of my place. LOL

  10. Margrit says:

    From the limited perspective of not being a parent, I have observed the incredible example/part you have played in the lives of your children and your input into who they are today. They are wonderfully adventurous, creative, compassionate, polite, caring, and “not about me” young adults! What value all you loving parents have added!!

    So, maybe it’s not a world/Hollywood/Bridal alteration shop recognized “spot light”, but every time they call you “mom” , is like a God given Nobel Prize! ….wouldn’t trade that for a ga-zillion “spotlight” moments ….and just know you wouldn’t either. Well done “mom”!!

    • Connie Mann says:

      Oh, Margrit, you got me all choked up. Thanks for that…and even more for the incredible impact you’ve had in the lives of not just our children, but all your nieces and nephews and the many young people for whom you’ve been a listening ear, an encourager and a wonderful advisor and cheerleader! We are so very blessed to have you in our family!! Love you!