My Ugly Couch

I’ve had the same couch for 15 years. It’s old and weathered from years being lived on. It’s missing the fluff from one of the arms where the dog joyfully ripped it up. It’s got tears and scratches.

It’s the couch’s fault I stopped inviting people over.

It wasn’t that it wasn’t comfy. It was.

I thought it said something about me. It said: I can’t afford nice things. I’m ‘less-than’ the other families who have couches that are in good shape. And even more painful: I’m not enough.

But those thoughts weren’t the couch’s fault. They were my brain’s fault.

The couch is just a couch.

My thoughts were making the couch mean something.

I had the money to buy a new couch, but I chose not to do it – not just yet. Because I realized I needed to work through those sneaky thoughts in my mind – about what people might think of me if they saw my couch.

I started to invite people over. I didn’t even call attention to the couch. Just smiled and enjoyed their company. Sometimes someone would ask about the couch (like I mentioned, it’s in pretty bad shape). And I’d just smile and say, “Yep. That’s my couch.”

Eventually, the couch no longer bothered me. I would even take moments to think about all the things that couch has seen. It started at my former in-law’s beach house – and it saw countless Weir family gatherings. Then it came to our family as a hand-me-down, and it was such a blessing because we weren’t in a financial position to buy a new couch. It gave me a comfortable place to sit while my sons nursed. It absorbed my tears when my stepdad died. It withstood countless nerf gun attacks. It was the critical foundation of pillow forts. It’s held me through countless heartbreaks.

I could have replaced it years ago. But I waited until I stopped making it mean something about me.

This week, I bought a new couch. The old one is leaving my house today. It’s served me well. And gave me one final gift: It taught me to never leave something until you love it.

Goodbye, old friend, and thank you.

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