– So God created mankind in His image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. – Genesis 1:27
I don’t know if any of you are familiar with Glennon over at Momastery, but she’s in the middle of a really neat project right now called Sacred Scared, which is what inspired this post of mine. Basically, Glennon and a few of her incredible friends have made the decision to expose their deepest, darkest fears and publicly declare them with the simple hopes and intention of reminding all of us that we all have very real fears. And that’s really okay. Our honesty and rawness should bind us together, not tear us apart. It shouldn’t keep us from loving ourselves, loving each other and chasing our dreams.
These women also included photos of their unmade faces with their admissions, which I think is fabulous, personally. I am ALL about an unmade face, for reals, and so in order to follow suit, I have included a few photos of my own unmade face for your viewing pleasure.
You know, I really love people. A whole lot. We are just the best and the worst of everything all rolled into these strange and unique packages. I think about people quite often. Sometimes I dwell on specific individuals and other times I think about people as a whole. I really enjoy dwelling there; imagining what drives someone, what makes them tick, what they dream of, what they dread, etc. We are all so very different and yet fundamentally the same.
I was thinking about us all this morning and thinking about the Sacred Scared project, thinking about my own life and perceptions and relationships, when a thought occurred to me.
You know, people don’t really expect or even want us to be nearly as perfect as we imagine they do. I realize this isn’t the most profound or original thought anyone has ever had, but just bear with me. People don’t need us to be perfect. You don’t need me to be perfect and flawless, and I don’t need you to be. I don’t want you to be.
What we truly and deeply need is for one another to be honest. To be true. To be raw. We so desperately need one another to embrace our flaws and own up to our mistakes.
For whatever reason, there is so much pressure to live up to this crazy perfect image we have all concocted somehow and it’s senseless. Men and women alike, no one is immune. People are so very precious. We were created in the likeness and image of God Almighty! Think about that for a minute and really let it sink in. Why would we want to be anything other than exactly that?
I’d like to challenge us all to bare more of our true selves. To be honest and forthcoming about our own flaws and accepting them in others. Physically, emotionally, all of it. Start by addressing a glaring fear or insecurity in your own heart and share it. I’m serious. I’m not saying you have to smear it all over facebook if you’re uncomfortable starting out. But find someone you trust and share it with them, and allow them to do the same. Don’t try to fix anything, just be real with each other.
I’ll go first.
I am afraid that no one will ever take me seriously because of my weight and body.
I have always been extremely insecure about my physical appearance. Always. I’ve always been a little heavy, never, ever thin. I am a natural born ginger through and through which means pale, translucent skin and blonde eyelashes. It was always awkward growing up, being teased for being so white and freckly when all my friends were sporting a glowing tan. My hair is naturally quite frizzy with this weird wavy texture that can only be tamed by the searing heat of my hair straightener. I don’t wear shorts because my thighs are quite large and rub together when I walk. I don’t wear dresses or skirts for the same reason. I’ve always had a tummy and never been able to hide it. When I see full body photos of myself I cringe and sometimes cry. This is a battle I have been fighting daily for twenty years.
I did a personal experiment last year in an attempt to make some progress in the area of physical insecurity. I went several weeks without wearing any eye makeup. I know that doesn’t sound all too drastic, but again, as a redhead with blonde lashes and green eyes, mascara and eye liner go a very, very long way. It was difficult at first, but I was determined to gain something from it. And you know what? I did. It actually worked. I learned to love my own, bare face, even if I had to force it at first. I actually highly recommend trying this to any woman who has trouble really loving her true self. It’s a great step forward. Now, I go without that makeup quite often, that makeup I used to hide behind.
I’m not here to ask for anyone’s encouragement or for anyone to help fix my fears. I’m here to share. I’m here to be honest. I’m here to open my arms to any and every person who wishes to do the same.
I deeply and desperately want to change the world for good with my whole heart. I really do. I can’t do it alone and I don’t want to. Love is the most powerful tool we can use and love is based on trust. We must be true and honest and bare our beautiful souls with one another in order to build that trust.
So c’mon. Let’s get naked.