Let's be REAL...

As I sit down to write this post, my mind is being barraged with thoughts and ideas...they are swarming...and I'm not quite sure where to land with them all...

you see, I don't consider myself an expert in any way when it comes to this topic...

I have NOT arrived or have it figured out...

I am soooo far from it...

and at the same time, I feel as though these light bulbs go off at sporadic times that reassure me that I "may" be on the right track at least?

I remember a "word picture" I had in college when, after weeks in a class and countless chapels, I would have this crazy "epiphany" (if you will) and I felt as if I had climbed a big step...as if I'd been walking along, just putting one foot in front of the other, doing all.the.things. and then there was this huge step and sometimes I honestly felt like God just scooped me, and put me on that next step and said, "okay, now keep going"...

There was a level of anxiousness associated with that next step because it took me further away from my comfort zone and it forced me to see things through different "glasses"...
fortunately, there were others that had been on that "new" step for awhile and they encouraged me along, and reminded me that it wasn't worth climbing back down, it wasn't worth it to go back, and if this journey was going to be "worth it" in the end, I needed to keep walking...through successes AND through failures and missteps and even trips and falls...

Okay, so where am I going with all this...I promise I'll get there after a couple times around the barn if you care to stay with me...

For me, a lot of how I am just "wired" is connected to this idea of authenticity...

Let me explain lest you think I'm some arrogant sassypants who thinks she's the bomb...

My childhood was spent in the mid-late 70s and 80s...I lived in an area, that at that time, was rather poor.  My family used a measure of that era's "food stamps and welfare".  My mom sewed a lot of our clothes and I was bullied in elementary school by the popular girls. My parents were divorced and as I look back at that time in my life, I realize that with my whole being I wanted to be accepted.

Don't get me wrong, I was loved...my parents, infact, gave me the best gift by not only loving me and providing a safe, emotional place for me to come home to, but they also didn't rescue me from the struggle and the hurt that I faced. My mom just walked beside me and loved me through it.

I tell you all this because, I'm just now seeing a smidge of the benefits of all that...

When I say that I was "wired" to have this "seeking for authenticity", it's because I didn't just want to be accepted...I recognized early on that I just wasn't going to make the cut...I didn't have the money for the cool clothes, it was taboo to have divorced parents, I didn't necessarily fit in, even though I wanted to...but, I WANTED to be accepted just how I was...with my mousy, shy personality, with my red cordorouy pants, with my obsessive desire to read books, with my excessive push to be perfect...

I didn't want people to like me for the "show" I could put on, so I didn't put on a show. My parents didn't hide the fact that we didn't have a lot of money, they stood their ground when people may have given those pitiful looks when it was discovered that my parents were divorced.

 I wanted someone to love me just because I was me...I think that's probably what we all long for...except what I've seen more often than not, is that people trade authenticity for acceptance, instead of merging them together in their relationships...
-------------
Oh my goodness, this "wiring" stayed with me all through college, even to the man I married...bless his heart...

 although I may be "wired" this way, it doesn't mean that I go about it necessarily the right way all the time....

In order to make sure that A loved me for ME and not for his perception of me, or for whatever "vibe" he or others might have incorrectly construed...I made sure to show him all the YUCK about me before we even dated...

If I'm being completely honest, I even treated him poorly just to see how he'd react, if he'd leave because I "messed up"...

(do you feel better now?...you get that I truly am a leeeetle bit crazy???)

Even though I "may" have gone about it in a "not so great" way...my purpose has been the same...

because as I get older, I'm realizing that I'm losing more and more control over things that I thought I had control over...my children are becoming independent and making choices that have a bearing on what others think of me, my health/fitness is not so easy to manage any longer...I feel as though I'm in uncharted waters and I don't think we were meant to live a life of trying to show that we've got it all together all the time, when in reality, we're all just doing the best that we can...

I say this because I find myself ever so grateful for the struggle that my parents allowed me to go through...(and I know that my struggles may seem piddly to others, and that's okay...I'm not trying to tell anyone how to live their lives because I haven't walked in your shoes...) but, I know from my own experience that as I refused to settle for friendships that were less than REAL, I now have relationships that are priceless...

I wouldn't trade my Anthony, my Anne, my Sara, my Laurie, my Katie, my Anna...and so many precious others...

Some may look at me and may pity my faults, they may judge my words, they may steer clear of my yuck...but, my authentic friendships, that have been cultivated over time and real connections...they see some of that stuff and laugh at my crazy, they accept without judgment or pity, my fallbacks, they know that what they see is what I am...I disappoint them at times, but they hang in there with me...because they also know that I'm all in...

what's great about that too (getting into these mid 40s now) is that I'm not exhausted trying to prove myself to others in order to get them to "like me"

don't get me wrong...it's not always easy...

Do any of you have people that you must interact with that it feels like their whole purpose in life is to make sure they put you in your place?  Where it feels like they live to proclaim to the world how you don't measure up, or they look for subtle ways to pity you in public to make themselves appear larger than life?  

When you live authentically it's risky, it's makes you vulnerable to those that will appear to "have it better" than you...and that's scary and feels unfair and sometimes can leave you feeling stupid...I've been there...like, even yesterday I was there for pete's sake...

BUT, I then remember that my "authenticity" ultimately lies in Who made me, just the WAY He made me. That being honest about where I am in this life journey, with my mistakes and my challenges, with my shame & regret, AND with my crazy fun, super awesome success times too that... I've been fortunate enough to gather authentic friends through which He uses to love me...

I'm having to watch the cycle start again with my own daughters...different state, different town, different circumstances, but the REAL is still the same...I'm watching the internal struggle of deciding, "am I going to put on a good show, or am I going to be authentic"...that authenticity costs them popularity, it sometimes costs them pride...

and as a mom, I have to hold back and not rescue them either...because I know that this struggle now, IS worth it in the end...

I'm praying that as they work through choosing to put pride & selfishness aside, and rather 
focus on who they were created to be in the now...
focus on walking alongside others and bolstering them up...
focus on honesty & truth & even the risk of vulnerability...
focus on putting one foot in front of the other 
that...

 they'll be courageous and ready when their next step comes...AND that they'll have developed relationships that are encouraging and spur them on to be all they were created to be!


Post a Comment

Thank you for stopping over to this blog, and being apart of this CT PhotoMemories community!

Blog Archive

How can I reach you?

The best way to contact me is either through Facebook Messaging or emailing me at ctphotomemories@gmail.com

I can't wait to hear from you!
"Teach us to number our days, (savor the moments) so that we may gain a heart of wisdom" ~Psalm 90:12

Sign me up for BLOGposts

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP