Friday, December 29, 2017

That's Not How Other People See You

Sometimes, when I’m looking in the mirror….. all I can see is the extra weight in my face. The tired eyes, or the chipped nails.

I see the flaws.  The things I’ve neglected or the things that need fixing.

Sometimes, when I’m with someone else - they explain how they’ve gained weight. They point out the pimple on their nose, or the stain on their shirt. They, like me, see the flaws in themselves and assume, that I see them too. Not only do they assume I see them too, they assume that might be ALL I see.

Am I right?

But often, I never saw their flaw at all. I didn’t notice the weight gain or the pimple.  Instead, I saw the laugh lines on their face that made them sooo approachable. It made me want to share my heart with them.  I saw the smile on their face that made me feel like they enjoyed my company.  

I saw the good. I saw the part of them that they overlooked.

We know we all have flaws. But what we might not know, is that we are the only ones who see and VALUE them. We put them in a place of importance that no one else does.

We need to understand that other people don’t always see us the way we think they do.  People have an amazing ability to see the good in us! 

We can be so hard on ourselves. We demand things of ourselves in ways that we can never deliver on.

My mom used to tell me, “Put a smile on your face and no one will even notice.” That was very good advice and I’ve remembered it.

So, whatever state you find yourself in today - be a little gracious and merciful to yourself. Put a smile on your face, go out, and be loving.  Be kind. Be generous. Be honest.  And watch how people’s perception and view of you is shaped by who you ARE.

Don’t point out what’s wrong with yourself, for that may not be how other people see you at all. 

Give yourself some credit. And give others credit for what they see in you, too.

Friday, December 22, 2017

We Are the Same

Do you know that we think the same?

Regardless of our age, our color, our successes or failures – we are the same inside.  We all fear rejection. We all want to be handsome or pretty.  We all want to be understood.

We all feel hurt when we are backstabbed. When we are misunderstood. When we are ignored. 

We all feel hunger. We thirst. We all grow tired and weary. We love.

We are the same.  You. And I.

We have common threads that bind each one of us together. Threads that can be understood, resonated with, and felt by each other.

We all know what it feels like to shed tears and to feel heartbreak.

So why do we keep hurting each other? Why do we reject one another and say that someone else isn’t “good enough?” Why do we ignore the needy? The hungry? 

Why do we fail to open our arms to the hurting and broken?

We can give, what we need.

We can offer, what we want.

We just need to open our eyes and see that we are all the same. We are all in this together.

Friday, December 15, 2017

For This Moment......

For this moment I’m going to forget my problems, my battles, and my struggles. I’m just going to smile and be thankful for today.  

For this moment I’m going to focus on joy instead of pain.

For this moment, I’m going to laugh, have fun, and enjoy what I’ve been given.

I spend enough time dwelling on issues that need fixed or changed. I give enough of my mind over to worrying and stressing over what is coming, or what COULD be. But for this moment, I’m just going to think of my blessings and my gifts from God. I’m going to feel His love and let it heal me, let it wrap its warmth around me …for this moment.

I’m going to take in the small things that I often overlook – whether it’s one of my kids wanting and asking for my company,  or my husband smiling at me in adoration. I’m not going to miss the beautiful sunshine that shines in through the window on my face, or the bountiful selection of food that I am fortunate to have in my kitchen.  I’m going to be thankful as well as give thanks for everything I can find.

For this moment, I’m going to laugh, instead of get upset. I’m going to love, instead of hate, and I’m going to live, instead of inwardly die over everything that “isn’t,” “wasn’t,” or “can’t be.”

For this moment I’m going to grow my trust in God, my faith, my peace, and my joy. So that in the next moment I’m stronger, wiser, and better.

And that’s pretty good use of a moment, if you ask me.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

It's OK To Be Your "Un-Best"

Image is everything these days. Brand names are powerful. It’s not enough to just “be yourself.” You have to be your BEST self.

It saddens me. It saddens me that we can’t feel comfortable to be our “not-best” selves.

We are afraid to tell anyone that that cute new shirt is second-hand bought.  We tuck away the tags of those bargain shoes. We highlight when we go to Nordstrom’s, but hide the fact that we can only mostly afford Wal-Mart.  

We attend church on Sundays and tell everyone all is “good” in our world. We smile and shake hands.

We only share the highlights on Facebook and instagram. 

And yet we are always caught by surprise when we discover something tragic about someone. We are shocked to see we failed to catch problems in a friend or family member’s life.

All because we all have a habit of only showing each other our “best.”

But it’s ok to be your “un-best.”

It’s okay to open the door with no makeup on.  It’s ok to say “thank you, I got this top at Goodwill.” It’s ok to not have the best brands. It’s not wrong to have the best brands, but it’s ok to not have them. It’s ok to not wear them. It’s ok to not be able to AFFORD them.

It’s ok to have date-night at McDonald’s. It’s ok to show up to church with a tear-stained face. Shouldn’t church be the best place to go when your heart is hurting?

It’s all ok. 

Some people may look at you strangely - but it’s only because they don’t know how to handle authenticity. 

You be YOU. In all of your best AND your “un-best” moments. After all, that’s what makes life full.

We all get sick.  We all cry. We all say something stupid. We all want acceptance.  We’re all afraid of rejection… even the people who can afford Nordstroms every day and then some.

It takes one courageous person to be genuine in their “un-best” moments, for someone else to follow suit. And then another, and another, and another.

It takes one person willing to risk rejection and risk misunderstanding people, to discover the freedom that deep down we are all seeking.

Our “un-best.” Those moments we try to pretend don’t happen. The ones we try to hide. These are the moments that actually make us so relatable to everyone else around us. Because they’ve felt them too.

Be YOU. Be your best and enjoy it when you feel it in all it’s glory.  But also be your “un-best.” Walk out the door in those moments too. Own them. Live them. And tenderly let them shape you.

Image isn’t everything. But authenticity? Authenticity IS.