I understand that with a title like the one for this post, it can be hard to see that I am actually being truthful and facetious at the same time.
It's so very true that we all struggle at some level with wanting to be approved by others at one point or another. But what we most want, and are drawn to, is the person that is aware of their "mess" or that life is messy, and is vulnerable with it. Nay, okay with it.
So I was thinking about my life over the last year and a half and what has changed since then. How is it that I am comfortable admitting that my life doesn't look like a page from Pinterest? Nor are my children little well behaved love junkies. How can I now be comfortable spewing my "vulnerabilities" all over the world wide web?
Because the people pleasing, performance treadmill makes me nauseous.
So for those wanting the freedom that comes from a life of mess.. let me share my how to list.
1. Realize that the person sitting next to you at that play date, church pew, or in that office space does NOT have it together. At all.
2. Understand that the person sharing their hurts with you would actually love for you to share some of yours instead of trying to fix theirs.
3. Being vulnerable is scary stuff. It's never fun to go first. Unless you get to the point where you see the strength and courage in it.
4. People who say they want "real friendships" and "real realness" (whatever that means) rarely know how painful it can be. Therefore they can bolt quickly.
5. You are not "too much to handle." It's just that the other person can't admit their own mess, much less support you in yours.
6. Being brutally honest with others is much easier than being brutally honest with yourself. But it has to start with you. Otherwise its called fake (aka as false humility).
7. Put yourself in situations where you get really uncomfortable with what it would take to be honest about how you feel, think or want to act, and then realize that the other people in the room feel the exact same way about their fears as well.
8. Realize that NOONE lives like Pinterest. That's why everyone likes to go there and daydream. It's fun for a little bit, but it's NOT reality.
9. Admit that your life is out of your control or unmanageable. Also, acknowledge what your biggest defect of character is. Then tell someone. Do this regularly. Ask God to change it.
10. Embrace that life is messy. This will free you up from having to feel you have got to have it "all together" or look like others (who don't have it all together). Recognize your own strengths and marvel that all our kids will one day be in therapy.
I love the point that the author makes in the article I linked to: "Heroics are often about putting our life on the line. Courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line. If we want to live and love with our whole hearts and engage in the world from a place of worthiness, our first step is practicing the courage it takes to own our stories and tell the truth about who we are. It doesn't get braver than that."