I was at an event recently, a fundraiser for my wee boy’s preschool, and no less than 4 people commented on a video I had recently posted on social media.
A video where I talked about a question I often receive in my course (Sew Clothes You LOVE), “what do you do when the clothes that you love to wear are different than the clothes that your loved one or family or important people in your life want you to wear.” (You can see it here)
I was taken aback, not by the question but by the thought that other people can see what I am putting out there. When you write or create content in the solitude of your own home, it’s easy to emotionally forget that other people can see you.
Your opinions and thoughts are out there for others to see…to be touched by or to disagree with…people you went to elementary school with, people you see at the grocery store, your distant cousins, people I may never meet.
Somehow those folks who I’ll never meet are more comfortable for me.
They have no backstory as to who I am, they don’t know that I occasionally feel like an imposter. (who am I to teach others to LOVE themselves when I sometimes don’t love myself)
Now logically, I understand that these things I create AND put out into the world, are being seen. I am being seen.
But somehow it’s still a shock and it’s thrilling and scarily vulnerable all at the same time!
This morning, while luxuriously lying in bed with my family gone for the weekend, I thought about the idea of being seen; the idea we have that people can’t see us…when we are right there.
A couple of years ago, we went to visit my in-laws.
My father-in-law had this growth on his ear…like, a thing sticking up off of his ear by a good 1/2 of an inch.
So, I say…hey what’s that thing on your ear?
And he turns aghast to his wife and shouts, completely serious, “What, you didn’t tell me people could see this!!!”.
Oh, we laughed and laughed and laughed. Just this morning, I laughed about it so hard I had tears in my eyes.
Oh, we humans. We are so funny. So, adorably funny.
But, we all think that right. That the thing that we don’t want to be seen about us or in us, that we’re hiding or covering up, that it can’t be seen by other people.
Like maybe we are actually walking around with an invisibility cloak on.
But those costumes or tricks they don’t really work. Not when other people are paying attention.
We always leak out.
So why not just stop.
Stop trying to hide our baby belly or our booming laugh or the way one shoulder droops or the growth on our ear or our queen bee bottom or our joy or our sadness…or our light!
Stop worrying about how the people who knew you 30 years ago (when you wore Coca Cola sweaters with white jeans and hand bands and tried really, really, really hard to be loved and to hide what you felt needed hiding) are going to judge what you have to say today.
And live authentic to who we are, right now.
Because that belief I have, the one I share about, that we all deserve to feel lit up and to love who we are right this minute, it’s completely true and authentic…even if I sometimes falter in my own practice of it.
And the answer to that question, the one about wearing what you love as opposed to what someone else loves…I believe that when we can be brave and show up in the world, exactly as we are and as lit up as we can be in that moment, then we will be capable of accepting love and being love all that much more.
When we stop being afraid that being ourselves will mean that others will not love us and when we stop being afraid that others will judge us because they have some idea in their minds about who we are, we will find peace and joy.
Because those “imperfections”, those unique traits we have that make us different…that’s were our beauty lies.
And when we do that for ourselves, we allow others to imagine doing it for themselves too.
So let’s do it for one another, shall we?