Chocolate-caramel lollipops provide quite the disaster, folks. (I know, shocker) The kiddos picked lollies at Sees as my attempt to occupy their hands for my last errand. Chocolate faces and sticky hands, my son took of his shoes and threw them to his sides and decided to lay on the ground in the middle of a walkway.
I swooped the kicks and my little guy into my arms as he wiped his sticky hands on my new shirt.
Heading up the steps, two rugrats in tow, we entered the popular department store, it was hard to miss...Wow, everyone is so well-kept. The opposition was uncanny. My grimy kiddos, big smiles and running wildly through the sea of a very well-kept people. Part of me wanted to scream and the other part wanted to wipe faces and change out of my sweaty gym clothes.
Why the heck is everyone so well-kept?! Is what I would have screamed (Yes, I am a bit passionate). It made me think about the put-together expectation we ascribe to.
Nothing is morally wrong with being kept, I just wonder if we are misrepresenting ourselves sometimes? I wonder if we are all playing some sort of "let's impress each other" game.
I see the wild ocean and the asymmetry of the wildflowers. I wonder if the pressure to be put together has shut out the unkept parts, uninvited the messy moments and messier people. I wonder if we feel something messy and we subconsciously sweeping it under the rug, unable to just talk about life. I wonder if we don't feel safe. I wonder if we have become too harsh of critics.
I sometimes want to apologize to my family for the days when I'm an emotional disaster. "Sorry, I'll put myself back together and be much more presentable tomorrow!" Or when my house is a mess, "I am so sorry!" or when I am struggling with something..."I'm sorry, but can you hear me out about this?"
Where does this shame come from?
Maybe this is why dress codes stress me out, I want everyone to wear what they feel like wearing, pretty much at all times. Life is so short, I am not going to spend it in pants that make me feel like scratching out my eyeballs. I'm not going to spend it making everything look presentable for everyone else.
I was listening to my favorite podcast today and the host was talking about taking criticism well (super good, listen here).
His passion was palatable as he spoke of how much he has been criticized in his career as a pastor. I would call it abuse, he called it criticism. How they disapproved of his wardrobe, for example, so they had decided to leave the church, and so on.
It made me want to throw up.
Why are we expecting people to present themselves and act in such a robotic manner? Have we lost our open-mindedness? Is the expectation that we must have the right stuff, say the right thing and not ask too many hard questions?
I think the wildness of discovery, being in process, and the gift of undeserved grace is the most beautiful thing about humanity. I want to be a little messier. I want to give people more space to live their life, allowing space for mess ups and figuring it out. I want to let the vines grow nice and crazy and see them as beautiful.
If anything, my kiddos with messy faces reminded me that God loves us at our messiest and we can live in that freedom. Freedom to question, to seek answers, to out love one another, to stop and notice. To drive slowly, to give that homeless family a $100. To still be struggling with the same stuff you thought you would have victory over by now.
What's cool is true freedom allows you to throw on that pants suit and your pumps and rock bright pink lips because that's what your insides are needing to show to the world. It also allows and encourages trash cans full, not having all of the answers and being frustrated with life.
I guess all I'm asking is for us to freaking love each other, without judgment, sans gossip, without checking a box. The good, the bad, the unkept AND the kept. Let's love.
I know some of you are living out loud this way and to you, thank you. I am inspired and encouraged.