Day 9: Keep it Real

 

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I am a bit of a hot mess.

If I’m being totally honest, a “bit” is probably downplaying that statement.  Or maybe not. It depends on the day.  I do have stints when I’m actually pretty pulled together….for a time.  And then I get out of bed or leave the house.

I can be impatient with people and a little spastic in my movements or idea execution.  I am hopeless with technology and shut down in that area when overwhelmed (which makes blogging a wee bit more challenging at times); I consider my phone to be technology, by the way, so I don’t even answer phone calls when I’m over capacity to handle my world.  I can’t craft to save my life, and have no desire to learn (which means my Pinterest boards are super boring, unless you like food…then I’m all over that business).  I’m distractible on a good day, and if there’s music playing in the background forget it – I’m either singing along or rewriting song lyrics in my head.  I can be a tad dramatic (be nice, honey) and am easily bored with repetitive or mundane tasks (which means I may not be the best housekeeper and running as a form of exercise is like a sojourn in hell as far as I’m concerned).  I talk too fast and laugh too loud.

I have moments when I am jealous or angry or small inside.  I have days when I am not a good friend, or mother, or daughter, or wife (or Christian – gasp!).

I have flaws I’d rather not share in public, and a closet full of mistakes or episodes that make me cringe to remember.

Hello.  My name is Rebecca and I am a less-than-perfect, sometimes irrational, broken human being just trying to survive and find my place in this world.

And so are you.

Romans 12:3-6 – For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.  Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.

If we walk into our relationships accepting from the onset that both parties have flaws, and deciding to love the other person anyway, we set ourselves and our connections up for a much greater degree of success.

Lack of perfection is a human condition.  We all have it, without exception.  Trust me on this – it’s the unadulterated truth.

A natural consequence of this condition is that somewhere, somehow, some day someone in your life is going to make a mistake.  They are going to hurt your feelings, or tell you a lie (accidentally or on purpose), or get on your nerves, or break something of yours (may be your coffee mug, may be your heart).  They are going to let you down, or forget your birthday, or leave you out.

And you are going to have to decide to love them anyway.

You are going to have to decide that your bond with them is stronger than your anger, and that their presence in your lives outweighs the temporary hurt they’ve caused (see Day 8, and review forgiveness here).

Ephesians 4:2 – Be completely humble and gentle; bearing with one another in love.

Keeping our expectations of others realistic is key in building and maintaining solid relationships.

Keeping our view and expectations of ourselves in check is another way to develop strong ties as well.  When we embrace who we are, flaws and all, we bring our whole self to the table.  We present the person we really are to the people in our lives, and ask them to love us anyway.  There’s a tremendous amount of security in that.

Do you have a tendency to hold others to unrealistic standards?  Are your expectations of the people in your life so high that they are doomed to failure from the beginning?  Are your expectations of yourself that high as well?

Think of someone in your life, past or present, who held you or others to impossible standards.  How did this manifest itself in their interactions?  Were they easy or difficulty to get along with?  Do they have lasting or temporary friendships/family relationships?

Think of someone in your life who is accepting of others.  How do they make you feel?  Do they have lasting relationships?

Think of the people closest to you.  How well do they know you?

List three of your flaws (gulp).  Write a funny story or anecdote about an incident that happened because of each.  The next time you feel insecure about this flaw, remember the story you wrote.  See if it helps you feel less vulnerable – and reflect on the fact that colorful stories make us interesting.

When I’m with a person who has a true view of herself, and is out there forming connections and interacting with a smile despite her shortcomings instead of trying to hide them, I am drawn to her.  She’s the type of gal who is accepting of faults and open to imperfections.  She’s not out to compete or condemn.  It’s encouraging, and makes me want to be her friend.  It’s inspiring, and helps me to engage on a deeper level.

I cannot tell you how many women I talk to who make the statement, “I’m just so hungry for authenticity.”

Me, too, sister.  It’s refreshing, and keeps us rooted.

I love people.  I love making and having friends.  I love family ties and entanglements, even when they’re messy.  Wanna know why?

Because I’m messy.  And I hope to be loved in spite of it….or maybe because of it.

Solidarity, sisters.  It’s not a competition – we all get to win this time.

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