“It is the things that you cannot do anything about and the things that you cannot do anything with that do something with you.” – Richard Rohr
One time in a conversation about dress code–as we women tend to have–I felt completely out of place, not because I didn’t have fancy enough clothes or because I felt shabby, but because I was told the dress code was to, “Wear what’s you.”
This person might as well have been telling me to be 5 feet tall. It seems simple enough, right? My gray hoodie and sweatpants were the clear answer. Hah! Now I do love my comfies especially when it’s getting colder, but the question really did trip me up. If, in a professional setting, I was directed to “wear what’s me,” what would I choose?
Funny how this grown-up conversation threw me right into middle school mindset. I spent my years between elementary and high school wearing a back brace, affectionately named George. I love how my cool “Z Cavaricci” shirt isn’t disguising anything in my school pic. It’s hard to be oober-comfortable in junior high skin even without an aluminum and plastic contraption camouflaging any chance you ever had at curves. I joked my way through that season, often acting like it didn’t bother me, but it was a time of intense wishing to be someone else–anyone else.
You would think after I grew out of George I would really grow out of him.
Yet he still hangs around in his own way. So, when someone challenges me to “wear what’s me,” it’s scary. If we quit posing, quit starting our sentences defensively with things like “this is probably stupid but. . .” or “this is really dorky but. . .” and just say what’s us, be what’s us, what might people think? What if that real you, the one not gussied-up isn’t enough?
But what if you are?
A friend of mine recently heard a speaker who said, “Let your freak flag fly!” We joke about this, but it is an important challenge, a fear that we need to courageously embrace. What would it look like to worry more about what the big G Giver–a.k.a. Creator of me–thinks than what everyone else does?
Have you seen the middle school clones? You’ll recognize them as a set of 3-5 girls all wearing the exact same hair band and the exact same boots and the exact same shirt–often in different colors. Whenever I run across a set, I find myself wondering how it would look for gals this age to be courageously themselves. I especially wonder about the one on the end, the one trying so hard to be anything but herself. I wonder how it would look if she embraced the part of her that’s real, the part not posing, her curious, not-quite-there-yet-beauty. I wonder if other girls on the end would team up with her.
The elderly man who mowed the grass on all my summers working as a church camp counselor told me once that I should, “Teach those kiddos to love themselves, after all when they’re old and wrinkly like me, that’s the only face that will look back at them in the mirror.”
So today I dare you to live thanks for the You, you’ve been given, even the parts that don’t make you feel all that thankful.
Day 21 Challenge:
- Wear something, buy something, or do something that’s courageously You in a good way. *Disclaimer: Honor your Designer and–if you work outside the home–honor the heart of the institution you serve.