It's true. We’re All a Mess.
Anyone who says they’re not is lying.
Sure, maybe there are moments, perhaps even days or miraculous weeks strung together where we’ve got everything under control - we’re riding high in the driver’s seat. Those times are pure bliss.
But they’re fleeting. Always. The myriad balls we’ve been so expertly juggling inevitably drop, and we run around like kids under a smashed piñata trying to grab as many pieces as we can and stuff them in our pockets before anyone sees them.
Here’s why. Because we’re all a work in progress. No one has it all figured out.
That celebrity we idolize? A total raging wreck every month 3 days before her period starts.
That successful professional athlete? He broke down just yesterday because he’s not sure how he’s going to pay his mortgage this month.
That woman at work who’s always wearing the latest styles? She goes home to an empty house every night wishing she had someone to dress up for.
Oprah? ...Ok maybe Oprah’s the exception.
Anyway, you get my point.
I spent so many years watching in awe from the sidelines as other women so effortlessly danced through life, their homes trendy and exquisite, their eating habits trendy and exquisite, their careers trendy and exquisite, their marriages trendy and exquisite… I would sit back and wonder how they do it. How they keep everything working so seamlessly in their lives, all the while looking so damn trendy and exquisite. And it paralyzed me. I was afraid to even try, for fear of coming up short.
It was as if those trendy, exquisite women had been privy to the inside secret of “shit togetherness” and I was most certainly on the outside.
I couldn’t drag my butt out of bed before 7 AM no matter what kind of deals I made with myself or how many strategically placed alarms I set all over my bedroom. And on the weekends? Shoot, I’d be lucky to be up by 10. And don't even get me started on the rest of my life.
I’d scroll through Facebook and Instagram, wondering how these trendy, exquisite goddesses did it. And one day it occurred to me – the big DUH moment – They DON’T!
You've probably seen this Steve Furtick quote -
"The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel.”
There’s so much wisdom in those words.
We see others living what appears to be a perfect life, and we feel defeated before we even start. Because we aren't "perfect." And it paralyzes us. If we can't do it perfectly, why even try?
Oh man... that thinking held be down for so long.
Why do we feel the need to be prefect?
Do we think we’ll be less lovable with flaws, or worse yet, if we try something and (gasp!) fail!?
Where did we get these f'd up notions?
The media? Yes.
Our parents? Perhaps.
Other kids? Ohhhh yeah. Teenagers can be cruel.
And these messages persist within us. We all have them. Somewhere along the way we picked up the idea that it’s not ok to be anything other than trendy and exquisite and fit and have every last detail of our shit perfectly together.
So what happens when we don’t?
We feel alone.
We feel hopelessly flawed and unlovable.
We live in fear that we’ll be “found out” as frauds.
Sound overly dramatic? It's not. A woman’s mind can spiral into that abyss so fast it’ll suck half of existence in with it.
We’ve all been there, including that trendy, exquisite neighbor and that Academy Award winning actress.
Because here’s the deal: WE’RE ALL A MESS! Beautiful, flawed, forgetful, emotional, overthinking, sometimes un-trendy, un-exquisite messes!
And that’s what makes us so incredible!
It’s when we stop trying to be perfect that we get a glimpse of our true beauty.
When we’re trying to pretend we have it all together, we block out the places where we don’t. We turn our backs on our flaws. We close our eyes to our weaknesses. And that’s counterproductive.
Because those are the parts of us that allow us to grow.
When we shine a light on the parts that aren’t perfect, the parts that are sometimes completely screwed up, then we begin to truly accept ourselves… and ohhh baby, that’s where the magic happens!
That’s where love begins.
"Love yourself first and the rest will come naturally." - Jen Labesky, And Then She Flew
Yep, that's my quote, and I believe it with every cell in my body.
Love starts here.
It starts with fully acknowledging our flaws instead of hiding from them. It starts with finding comfort in knowing WE ARE NOT ALONE IN OUR MESSED-UP-NESS! How freaking cool is that?!
And here’s another cool thing that happens when we wear our flaws with pride – Other women feel ok being flawed around us! It’s like we give each other permission to be REAL.
So let’s make a pact right now to be REAL - In our expectations of ourselves and in our interactions with each other. Because by being real, we give each other permission to be real too.
And that, my fellow messy friend, is a beautiful thing.