I like order. I like rules and I like organization. And yet I am also wild at heart. It’s a bit of a dichotomy, yes. I struggle to balance my creative spirit with my micromanaging ways. My people pleasing past means I have struggled with authenticity. Perhaps what I struggle with the most is allowing my tribe into this internal mess of mine. I crave fellowship and I desperately want people to understand me. Yet fear tells me I won’t be accepted if I fully show my mess. My head tells me it’s illogical to think like this but my heart remembers the aches of the past and sends a little warning signal to my brain whenever it starts to get too comfortable.
I wish I could change this about myself. I wish I could just freely give myself to my tribe and let them into the mess. For it is when I am in the midst of my mess that I most need others to embrace me. So why? Why can’t I show weakness? AH HA! That one tiny word – weakness. My Achilles heel is that someone would perceive me as remotely weak. I somehow have it in my head that I must prove that nothing can break me.
Oh, dear hearts. This is the enemies lies and I have been listening to them my whole life. I have believed the notion that the only way I’ll be accepted by everyone (because I simply MUST be accepted by everyone) is only if I am perfect – be everything to everybody – but I was an impostor.
I tried being everything to everybody. I wanted so badly for people to like me, that I lost the truth – I AM ENOUGH. So rather than finding a person or persons who liked me for all my creativity and passion and exuberance for life, I tried incredibly hard to do it all. People, however, could see right through my attempts at being something I clearly was not. It was not sustainable and it was not me and It only ended in tears when I couldn’t understand why they didn’t like me.
Authenticity is the key to true fellowship
And this includes even the messy bits. Truth time – I am ridiculously embarrassed if my house is not perfectly clean and put together when anyone comes over – magazine cover clean and ready. It’s a neuroses that prevents me from truly enjoying company – I’m constantly stressed that things aren’t clean enough – like they will just walk out if they spot a speck of dust – this is me in all my mess, y’all, a work in progress. We are all human and we are all flawed.
Managing expectations of ourselves and others begins and ends with a huge heaping of Grace. By inviting others into your mess you are welcoming their messy but authentic selves as well – and there is nothing more beautiful than that. Inviting your tribe into your mess means that you can take the pressure off and lean into the journey, together – perfectly imperfect .
You must be willing to not be OK.
Because sometimes we just aren’t. But if we allow others to see us in our brokenness we might just find more healing than we ever even knew was possible. With that authenticity, we might just give someone else the freedom to invite you into their mess as well.
So, you brave soul warriors. Are you like me? Do you struggle to let others see the untidy bits of your life? Do you struggle with authenticity? Who do you need to invite into your mess? Who do you need to walk along side of you and bear witness to the dark places? Find them. Call them. Invite them out for coffee. Invite them over to your house with the piles of laundry and three days worth of dishes in the sink – your true tribe won’t care because we have all been there. True fellowship happens in the midst of messes when we say, “here I am – dog hair covered couch and all.”