If you were raised by a beautiful and sassy southern lady like I was, chances are you learned about the saving grace of some good concealer and a little mascara before you started the third grade. I did. Of course, I wasn’t allowed to wear the miraculous duo till Junior High. Nevertheless, I knew the wonders of cosmetics and soon learned the priority of “putting on your face” before you left the house. As a result of this, after years of makeup training, it is literally hard for me to walk out of the house, much less into public, without a little brush of mascara.
Last week, I took my kids swimming for a play date. We were running late again, and I neglected to do much of anything to aesthetically enhance my appearance. I was lucky to have time to run a brush through my hair. On the way to the pool I pulled up beside an older gentleman at a stop light, and for the first time in my life I didn’t throw on the sunglasses and sink as low as possible into the front seat of the car to avoid meeting eyes with my stoplight neighbor. I actually thought to myself, “Well buddy, I hope you don’t turn to stone, but this is the real me.” I am positive that old guy could care less about my personal little victory of authentic living, but in that moment, I didn’t worry about hiding or the embarrassment of my reflection in the rear-view mirror. To me, this was a victory. Instantly, I had this freeing feeling of liberation. I did not worry about judgment. It was me being me, clean face, blemishes and all. This sounds a tad crazy doesn’t it? Don’t plan on seeing me at worship sans concealer. I’m not quite that transparent yet.
A few days before greeting the world un-powdered, I hurt a friend with my words. My temper got the best of me and I said things via email that I should not have said. I broke so many of my communication rules all in one day. So often I advise people to go to the source of their frustration and to never send irate emails because they always intensify problems, and yet, here I was not taking my own advice. For several days guilt controlled me. Paranoia and anxiety set in around day two, and I nearly drove my husband mad with my conspiracy theories all based on my own mistakes. I truly was humbled. I do not have the personality to easily let my blunders go, obviously. (Note, the reliance on concealer.)
I’m here today to encourage you to experience the power and liberation of the apology. Once I apologized to my friend and took responsibility for my actions I felt like a new person. The make-up came off, and I owned who I was, blemishes and all.
Too often pride tells us that an apology is unnecessary or fruitless, but, to me, owning up to your mistakes allows you to sleep easy and truly be an authentic friend. I do not ever want my mistakes to ruin a relationship or be the wall built disallowing a relationship from healing. I want to do everything in my power to keep peace between friends and sometimes peace between friends takes effort and a little pain.
I will mess up again. I am a person that requires a whole lot of forgiveness, but for the moment being forgiven feels great!
It takes a lot of labor to maintain a façade. It is exhausting to fake your way through relationships and life. I do not ever want to do that. I have seen people who do and they are tired messes at home, but happy go lucky to keep the public eye from witnessing their flaws. Well, here it is folks, I’m flawed, and I would rather face hours of scrutiny than to live an arduous life trying to hide it.
Don’t let pride get in the way of authentic relationships. Be you, mistakes and all. Christ sees you sans façade, sans concealer, and He loves you. Give someone else a chance to love the real you, too.