I find it is often a struggle to live a life of authenticity. In the virtual world of Facebook and blogging there is the temptation to Photoshop my life into perfection. To erase the lines around my eyes, thin my silhouette, polish my demeanor and perfect my image. I can post only the best photos of my children, where they are clean, happy and at peace, reading their Bibles. I can show my house, spit shined and my garden weeded. These snapshots are not the actual reality of how we REALLY live most of the time. Sure they are a reality. A brief nano second of reality.
A better picture to capture the spirit of our home would be of two big kids with noses stuck in a Calvin & Hobbes book, carefully positioned BEHIND their schoolwork, the kindergartner surreptitiously sneaking pieces into new positions on the chess board, the baby’s face looking like a glazed doughnut.
In the perfect photo the kitchen is spotless except for a bowl of fresh fruit and flowers. In the actual one the drying rack is covered in cloth diapers, the juicer is dripping and the sprouts need rinsing. Not exactly what I want to post on Facebook…for what would folks think of me then?
I realized the pressure I feel just this past week while attending a meeting out of state. It was a HUGE group of people who are, more or less, like me on many levels. It has always been my husbands’ world, while I stayed home the past 7 years to care for our precious treasures, the kiddos. And while I felt a part of it, I also felt out of place. Not because of anything anyone did or said, but because of my own feelings of inferiority. Honey pie, courageous scholar, gorgeous gentleman, statesman and genius that he is melds seamlessly into the ranks, I snuffle along like Mrs. Potato Head at the Barbie Prom.
I sat at a table on Friday morning with some of the most beautiful, educated, ‘connected’ and talented women on the planet. Surrounded by genuinely loving and welcoming people I still heard the nasty nagging ‘not perfect’ icky song. You know the one that says “Look how pretty, smart, talented, poised THEY are… girl you just DON’T fit in”. That is the song I heard being played in my mind, but that is not the song THEY were singing. Oh no, they sang something entirely different! They sang ‘We are family!’
Those talented, beautiful, smart women showed love to me. For me. And that only happens in the perfect world of perfect love. Perfect love casts out fear. That’s what they showed, and that’s what I got. Not because I projected back their perfection, but because they accepted me in my reality. They welcomed me, they called me sister. Part of the family. I guess that is about as perfect as it gets.