I am a pretty private person. I was raised in a home that was more English than exhibitionist, more dignified discretion of Downton Abbey than clandestine candor of the Kardashians. Yet I’ve been reminded that being real allows relatability and that even though I may suffer from the “impostor syndrome” at times, it’s in the very revealing of that fact, that I allow you to hear me, to know my heart and know that I’m real, authentic, and very much a work in progress.
Here’s some “realness” for you… I LOVE my family (including my four-legged baby). I LOVE to travel to Europe and far away places (and I would pay someone to pack for me!). I love fresh flowers, Cartier, Adelle and Diana Krall (in part because I can “sing” along with them), and Target. I love Coke Zero (my one vice…does it count that I don’t eat sugar or processed food or any “whites”?!) and sashimi (although not together!); have completely regrettable arguments with my mom, stay up too late, become mesmerized by Amazon or my FB Feed (and Pinterest is a guilty pleasure). The idea of cuddling up on a snowy day with a Jane Austen novel in one hand, and a steamy cup of hot cocoa in the other, is absolute heaven to me (not that it happens all that often here in…Florida ). I am just a 40-something girl, who’s a hopeless romantic, and, a hopeful, healed soul who is in constant need of patience, love (and the occasional mani-pedi) and God’s grace…which leads to my biggest love — God and Jesus and everything connected with them, truly, even though I’ve done everything possible to resist it, run from it and reject it.
I, very occasionally, lose my temper and my keys (usually in reverse order) and, for a brief period many years ago in my 20’s, I lost my mind and heart. I definitely lost my way, and so I say with great authority that recovering lost souls and reconnecting them with love is something I know because I found it…scratch that. “IT” found me. LOVE found me and I know it to my core, because I truly was so lost that I almost got “found” in a nicely lined, rectangular box that would be cozily nestled 6 feet under.
If you don’t know it already, the best preparation for being a great therapist and coach is going through great therapy and coaching yourself (I’m forever indebted to mine!). Which means, by definition, that one must have struggled and, candidly, been a great mess on some level and one who needed that help in the first place (at least that’s very true in my case)! I was a mess and, on some level, I still am in my own ways that will perpetually leaving me frustratingly “messy”…aren’t we all?! The journey to being healed and authentic, though, is worth every step.
But of any season, THIS season ..this Christmas season is all about being real, being passionately authentic in order to connect with life. A manger? How much more real, raw, humbling than that? Stables with animals, let alone the messy, incomparably human experience of being born?! Yet that’s how life and love connect: That kind of authenticity is what breathes life into love and love into life. That kind of complete, unconditional, warts-and-all acceptance is what it’s all about.
For me, that gets driven home most deeply into my “wish-I-wasn’t-so-messy” heart, in the Christmas story…God took on messiness to show us that He’s totally and completely okay with ours. In fact, He wants it! Like the early days of falling in love, where you long to see the reality of each other’s lives more — their sleepy face, their messy desk, their “ugly cry”, God actually feels that about us. That kind of realness, authenticity, that child-like honesty (often with reckless abandon), is what God wants too, and why He sent His Son on Christmas to that messy manger in the first place…and it took me FOREVER to “get” that. I still am trying to wrap my head around it.
As YOU try to wrap your head about any part of that, or any part of being loved authentically, whether you believe as I do or not is not at all for me to judge or push, and I know better than to try. But during this glittery, glossy, wrapped-up-in-a-perfect-package holiday season, being authentic and showing the REAL you is one of the best gifts you can give to another, and to yourself… Letting others know THEY can be real, too — whether the holidays are miserable, merry or mediocre. It’s the gift of being vulnerable with one another.
Being vulnerable and allowing others to be real and vulnerable with you creates bonds. It’s the stuff that joins hearts. If you’re missing love and connection in your life, start planting love and connection with others, which demands being authentic and real. See where it leads. It may be to the most beautiful messiness you’ve ever experienced.
Baby, it IS cold outside when we keep each other at the arm’s length yieled by falsely perfect, selfie ready, “Facebook-post” worthy lives! Abundance, prosperity, rich and fulfilling relationships demand authenticity. Nothing else satisfies.
For me, God showed me the total warmth, completely accepting love He has for me everyday by bringing His Son to that manger and this earth to LOVE ME even though I totally rejected Him many times and lived a life that didn’t reflect the relationship He wanted with me – –not the rules of religion, but the nature of the relationship. It doesn’t mean life becomes perfect, because it isn’t and I’m decidedly not at all. It DOES mean I’m forever loved, pursued and I have totally perfect ability to love others and a secured place in heaven forever. Pretty amazing Christmas gift.
In the same way, no matter where you are spiritually, even in the place of not associating that description with any part of your life, totally accepting and being accepted by those you love and like WILL help to make this truly the most wonderful time of year.
Blessings to you and yours this holiday season!
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate and Happy New Year 2017 to all! Each of you is a real gift to me!