Be yourself

A dirty mirror.

IMG_2047 This mirror is one of my favorite things in my house. I found it one day in the barn at my parent's house and asked if I could have it. They said sure and that it had been in the barn since my grandpa built the house back in the 70's and came from their other home before that. It definitely wasn't the most loved item, with dirt engrained in the wood and smeared across the glass so you couldn't really see your reflection and paint chipped away. I was going to paint it a different color, but once I cleaned it up, I realized I liked how it looked...paint chips and all. It made a difference once you could see your clear reflection in it.

For some reason, I've always loved mirrors. It's a weird thing and I don't know why, but it's a thing for me. So a mirror that actually came from my family and means something and looks cute in my house...jackpot!

Anyway...for some reason this image of a dirty and smudged mirror has been in my head lately. So often we think of ourselves like we're looking at ourselves in a dirty mirror, we can't see ourselves clearly and we can't see a true reflection. We don't see ourselves the way God intended. I think truly knowing where our identity rests, loving and accepting ourselves, engaging in healthy relationships, becoming self-aware, and dealing with our issues helps that mirror become more and more clear, so we can truly see who God created us to be.

This is a lesson I've been learning a lot about the last couple years. One reason I love life is because it's a journey and I feel like there's always something more to learn about others, about the world and about yourself! We need to love ourselves so that we can love others well and we need to continue to uncover who God created us to be and live into that identity. I think at some point in life we start building up walls, we start hesitating here, or ignoring those feelings there because we're scared to be who we truly are. We get caught up in what people think of us, we get caught up in being perfect and we get caught up in being who we think the world wants us to some point we look in a mirror and it's so smudged and dirty, we can't see ourselves and who we truly are.

For me, this journey of uncovering who God created me to be, of loving myself, of holding myself to a standard of grace and not perfection, and finding my identity in the fact that I am dearly loved has not been easy, but it's worth it. I've realized too that sometimes we need others to help us "clean off our mirror." A lot of the time we don't actually see ourselves the way others see us or believe in ourselves the way others believe in us so sometimes we have to borrow that belief and accept that help from others.

For a long time I stared into my mirror and it's like all I saw was dirt and imperfection and smudges, but then a friend would come along and remind me where my identity should come from...and she took a rag and wiped some dirt away. Then another person came along and encouraged me and affirmed who I am and that's who God created me to be and took a rag and wiped a few more smudges away. Then another person gave me an opportunity to show that I was capable, even if I didn't believe it myself, and they took a rag and wiped away some dust.

My people coming around me helped me see myself more clearly. They helped me pick up my own rag and wipe away all the dirt and smudges so I could see myself clearly, so I could truly see who God created me to be.

It may just be me, but this has been a process over and over again for me. Sometimes I forget and the mirror gets a little cloudy, but God seems to always send someone with that rag in hand to speak some truth until I remember it myself.

I hope we can all be mirror cleaners for others...may we only speak truth so that others see themselves clearly.

I want you to know that even if you don't see yourself clearly right now, you matter, you have value and you need to start seeing yourself with love and grace. Sometimes we can't do it by ourselves and we have to borrow that truth from others, so here I am, telling you this truth, you are dearly loved, you were created on purpose and you are meant to be who you truly are...let me get my rag so I can come clean your mirror.

A nose ring, tattoo and some boots.

A nose ring, a tattoo and boots. These three things may seem like they have no relation to one another, but they mean a lot to me. It may seem silly and some people may read this and think it's weird such random things could matter so much, but they do. I have reached a new place in my life, after a lot of hard work and counseling (you can read more about that here), where I truly am okay with who I am. I can say I am who I am and I know that I am enough, there's nothing I can say or do or any level of perfection I can achieve that will make me more valuable. Through this process, I've realized how often in my life I've made decisions based on what other people said, their opinions or how I thought they would react to something. I am such a people pleaser, that I would let others thoughts dictate my choices. (I like to think I'm a recovering people's still a process!) So I was thinking back to moments in my life where I've felt like I haven't done that and three symbols jumped out at me. My nose ring, my tattoo and some boots.


When I got my nose pierced, it was, honestly, the first time I can remember making a decision to do something that I purely just wanted to do, knowing that other people didn't approve or thought it was dumb or may look at it and think it looks bad. I didn't care, it was something I had wanted for awhile, so I did it. The same with my tattoo. It was something I had thought about, that meant a lot to me and that I really wanted regardless of what others views on it would be. Now the boots, weird right? I feel silly even exposing this to the world, but when I saw these boots in the store, I loved them and I had really been wanting a pair like them, but I almost didn't buy them. I felt like they didn't "fit" who I was, that I would be deviating from who I was wearing this pair of shoes that didn't seem to "reflect" me. I know, dumb.


In all these instances, it was all about what other people thought and how I would be perceived, or rather, how I thought other people would perceive me. I'm annoyed that it's taken me this long to figure this all out. Why did I spend so much of my life and so much of my time worried about what other people thought? Why did I spend so much of my time letting my choices be dictated by others opinions, like a puppet on a string sometimes. I was scared to go with what I wanted because of how I would be perceived, that I wouldn't be good enough or liked enough anymore, that I wouldn't fit into a mold that I thought people put me in. It's so messed up and I have experienced so much freedom from realizing that I don't have to worry about what others are thinking. I know who I am, that I really shouldn't think so highly of myself that everyone even notices what kind of shoes I'm wearing and that it's so okay to make decisions for my life...because it's my life.

As silly as it may be, I'm thankful for my little nose ring, my tattoo and these boots. They're all reminders to stay true to who I am, that my goal in life is to not keep everyone around me happy and to fit into a box that I or others have put me in, but to know I am who I am and that is enough.