Being Brave: This is Me…Without Make-Up {04.01.11}

No, this is not an April Fool’s joke. I really am posting a picture of me, for all the world to see, with crazy come-as-you-are hair and no make-up. Why? Because I’m working on embracing the concept that, even without “looking my best,” I am perfectly okay. Beautiful, even.  
Yesterday was a “stay-home day.” No meetings scheduled, no errands to run, no reason to get gussied up. No need to put on make-up, straighten my hair, wear something cute. It felt great – until there was a knock on the door at 10am. I froze. Seriously, people, my feet were like bricks. 
I hid in my own house, mind racing, suddenly feeling horrible instead of comfortable in my PJs. I scoured the calendar inside my head, finally realizing I had totally spaced our in-home appointment with one of Tru’s therapists. Which is worse, I thought: answer the door frumpy and bra-less with no make-up…or allow it look like I’ve left my dog and toddler home alone to deal with strangers. It was a hard choice. ;o)
I shuffled to the door and unlocked it, hiding as much of myself as possible behind the door. Apologized profusely for my appearance and asked for a moment to get dressed. The therapist was kind and understanding. But I felt like I’d been found out. Like I’d been foiled by a covert operation designed to uncover one of my deepest, darkest secrets: what I really look like. Now someone outside the walls of my home knew my pajama top and pants don’t match. That my hair is naturally wavy and wild. That I still have pimples after all these years. That I wear eight-year-old, unflattering glasses to see when my contacts aren’t in. Someone super-wise once said the truth will set you free, but as I whipped on a sweatshirt and jeans, slapped on some deodorant and tousled my hair, I felt more like a prisoner. Stuck in a self-made jail of judgments and perceptions and self-loathing built up over all these years. 
Then I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Rather than shrink away, I lingered. I stood there and studied me, tried to be a friend to me. After all, I would never beat up a friend in this way about how she looks. I’d be gentle with her, see the beauty in her, be a cheerleader for her. I looked into the mirror, into my eyes. They’re kind eyes, I think. And I like my little laugh lines, representing lots of years of joy in my life. And my hair? It has a mind of its own – a trait I actually like in people, so why not hair?  
With the therapist and my kid waiting downstairs, I didn’t have tons of time to practice kindness with my unkempt self. So I snapped a picture of me in all my glory, thinking maybe I’d revisit it later, and I went back downstairs, determined not to feel ugly or criminal for sitting in my own house, existing in the world, looking like me
Later on, my husband came home from work and as soon as he walked into the kitchen he stopped and said, “Wow, you look great!” I searched his face for sarcasm and asked if he was joking. He wasn’t. I told him – in case he hadn’t noticed – that I had no make-up on and hadn’t done anything to my hair. And he said, “I know. I like it. You know I think you look good no matter what.”
I’m so fortunate he feels that way and says it out loud. But I know it’s even more important for me to feel that way. I’ve actually made tons of progress on this over the past few years, but yesterday was a rude awakening – showing me I still have work to do. Can I see the beauty in me even without the lip gloss or the anti-frizz hair gel? 
I’m a continual work in progress. And I’m thinking a bold step like posting this picture for all to see will help me embrace the imperfectly perfect me {and maybe even inspire you to do the same}. It feels bold and brave and daring. 
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Liv Lane

Liv Lane

As an intuitive adviser, author & teacher, I help brave-hearted women illuminate their paths to purpose through powerful classes, individual readings, workshops and writings. This blog, started in 2006, chronicles my journey and offers light for yours. Thrilled you're here!
Liv Lane