My Sock Is Slipping!
Don't you love the days when you feel like you are all put together? You know, those days when your entire look comes together, just the way you planned? The days when you take about 10 selfies before walking out the door because you want to either share the look on social media; or, perhaps, save them as reference when you want to duplicate the look? Well, I had one of those days not too long ago. Not to toot my own horn, but this particular day, I looked really cute, ya'll. My twist out was poppin'; I picked the perfect scarf to accent my sweater; my jeans fit perfectly, thanks to those few inches I lost at the beginning of the week; and my make-up was just right - not too heavy and just the right amount of effortlessness.
Fast forward about twenty minutes later. Now it was time for me to get out the car. Although I looked good on the outside, what wasn't apparent by looking at me was that inside my boots, my sock was now half way off my foot, which made it very uncomfortable for me to walk. You see, on the way out the door, I quickly grabbed a pair of socks and I put them on right before I got out the car. Apparently, the socks I grabbed didn't belong to me; they were Kayla's, our nine year old's. People complimented me left and right and I smiled and thank them, daring not to tell them about my dilemma happening deep down on the inside of my shoe. Yet, once I was alone, I grabbed a seat, slid off my boot and yanked the sock up, hoping it would stay up, only to do the same about 20 minutes later because the other sock slipped. And 20 minutes later I'd have to sit down again because it was the other's turn. But I continued to accept the compliments from everyone who thought I was well put together.
From a young age, I was either taught (or learned it from observation) that you shouldn't let people see your flaws. When you are going through things, others shouldn't know. So, intuitively, I would rarely let others in on the fact that although I looked okay on the outside, I may have been experiencing an uncomfortable challenge within. For years, I've gone along with the notion that when you show your flaws to others, it makes you less [im]perfect than you are and/or it changes people's perception of you. So, as a result, I've never really been one to share when I am going through things. To my detriment, I tend to let things build up until they are unbearable or undeniable. Then I pop.
I am comparing life to a wardrobe malfunction. Yet, there are some people, like me, who operate like this every day. We look all put together and like we have it going on, but on the inside we are experiencing challenges that we choose not to share with others. On the flip side, there are some people who learn about the challenges others are experiencing and either gossip about it, judge them negatively for it, or remind them about it constantly.
Recently, a friend and I were talking when she, transparently, shared some challenges she is experiencing. After she shared them, I sincerely thanked her for being honest and trusting me enough to share them. You see, through her sharing, I was able to encourage her and she encouraged me by allowing me to hear those challenges and how she, with God, is overcoming them. I was really blessed by our conversation and had she not shared, we may not have had an opportunity to encourage one another.
In this WHOAment, I realize that although we may not feel comfortable sharing our challenges with everyone -- realistically, "everyone" doesn't need to know our challenges, especially when they don't offer viable solutions or valuable input-- it's important to reveal our vulnerabilities to others, for our encouragement and healing.
If we go around letting people think we are okay and well put together all the time, either they pour more on top of what we are going through, thinking we can handle it, or we miss our opportunity to encourage someone else because we are so consumed with carrying our own stuff, by ourselves. Maybe, just maybe, if I had shared my fashion dilemma with someone else, they would have blessed me with a pair of socks that were my size. Or maybe they would have advised that I, simply, remove the socks altogether.
We all need a friend or two with whom we can be completely open and honest (for the married folks, your spouse should be one of those people). We should connect with those friends who will not join in our pity party, but will offer us a shoulder, empathize and stand in agreement with us, reminding us that our situations and challenges are temporary. These same friends will not judge or see us differently, because they realize that no one is perfect. And they will remind us that, by faith, we will survive. Sharing our situations with others is not only beneficial for us, but for them as well. Iron sharpens iron.
On the flip side, it's important for us to not be that person who is so unapproachable and judgmental that others are reluctant to share with you. Instead, count it as a blessing that they felt you were the "perfect" person to talk to. Hold what they share in confidence! Don't share their flaws with others. No one else needs to know their sock is slipping. Remember, your sock may slip next!
*If you liked this WHOAment, you may also enjoy "Watch Your Step!"
I love hearing from you. So, let's chat!
*Who do you think was to blame, if anyone, for Janet's Superbowl "wardrobe malfunction?"
*Recall a wardrobe malfunction that only you were aware of. How could it have been resolved if you let someone else know?
*If you were in my shoes (pun intended), how would you have handled your slipping socks?
*With how many of your friends are you able to be totally transparent?
*What attributes does your "go to" friend(s) possess that allow you to be totally transparent and honest?