There's usually a few things about our own appearance that makes us feel self conscious; causes us to not want to take pictures at a certain angle, or have people tag our photos on Facebook. It's that thing that makes us feel like we stand out from the crowd, and not in the "I feel like a celebrity" sort of way.
Okay, I'm going to be vulnerable with you. I have a pirate's tooth. If you know me, maybe you've noticed. But I doubt it. In many ways it's so inconsequential, but it feels as if it throws my whole being out of whack.
I feel as if I've lost somehow in the beauty relay race because of this apparent imperfection. I mean, who will marry me with a pirate's tooth?
I know, you're already trying to visualize what my pirate's tooth looks like, so I'll go ahead and help you. My left front tooth is slightly lower by a millimeter or so than the left front tooth. Yes, maybe even a centimeter! Ahhh!
I woke up this morning, staring at myself--no, staring at my tooth in the mirror. I actually Googled last night, "Free braces". I was so bugged by my tooth yesterday and this morning, that I felt if I could fix it, then everything else in my life would be perfect.
Isn't that just how we perceive things. As if peace of mind and true self worth and honor come simply by appearance. Yes, appearance is many times a reflection of what's going on internally, but it is by no means the full road to peace and beauty. And it would be a blatant prejudice for us to believe so.
This week, I was thinking about all of the amazing single people that I know, both men and women. Are they still single because they are flawed? Too short, too heavy, too tall, too weird....
But we are all flawed. But yet, we choose to love each other in the midst of our imperfections and in the midst of imperfect circumstances. That's where love appears to flourish...When and where we least deserve it.
Will we be brave enough to love ourselves wholly and authentically in the midst of our growing and being?
I hope so.
Many people have apparent physical handicaps, but most of us are able to hide or mask ours. What are we so afraid of?
And yet, we were Loved passionately and eternally-- I believe, before we were even born.
It truly takes such strength and courage to love and to love well. Especially to love ourselves without vanity, but with humility-- And that is something that I'm learning to do, in the midst of my pervasive pirate's tooth.
Am I not yet still lovely? Am I not yet still worthy? Am I not yet still desirable? Am I not yet still real?
A reflection of those questions lead me to something very real, something that I can begin to live out. It's difficult on my part, but I choose to say yes. And my hope, like many of yours, is that there would be voices in the shadows and valleys of life, confirming love all around me, all around us.
Could you love me, in my physical and emotional imperfections? Could I love you, in your physical and emotional imperfections? May these question soon and very soon turn into answers truly lived out in love.
So today, I guess I'll stop Googling for free braces.
But if you know of a guy, that's cheap...