I was driving around town after making pb&j’s with my younger sister. Well, she was driving. I was the DJ. As it always goes!
She turned to me and said, “I hope my future husband loves me as much as you do.” I was immediately flattered and curious all at once. I asked her why that it is.
“You laugh at everything I say [TRUE], always want to spend time with me [TRUE], give me back scratches [TRUE] and now…you’re staring at me and it’s freaking me out [ALSO TRUE].”
Flash forward to the following night when I was reading Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead by Brené Brown. I underlined the sentence (and am switching around a few words because the context it was placed in won’t make sense), it is easier to become real when we know we’re loved. Page 110 in my book for anyone who has a copy!
Flash forward to the following morning when I was at church. I couldn’t stop thinking about how the concept of being so securely loved transforms an individual’s courage to be authentically themselves as if no one was watching. I kneeled before God and knew that I was loved beyond measurement. That reason alone is why I can be and am real in my relationship with Him – the most important relationship in my life that graciously pours into all others.
From my sister who understands how much I love her to my own self who attempts to understand how much my Father loves me, we collectively know that we are loved. We are so so very much so loved.
It is the common desire for all human beings. It alters how free we are. It breaks down our walls. It ceases embarrassment. It stirs up a whole lotta oddness (see #11). It is the reason for confidence. It fuels our passions. It is the driving force for celebrations. It unquestionably changes us or rather, pushes us to grow into our true selves.
A friend who I have no filters around (due to mutual love hehe) recently told me, “there’s a lot of fish in the sea and well…you’re an octopus”. Count that as one of the best compliments I’ve ever received because it affirmed that I must be doing something right toward my goal to chase after greatness, not comfort! But it all comes down to the fact that I know he deeply cares about me and would be by my side at 3am if I was in need at that hour.
For me, striving to be 103% authentic doesn’t start from within. Nor does it stem from outward validation like my octopus-naming friend. It originates from the simple truth that I am fully known and deeply loved by my Creator. And to live without embracing this would break His heart more than I want to think about.
Let’s all be octopi or stingrays or pufferfish or whatever creature you so portray. Not because you want to but because that’s what you are. For when we know we are loved, the presence of our originality stirs up a whole lotttta joy.