I failed to be real.
I failed to be myself.
My husband and I had just finished tandem bicycling 189 miles over three days in the Kansas 95º heat. After washing off the grime and gunk from our ride, we settled into Sandstone Saloon’s atmosphere in Brookville, KS, to celebrate with the other riders, and to enjoy a cheeseburger and barbecue chips.
If you know me, it doesn’t surprise you that I just had to capture this moment in a photo, and share it with others on social media. I mean, really, we just accomplished a huge goal. Not only did we cross Kansas off our 50 States Tandem Bike Tour list, but we rocked it out on those Kansas roads, killer hills and all. (Kansas is NOT flat!) We both felt accomplished and successful, not to mention a little exhausted and weary.
It was a selfie moment if there ever was one.
But, I quickly remembered I had not a trace of makeup on this face of mine. And as silly as this may sound, that about stopped me.
My makeup-less face looks quite different from what most people see in public. Did I really want my makeup-less face available for all the world to see?
For years I had it drilled into my head that a woman should never leave her house without her makeup on. That’s just a no-no. Especially when you’re in the makeup business. Only in the last five years or so have I challenged and broken that thinking. But every now and then I revert back, as ingrained thinking can be hard to remove.
Plus, the sun isn’t kind to my face each summer either, as it causes brown splotches (melasma) to appear on certain areas of my skin. They aren’t attractive, and even though I faithfully wear my SPF 100 sunscreen, these spots return each summer. They showed up loud and proud from the Kansas sun.
So… my non-makeup, brown-splotched face would be seen all over social media.
Nevertheless, I snapped the selfie of my husband and I, uploaded the pic, and warned onlookers of my makeup-less face. Questioning what I just posted, my husband spoke three words to me that jolted me out of that mindset…
“Just be yourself.”
Why is it “just be yourself” doesn’t seem to be enough some days? Why do I often fall into the trap of caring more about what others think of me than caring about being true to who I am?
Friend, if you ever get caught in this trap too, I pray we can release ourselves of the burden of this behavior. May we embrace who we are, and encourage one another to “just be yourself,” blotchy-faced and all.
Don’t focus on decorating your exterior by doing your hair or putting on fancy jewelry or wearing fashionable clothes; let your adornment be what’s inside—the real you, the lasting beauty of a gracious and quiet spirit, in which God delights. 1 Peter 3:3-4 VOICE
If I would have let my makeup-less face affect that moment, it would have prevented me from enjoying our grand accomplishment. If I would have cared more about what others thought, I would have missed out on a beautiful memory.
It’s always better to just be yourself.
So, here it is… the photo I almost didn’t capture, and the one I almost didn’t share.
The next time you and I fuss over what others might think, may we remember these three words.
Just be yourself. You are beautiful and amazing, just the way you are!
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