Living real. It’s a real thing.
For years I’m not sure I lived real at all, however. I think I had my head in the clouds, and I was good at hiding my faults and mistakes. Who would like me if they knew what a mess up I really was?
Until my friend, Jill, and I met for breakfast one morning. She prompted me by her example to toss away a life that looked perfect on the outside (even if it was a mess on the inside) and to begin living real. To live an authentic, transparent life, mess and all.
What is living real, anyway?
real :: existing or occurring as fact; actual rather than imaginary, ideal, or fictitious; authentic; true
It’s scrambling to find my car keys for a half-hour on Wednesday morning, then finding them just where I put them thirty minutes earlier. Hence, I arrived late to my destination. (Seriously?? Where are our extra car keys??)
It’s driving a black SUV covered in gravel dust and road slime most days because we must live on the messiest country road in Iowa. (The sunrises and sunsets out here make this worth it, however.)
It’s asking my sister-in-law about her dog, forgetting the important fact that her beautiful dog died fifteen months ago. (Julie, what are you doing??)
It is also being open about how I cannot, for the life of me, lose the five extra pounds I put on over the winter months. I cannot fit into the pants I wore last spring, no matter how much I seem to exercise or watch what food goes into my mouth. (What is the deal with that??!!)
Real life, oftentimes, is the stuff we hide or don’t care to talk about.
I used to want to sweep these things under the rug. But now? Not so much. Call me strange, but I want to talk about this stuff. I want to bring these out into the light. Because we all have real stuff in our real lives, don’t we? I mean, really, who doesn’t have stuff?
I firmly believe talking about our real lives encourages others in their real lives. If she can do it, I can do it!
I also believe when we are transparent about our stuff, we become more real in the eyes of others. Wow, maybe I have more in common with her than I thought!
And, when we open ourselves to be a little vulnerable, humility and authenticity shine in and through us. Others are attracted to and relate to these qualities. She’s not perfect, so I can quit trying to be so perfect, too.
Living real is freeing.
Freeing us to be ourselves. Freeing us to benefit others. And, freeing us to honor God.
Love others well, and don’t hide behind a mask; love authentically. Despise evil; pursue what is good as if your life depends on it.Romans 12:9 VOICE
Living real is a good way to live.
We pursue what is good when we choose to live real. It’s loving and living authentically. It’s setting down the mask that today’s world tells us to hide behind. Because, if we’re not perfect, we’re not worthy.
We’re worthy because God says we’re worthy. We’re worthy because He created us that way. We can stop the striving and perfecting, because we’re loved by our Creator just as we are. Who wants to hang around someone who’s perfect, anyway?
“Find real encouragement for your real life here.”
You’ll find this tagline here on my blog and on my social media sites. You’ll know up front I attempt to live a life that’s real. My goal is to offer you hope and real encouragement when you visit, because goodness, we’re all in this real life together.
Friend, I invite you to choose living real. Be who you are, because you’re already incredible, just as you are.
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Your transparency and honesty have drawn me to your writing and you from the beginning! I have always tended to share my flaws with others. Part of it I think, stems from feeling “less than” and from being picked on. Somewhere along the way I just decided to announce my imperfections before someone else could point them out. Over the years I’ve learned to turn it around and like you, share in hopes of letting others know it’s ok to be a work in progress. Wonderful post, Julie!
It’s no wonder I’m drawn to your writing and how you live your life, Cindy. I love how real you are and I appreciate your transparency. You are a gift to many, including me! Thanks for being here today.