When You Wonder if They’ll Like You

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I look at the four lovely faces around me and my tummy does a nervous little flutter. A few weeks ago I met these women when I spoke to a crowd of over 6,000 at the Premier National Rally. After finding out some of the ladies who attended actually live in my town I asked them, “Why don’t we meet up for real life coffee?”

I ran late on the way to our get together.  I let my hair blow dry by leaving the windows in my car down. I tried to order a breakfast sandwich and was told, “Um, it’s eleven.” {I wanted to reply, “I promise I’ve been up for awhile, I just like eggs” but I didn’t have the guts.}

Then I sat down at the table, straightened my jewelry and fidgeted a bit. Eventually I decided I’d better just come out with it so I took a deep breath and confessed: “I’m afraid you won’t like me as much close up.”

You see, it’s easy to look good from a distance. Especially when you’ve had a chance to write out every word you’re going to say. And someone has kindly and beautifully accessorized you. And the lights are pretty and the decorations are fabulous and it’s all so wonderfully in place for you. What if I disappointed these women when they met just plain ‘ol me?

Of course my fears were unfounded. Everyone was gracious and kind and funny and lovely and didn’t mind my wind blown hair or messy heart. Whew.

As I drove home I thought about how the worry I expressed is one we all seem to share as women in one way or another. We all feel more comfortable with a little distance between ourselves and those around us because we’re afraid we won’t be loved if we’re seen close up. 

We might create that distance by saying “I’m fine” when we feel broken inside, holding on to our couch like it’s a life boat every evening, working too much, drinking too much, anything that will make it feel like we can avoid others seeing us as we really are.

But that’s not how we’re made to live, friends. We need to walk off the stage, walk out the door, walk across the room and spill what’s really going on in our lives. We need people who can see our faces without make-up and our souls without scripts and our lives without the polish and practice.

Yes, there is a time for putting our “best” forward. But there are days for inviting people into our worst as well. And most of all, there are moments for sharing everything that’s in between. In other words, plain ‘ol lovely, ordinary, extraordinary YOU. 

Let’s be brave together, girls. Let’s love and be loved. From near. From far. From wherever we are. Because we’re always better together. 

XOXO

Holley Gerth

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