Do you let your skin show?

Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they will never fail to be amused.

It seems that for some more than others, living in skin is difficult. As much as I may wish to deny it, there seems to be a regularly occurring battle within — will I authentically show others my sometimes very silly human traits, or will I instead work extra hard to present the flawless face of a porcelain doll? The first option tends to be free, spontaneous, full of life, easy to connect with. The second is pale and hollow, with the true self concealed behind layers of make-up. The first dances and giggles and enjoys togetherness. The second likely sits frightfully up on a shelf, alone or else side-by-side with others who have also forgotten how to play.

My mom and I have both been learning this life-in-skin lesson simultaneously, awakening to God’s desire for us to let our hair down a bit more and reach a new level of comfort in that squishy, wrinkly, scarred, bruised, yet beautiful stuff that encases our spirits. How? While discussing this topic we came to realize that in our respective locations, we have been having encounters with others – both strangers and friends – who are unknowingly modeling for us that its okay to let loose. Like the employee at the dry cleaners who bluntly told my mom to hang tight because she was about to wet her pants and needed to rush to the restroom. And the local coffee barista (a typically upbeat and optimistic friend of mine) who showed up at work despite her challenge- and hormone-filled week, make-up less and open to not only sharing, but also showing her struggles. Little daily examples like these have been encouraging (literally, filling with courage) my mom and I to be. Fully human. Without shame.

My heart is again learning (I need regular reminders!) that I am perfectly imperfect, and my quirks and imperfections need not be concealed, but embraced. I need not be hyper-vigilant about acting appropriately (what does that word mean anyways?), but I can dance and express and show my colors. I can let go of watching every word so closely, and know that I can say “oops” or “I’m sorry” or simply chuckle at myself as often as necessary.

A simple concept, but not always so easy…at least not for me.

Do you let your skin show?