I want to confess something that I don’t like about myself. It really bugs me when I notice my number of Facebook friends has dropped. I didn’t used to even know where that number was, but recently I saw where it’s placed on my profile page so every time I scroll down, I see it. Therefore, I notice when it drops by one.
I don’t have a ton of friends, anyway, because I prefer to be friends with people I actually know and I don’t know 2,000 people. Also, my maiden name isn’t listed because I don’t want to be found by every random person from my past. Some people need to stay back there.
The other day I noticed one fewer person is my friend. There could be a lot of explanations for that, but the one my mind gravitates toward is that some person doesn’t like me or what I have to say or I’m too Jesus-y or too conservative or too liberal or preachy or weird.
And, I don’t like it. Ouch. I don’t like admitting that. I’m not trying to collect followers….its not that. It’s that I don’t prefer to be rejected.
However, the more free I am to be myself in real life and on social media, and the more I share about things that matter to me, the more sifting will happen.
And, I think that’s okay. Here’s what I’m discovering: the more honest I am, the more I am attracting my tribe. The people who are on the same page, or who can handle disagreement without severing relationship, will still show up.
In my actual in-person life, I’m way more open than I once was. It’s a vulnerable place to be, because when we open up to the possibility of connection, we also open ourselves to the possibility of rejection.
For me vulnerability is leading to deeper connection with the people who can relate to me. It’s creating a lot of, “Me, too!” moments.
Our fear is that we will put ourselves out there and find ourselves alone. That isn’t what’s happening, though.
It’s just the opposite.
We have to accept the fact that not everyone will especially like us, or agree with us, or think we are worth their time. If we are honest, we can admit there are people we have a hard time with, too. We don’t click with everybody.
If we want to be loved for who we are, we have to put our actual selves out there – not the mask, not the false self. The real you, warts and all. And be open to whoever comes along – you might be surprised who you connect with.
It’s a scary thing to show your raw self to the world, and we do need to set some boundaries. Not every thing is for every set of eyes and ears.
But we have to start somewhere.
The truth is that you are already loved by the God who made you. He is ready and willing to accept you, as you are. He will refine you, as needed, but you don’t have to be fake with him. You can’t be. I mean, you can try, but just know it isn’t working.
That’s where true acceptance has begun for me. I don’t have to perform for it, be good enough, have my house clean enough, or have the right answers. I just have to show up with an open heart.
And it’s spilling over into the other parts of my life.
It’s scary, because my wounds went deep. I’m still learning to live into all the things I just said. I believe it’s all true but changing a lifetime of hiding is a process, and it isn’t always pretty.
But it’s worth it. It really is.