We are kings and queens. We are brothers, mothers, daughters, fathers, and sisters. Souls encapsulated in bodies.
Who we seem to be at face value, the first impression we give, and our appearance may not accurately reflect our story or the heart that makes us, us.
In an attempt to humanize those around me I often times try to imagine what a stranger’s routine is before they walk through their door out into the world each day. I believe those moments are of the most private, intimate, and vulnerable. Us before we stage ourselves for the world to view.
As for me; I shower, I wash my face, exfoliate, I shave and I put on lotion. I blow dry my hair (on a good day), and I lay the foundation for the way I will choose to paint the canvas of my face each day.
I adorn myself.
I wrap myself in clothes hand-picked for me and I lace myself with jewelry.
Unless you knew me well, or at some point I humbly disclosed to you in a blog post, you would never know that I also; dance while I blow dry, I shamelessly laugh at my own jokes as I talk to myself. I pray, I criticize myself, sometimes I rush, and sometimes I wear the same pair of pants two days in a row. Despite my lightheartedness and my goofy demeanor I’ve also been informed that when I’m not smiling I have a wicked “RBF”. For those of you that don’t know… that’s, “resting bitch face”. Ya look angry, but you’re really just chillin. It’s unfortunate.
I wonder how many times I have been totally glammed up, looking put together, and my RBF has surfaced… Have assumptions been made of who I am, where I come from, and how I live my life? Has my joy, my laughter, my love for my family, friends and God been negated… because of assumptions? Did they take the time to get to know me or simply assume that they, “knew” me already and move along?
How many times have I made assumptions about the woman at the gym, the business man in the suit and tie, the homeless man, the barista? The list goes on and on and on. I bet you anything that underneath all those clothes just like you, they’re… NAKED. Human.
When getting ready that morning, did she turn around to check out her bompi in the mirror like I do, or tug at her clothes? Did he change his shoes eight times before committing… like I do my outfit? Did they get down on their knees and ask God for healing from that illness, for provision for her son, for a miracle in their finances? Did they stuff down their fears and heartache and mask it with a little coverup and a pretty dress?
It’s a great honor to be welcomed into someone’s world, on any level. It takes time to know them and at some point, if ever, we learn who they truly are to the core.
The important part to remember is that until we get to know them…
We. Don’t. Know.
I recently read a quote by theologian Thomas Merton that inspired me to take a look at the way I view others. He writes, “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.”
I. Love. That.
I have earned no love but I have been loved unconditionally. I yearn to extend that same love to those placed in my path. To speak without judgement. Inquire about them, but not whether they are worth being inquired about. Show them love, show them kindness, walk with them selflessly. I want to see through their exterior, the face they put on and get to know the person and the story underneath it all.
We are more than we appear, we are more than the way we adorn ourselves.
Let’s get to know the story of those in our path and begin to truly connect!
When all else fails, just remember that underneath all the clothes and the facade we are ALL naked. Human.