The other day I took a trip to my favorite coffee shop. Across from me was a young lady, about my age, with long red hair and clear green eyes and every time I looked up she was staring at me. It was kind of an intense situation because she was only sitting one table away from me. The more I tried to avoid her eye contact the more awkward and weird I felt.
I had just gotten to the coffee shop so I was still settling in and putting my things down and when I finally went to get a cup of coffee she spoke to me.
She looked me right in the eyes and she said “Hi, how are you?” I smiled and told her that I was doing fine and then asked how she was doing. She told me that she was doing well and then a huge smile spread across her face and she said “You are lovely, I noticed that when you walked in and had to tell you.”
I couldn’t help but to laugh. As far as looks were concerned I wasn’t having my best morning. I had gone to bed late the night before and woke up early to meet Patrick for breakfast before he went to work. My face felt tired and my body matched those sentiments. In that moment, lovely was not the word I would have used to describe myself. Yet there I was, surrounded by people I didn’t know and where I saw a frazzled hot mess this lady with flowing red hair saw something lovely.
How often do we do that? We look at ourselves and see all the flaws, all the things that are out of place and the things that aren’t quite right. We see the bags under our eyes and the air of exhaustion radiating from our skin and miss all the layers of ‘lovely’ that envelope us.
I took a break from blogging recently. My reasoning was that I thought I needed to refocus. I thought I needed space to clear my head and find the beauty in the ashes but now I think the truth is that I got caught up in the mess. I got so caught up, in fact, that I was lost in the cobwebs and the dust and missed all of the gorgeous layers and hints of lovely.
The thing about commitment, real commitment, is that it’s independent of feelings. I won’t always feel like writing, I won’t always feel like my thoughts or opinions are valuable and I’m sure that I won’t always feel like I have something important to share. Commitment though, doesn’t really care about how I feel. Commitment calls out to my integrity and requires of me that I show up and do what I said that I would do regardless of how I feel.
Because when you learn to show up, even when most of you feels unprepared, unmotivated and even unworthy, that's when you start to realize that lovely things are all around you. It's in the follow through of our word and being willing to step into the uncomfortable places that we learn how to really see it.
So here I am. An inexperienced, passionate, joy filled and sometimes unmotivated writer ready to embark on a journey with you. One where I commit to the process and instead of being attached to the outcome I become attached to always showing up.
I encourage you to master the art of showing up, it'll be especially useful if you ever find yourself in the place that I found myself a month ago. Feeling like an arrow. Like I needed to pull back in order to be shot forward. Regardless of how you feel, show up and be committed to your word. You might be feeling like an arrow but maybe you're meant to be an anchor. Steady, unmovable, reliable, always staying in place even when the waves are rolling and the storm is raging.
So for now I'm committing to that. To being the anchor even when I feel like I'd much rather be an arrow. Maybe one day I'll run into you in a coffee shop. You'll be standing there thinking that you look frazzled, unwashed, and a mess and I'll be the one staring, trying to find the words to describe something so lovely.