A while back, a dear friend posted something on Facebook about appreciating the people in her life who are not afraid to just be themselves, flaws and all… for one reason, because it allows her to feel better about her own flaws.
“I appreciate the fact that as I get older I have come in contact with people who are willing to be honest about who they are, flaws and all. Makes me like them all the more. [It] also gives me courage not to judge myself so harshly. Courage… because it is sometimes easier to just assume I should be a better person than I am.”
The very next day, I found myself thinking about my friend’s post again as I was listening to World Cafe Live on the public radio station. Brandi Carlile and the Indigo Girls were the featured artists. I found myself tearing up a little—because of the raw honesty when they spoke and when they sang. Carlile described her first songwriting experience with one of the Indigo Girls: how nervous she was to be working with someone she admired so much. She, after all, is just another person dealing with self-doubt and self-criticism. Hearing her laugh and poke a little fun at herself was refreshing. (Wow, other people—accomplished, talented people—really do have the same insecure thoughts I do!) And then the two women sang the song they had written together. Beautiful.
It occurred to me that this is what I cherish most in people and what I miss (often without realizing it) when it’s absent. When people aren’t trying to sell something or convince someone of something, when they are just themselves, there is something so utterly beautiful about that. You don’t have to like what they’re doing or saying or creating or singing, but if you can tell that it is truly from the heart or the soul, whatever you want to call it, it is magical. It is pure. And that is beautiful.
So, how about we make that our goal for the day? Just to be 100% ourselves and accept that as a beautiful thing. My guess is that other people will see the beauty too.