Yes, that’s my jeans.
Yes, I just washed them too.
Well worn for over 2 years, it has creases, marks, and fades all unique to me and the way I wear it. Down to a left pocket full of random stuff, and a right pocket that clearly contains what looks like a wallet. Even the streaks and lines of the jeans’ legs are unique.
This is no cookie-cutter factory wash.
It’s a product of more than 2 years of love and abuse. 2 years of exposure to the outside world and its elements, and a witness to numerous events and emotions.
It’s like a skin, showing me, and my habits, and part of who I am to the world.
And then it hit me.
Maybe that’s why people spend so much on clothes. It’s a way to present an image of yourself to the world. An image that you want people to see. A way for people to see you as.
After all this time, It was only then I understood why apparel, accessories, and image enhancement are billion dollar businesses.
How Comfortable Are You?
Those jeans also happened to be my favorite, go-to, piece of clothing. They feel so comfortable now, fitting me just right. Why can’t we be like that all the time? Or even just most of the time? Or the times that matter to us the most? Or when we are alone, with ourselves?
How comfortable are you with what you show to other people? Can you meet up with some friends, or even strangers, with what you’re wearing right now?
It’s not even about the clothes, come to think about it.
How comfortable are you with who you are? With how you look? How you act?
How about this question: How authentic are you with what you show to others?
Something To Hide
I’m not saying for everyone to go out and lay their life story for all to see. The world doesn’t work that way. I’m not that way.
What I’m saying is that there maybe times where we obscure or make stuff up to make us seem bigger, stronger, smarter, older, wiser, than what we really are. There can even be times when we see kindness as a sign of weakness, and being stern and unforgiving as a sign of power and strength.
But deep down in everyone’s heart, I’d like to believe that it doesn’t work that way.
We’re all longing for heart-to-heart connections.
We’re all longing to be accepted and understood.
We’re all afraid of being rejected.
And it is because of that fear, that we purposely build a facade, a mask, that we use to present ourselves and connect to others.
Never knowing that others also have their mask on, that people also want a heart-to-heart connection, yet are afraid to do so for being of being hurt.
We’re afraid of people seeing us for who we really are, and not liking what they see.
What Keeps The Mask On
So why not just be? Just remove all pretenses and masks, and just be comfortably authentic and be done with the mind games and hiding?
For others, it can be so simple. I consider them the lucky ones.
For a lot of us, myself included, this can be a big challenge. Mainly due to a few things.
We’re so used to it. Life has been lived with us having to be polite all the time, and always having to consider what other people would say, and what other people feel, and how we have to keep up with society and all the pressures of expectations thrust upon our shoulders.
We’ve found success using it. The facade and masks have become a tool in our arsenal, weapons to be used to climb the corporate ladder, get bigger salaries and better benefits. After all, it’s all about giving the other person what they want, right?
Everyone else is doing it. And shame on you for thinking otherwise! The nail that sticks out get hammered, and you see this all the time. It’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. The outspoken one, or the overly quiet one, always gets picked on. Why can’t some people just try to fit in?
The Challenging Simplicity Of Routine
It can be hard to break out of the routines, thoughts and beliefs we’ve held on for so long, but in the end, it can only be us who can do it.
Similar to the creases and fades on my pair of jeans, our bodies take on the characteristics, shapes and expressions we often use and exhibit. Ever wonder why there are some people whose natural expression seems like they’re smiling? I can bet you happy thoughts and feelings fill that person, despite the hardships of life.
It’s the same with our minds. Over time, the same thought processes and beliefs only get deeper and stronger the more we hold on to them, believe them, act out on them, and share them.
And like the fades on my jeans, they can be overwritten. They can be changed.
If you want to. You’ve got to want it. You’ve got to really, really want it first.
Take small steps first. Take small daily steps first. Change in this area rarely comes instantly. You’ve got to take it bit by bit, until the practice, the feeling, the habits take hold, and become comfortable. You’ve got to grow out of your old ways, and into the new.
Be thankful for one thing. Say a little blessing for being thankful for one thing, everyday. Do this first thing when you wake up.
Do one push-up. At least one push-up. Laughable right? Not for the person who is starting from zero.
And at some point, we all had to start from zero. Who gives a damn what others say?
Or take a ten minute walk everyday. You’ll know when it’s time to make it twenty, or thirty, or when it’s time to run.
Our lives can be looked at like a pair of jeans, all blue, unwashed at the start, and we start to make our marks on life by the actions we do and the thoughts we believe.
Make sure the marks are truly yours. What you truly feel, and what you truly believe.
Don’t be afraid to show them. Show you.