Comfortable Skin Livin’

“Don’t embarrass me!” …So many people have an almost paranoia of being embarrassed in front of others. Some are indifferent to the feeling, and some are so brazen that they seem to not care, while still others have grown comfortable enough with their own flaws that they generally don’t care what others say or think of them. If you’re human, I’d say you probably fall into one of these categories.

We all have SOMETHING about ourselves that we really don’t like, something that’s different, odd, maybe even embarrassing. Depending on our own personalities, openness and confidence level, we may or may not feel comfortable with others seeing these flaws. Maybe it’s a toe or a finger that is slightly bent or longer than it ‘should’ be. Maybe it’s a set of teeth you wished would’ve had braces set so long ago. Maybe you speak too fast, too slow, too much, or just not enough. Maybe it’s a limp, a lazy eye, or even just a smile that you don’t feel ‘measures up’ to the world around you.

If you lean toward the category of people who get embarrassed easily, or those who don’t like to get embarrassed, no matter how sensitive or tough-skinned you like to portray to others that you are, then this post is written for you. If you are totally comfortable in your own skin, you don’t care one whit about what others think of you, and you just can’t believe that I would ever be concerned about embarrassments, because, after all, you’ve never been embarrassed a day in your life…well, then you might just want to skip this blog today, because this message might not be what you’re looking for. However, for those who might fall into one of those other categories, ones of not really having a love for public humiliation, please feel free to read on… 🙂

Personally, I really don’t like embarrassments. I like to try and maintain a stoic attitude, one that is strong and capable of taking whatever life swings my way, but deep down, I’m a pretty sensitive creature. Now, don’t confuse that with “high maintenance.” I work hard to not throw my expectations, personal standards and sensitivities onto others, but I will blush at some of the silliest things, and I will tear up or ‘shrink back’ from the boldest of embarrassments. I’m just hardwired that way. I have quirks and particulars about my personality that I really try to get over; yet, I find myself “stumbling” over them from time to time. I have things about my body, my thinking and my abilities that I really wish could be different, better, or maybe at least, ‘the same’ as someone else I know. I really try to be comfortable in my own skin, and many times, I succeed. However, I am an incredibly introverted person, one who was raised around the “good old Southern Belle” mentalities, believing a lady should be first and foremost feminine and gentile, and on top of all this, I am an incredibly private person, not caring for the general public to “know all my business.” So, when my ‘business’ becomes public, I would just rather run and hide than to pick up my embarrassing trait, shake off my stubborn pride, smile and walk on by valiantly. I’d rather crawl under a log and disappear than to stand tall with humility and grace and endure the heat rising to my cheekbones and soaking my eyes with its truth.

It’s tough, sometimes, to keep your wits about you when you feel the spotlight of life glaring so brightly that you need shades just to see the road ahead, but if I’m to leave a legacy of truth and grace behind me, there are moments I must square my shoulders and smile the biggest smile of my life and walk right back up those stairs I just tumbled down. I must, daily, grow more comfortable in this skin God has given me and realize life isn’t perfect, I’m not perfect, and neither is anyone else I know, save One…and He is my ultimate goal! I must learn over and over again that it’s okay not to be like everyone else, and it’s okay to stand out from the crowd if the foundation upon which I stand is solid truth and the cause for which I fight is one of integrity and faith. This concept can be especially difficult to learn and to teach, when you have a teen or a young child in the house,  but we must remember the paths we set in place today are the footsteps they we follow tomorrow. How we react, when we get embarrassed, will determine the mood of the home, and it will set the stage for how they will respond when others see their flaws, how they will react to teasing and how they feel about themselves. What we live out before them speaks volumes of truth and character into their lives, or it screams at them to lie, to bully, to deceive and to shrink away from responsibilities and anything else that becomes difficult. Our words, our character and our actions are a living example from which they learn, grow and develop into a man or a woman.

If we can grow comfortable in our own skin, realizing God has created us to be us, as an individual, if we can handle mishaps with grace and generosity, we will teach our children how to stand strong in the midst of embarrassment, adversity and failure. If we can hold our tongue when we’d prefer to lash out in anger, or when we’d rather speak boldly with pride, proclaiming our rights, regardless of our failures, we will teach our children how to be humble in their confidence, solid in their self-esteem and gracious to those they encounter who may not admire or even like the way they act or speak.

We must set the stage for those coming behind us. We must blaze this path called life with integrity, honesty and character. We must be able to be comfortable enough in our own skin that we can be okay with who God has created us to be. We must be honest and humble enough with our own flaws that we recognize we may not be the best, but we’re a “work in progress,” and with God’s help, we can do anything in this life. We must carry enough integrity within and have enough character without to be able to graciously say to our opposers, “You and I may be different, and we may never agree on that subject, but we can agree to disagree and continue standing our ground. We can be different and go our separate ways.” We must become comfortable enough in our skin to say, “That sure was an embarrassment to me today, but it’s not the end of the world. I will survive, and you will to!” When we become comfortable in our own skin, honest about our own frailties and weaknesses and confident enough in who God created us to be, we will shine brightly for all those who follow behind in this world turned gray.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14