Faux Real: Which Girl is the Authentic Me?

 Which me is the “real me”?

The lovely adorned one or the raw and unpolished one?

Why have I chosen to believe that the least impressive side of myself is the “real” me and everything else is just a charade I put on for the world?  

A little girl playing pretend. 

Am I trying to hide “who I really am” beneath clothes, makeup, backdrops, muscles, colors and curls?   

But, What if I'm not faking it at all...

What if I really am ALL of it?

......

Some days I choose to wrap myself in self expression and make myself a walking gallery.

I carefully choose the hairstyle, the lip color, shoes and other adornments that make me feel more like the confident, beautiful, feminine person that is inside of me.

And, as if by magic, she shows up.

And I walk a little taller and my self doubt gets a little smaller and I find the courage to command attention with a smile and pass out affection like rays of sunshine.

I feel the joy and curiosity of looking at brushstrokes and textures of beautiful artwork when I see my reflection in a window, a mirror, or the smile of a curious stranger.

By appreciating the work that I am, I am better able to appreciate the works beside me. Not a comparison, but a shared love that we both exist exactly as we are, walking expressions of light.

Our adornments an outward expression of our intrinsic value, an invitation to discover what's underneath the surface. 

.....

Other days, my body and my face are not my medium.

Those days I choose to use my creative energy for the sake of the world around me.

Those days I choose to bask in the words of my maker a little longer than I bask in the light of my vanity.

Those days I create meals to fill my families bellies and strings of encouraging words to fill their souls.

Those days I quietly tend to making a home, creating a color-clad refuge where my people are known, seen and deeply loved.

I pour my energy into writing THAT story.

On these days I see my reflection in steaming quart jars out of the water bath. 

I see my reflection in the paintings and words that adorn my walls.

I see my reflection in the eyes of teary-eyed children who look to me as a fresh spring that will quench their thirst for love.

 I see my reflection in the smile of my husband, in the way he looks at me with curious anticipation.

And I find joy in these brushstrokes, the details of a masterpiece in the making.

I wear my dry, cracked, calloused hands like an imaginary medal.  Proof of the hidden years of constantly creating, lifting people up, wiping tears and mothering children unceasingly. 

They tell a story of who I am, they are a reflection of my identity.

I am a maker, a walking expression of light.

.....

This is me.

Both of me, all of me.

Different colors on the canvas, different brushstrokes, different mediums that all tell the same story.  

I am a walking expression of light, a maker wrapped in skin and imperfections, but a maker just the same.

Wholeness is a multifaceted and ever evolving process, and so I choose to love all of the versions of me that propel me towards authenticity and joy.

And that is always beautiful.

Xoxo,

Nicole

P.s.  My "Love Wins" shirt is currently available exclusively on Amazon! Look for my other designs there that are NOT yet available in our shop. (Hint hint: La Muerte and Cherokee Wolf)   Happy shopping!