The other day I came across a beautiful vintage dress of my mother’s in the back of my closet. I remember grabbing this “70’s masterpiece” from the “gives” pile, years before, while helping my mother pack to move.
I said, “You can’t throw this out! It’s legendary!”
AUTHENTICITY AND THE VINTAGE DRESS
I envisioned her plucking it from some swanky boutique on one of the trips to Hawaii, she and my dad used to take. It was flowery and covered in bright blues, pinks, and greens. Instead of making apologies, the dress pulled off these seemingly uncoordinated colors boldly and with confidence. This dress was a big fabric grin.
She said, “Take it.” So, I did.
But, then, I forgot about it.
When it resurfaced last week, I smiled. I was reminded of how much I loved this dress on my mother. As I lifted the hanger off the rod and pulled the dress into full view, an unimpeded thought flashed across my mind. “I could never pull this off in public.” So, I started to place the dress back in the “inner bowels of my closet.” Then I froze. What was I doing?? There was a time when I would not have even hesitated to rock this dress socially.
I am very weird. I know this. My kind friends have gently acknowledged it, and they both love and are confused by it. There are parts of my personality that are oddly coordinated colors, but these facets are the make-up of my fabric. It dawned on me, facing this dress, that there are areas of my life that I have slowly hidden away – aspects of my colorful personality.
Have you done that – hidden parts of the authentic you because of past experiences? Brene Brown writes, in her book, The Gift of Imperfection, “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up, and be real. The choice to be honest – The choice to let our true selves be seen.”
I recalled a close friend saying to me not long ago, “You hold your cards very close.” I didn’t always. I used to possess less of an internal censor, less of a filter system between my brain, and my expressed thoughts. I thought about her observation while standing in my closet. The truth is I had sheltered some of my more colorful personality attributes from certain people to avoid judgment and to appear more professional. I did it so I would not risk hurting people, and to reduce the risk of getting hurt.
Brene further states “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be, and embracing who we are.”
The journey to being our true authentic selves has everything to do with self-acceptance.
So, I put on the dress.
You may see me in it at Target.
Are there areas in your life, where you may not be living authentically? Are there changes you can make to be more in tune with who you are? Do you need me to send you the flowered dress?
We are all quirky and strange – It is that “weirdness” that makes us the bold, colorful patterns that are uniquely us. Work daily to wear it proudly. This week what single step can you take to be more true to your inner self? Write it down and keep it close to you.
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