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This is a before and after pic of my post-vacation empty-lashes and my full lashes, after I went to visit my friend Lisa. (who’s been making my eyes look more alive for over six years!)
Here’s the deal.
When I was pregnant with Oakley in 2007, I felt fat and ugly. My face was swollen and my eyes were disappearing quickly. I knew it was “normal” for pregnancy, but I’d just been through the “normal” with Noah in 2006.
I wanted to feel pretty.
So one day, I was walking past a nail salon that had a poster in the window for “Magic Lash”. On it was an image similar to the one above. It was a before and after pic of eyelash extensions, which I had never seen before. I swung open the door, ready to be transformed.
But they told me no.
They said it was not safe to apply lashes during pregnancy. So being the very safe person that I am, I went to the nearest hot spot and fired up craigslist on my computer. Right then and there I found the cousin of a girl, who used to do lashes, who would apply them on my pregnant mug the next day. Bam! Even in my very pregnant body, I felt beautiful and I’ve not gone a single day without them since. . .
Until last week.
After 3 straight weeks of beach time with the family, I had about 3 stragglers left on each eye. So I did the unthinkable. . . and removed them. The picture on the right is me without lashes, in public, for the first time in almost 10 years.
And I was feeling very insecure.
It might sound ridiculous and crazy, but it was real for me. I had no idea that I’d feel so strange, so bad about myself, without eyelashes. It was like I didn’t even know that girl in the mirror.
I didn’t want to be seen.
As we were leaving for the airport, I was literally worried that someone might see me. At the same time, I felt too seen, too exposed and vulnerable. I felt like I was walking around in my underwear. I would have given almost anything to be able to cover up. So I told the boys about it. We laughed and made jokes about my naked eyes.
Then something strange happened.
I completely forgot about my lack of lashes. I completely forgot about my insecurities. I completely forgot to worry about what other people thought of me at all. I forgot, because I was with the people who know me, love me, and accept me, just the way I am.
It turns out that’s not strange at all.
That’s how we are made. When we keep ourselves isolated, looking in the mirror, when we keep our feelings, thoughts, dreams, and insecurities to ourselves, it holds us back. It makes us fearful.
It makes us want to hide.
Little fears and insecurities stuck inside our heads can become monsters. But when we open ourselves up to being seen and known with the ones who love us, those monsters look more like stuffed animals on the shelf. They might not disappear, but they become so much less powerful in the light of relationship.
What’s got you hiding today?
Maybe it’s time to get vulnerable. Maybe it’s time to find a safe place to go lash-free with some friends who love you for a day. Because you need to be reminded that those monsters are just stuffed animals when you’re with the ones who love you.
The lashes are fine for the rest of the world.
There’s no need to walk around feeling naked and exposed all the time. But girl, you’ve gotta have a safe place. A place you can let it all go and just be you.
Monsters are too scary to be left alone, in the dark.
to more love,