“Wow! You look awful!” those were among the first words my friend said to me when we ran into each other at the grocery store one time. I have no doubt she spoke the truth. It was a hot summer day. I’d just run from my apartment to the store – just over 2 miles – pushing my two boys in our double jogger. My face was red. I was dripping in sweat. My hair was probably flyaway frizzy. And let’s not forget how flattering sweat-drenched running clothes can be.
I had no argument with my friend. But the thing was, I couldn’t have cared less. I felt awesome, no matter how bad I looked. I’d just run two miles! Pushing a jogger! Full of kids! I was ecstatic. Exercise-induced endorphins were probably coursing through my blood stream and making me the happiest sweaty mama in the store, but aside from the science project happening in my body, there was this: I can do things. My body is awesome. Who cares how I look? Did you see what I just did?
I was certainly grateful at that moment for the confidence I had in my abilities so that I could let the comment roll off my back and my friend and I could still be friends. But there are times when I am less confident in what I can do, and at those times I rely a lot more on how I look to find value in myself. Which can be painful on a bad hair day, or a fat day, or a breakout day.
Unfortunately, it’s much easier to focus on the superficial, to comment on someone’s cute hair or the color of their lipstick or the print on their leggings. Those comments can be helpful, and are always welcome. But the thing is, hair gets messed up. Lipstick fades. Leggings need to be washed. And if that’s where we draw our confidence from, sometimes we’re left feeling naked and exposed, unworthy or unvalued.
So, so what if you didn’t do your hair today? What did you do? What have you done today that makes you feel awesome?