I know, I know…this is not technically a style and fashion post, but I have to say this: No matter what you are wearing, where your heart is makes a pretty big difference in how you look.
I like to be real with people. I like to be open and honest, and I guess you could say I wear my heart on my sleeve. But I have learned over the years to only wear so much of my heart on my sleeve. I always like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I like to trust people. I want to assume that you are going to be trustworthy and that you are going to be a faithful friend. But the truth is, that is not always the case. The truth is, friends come and go. And the truth is, some people are going to use things that you have been open and honest about, against you. It’s just how it is. And how I choose to deal with that going forward is my decision. I have to be careful! Because I don’t want to stop being open and honest with every new person I meet just because of bad experiences in the past. Wearing your heart on your sleeve in an intentional way is the way I have chosen to live and will continue to live…regardless of what people make of that.
It’s ok if people know what I’m passionate about. It’s ok if people know what drives me and what my life looks like on the inside. I try to live my life as open as possible so people know they can keep it real when they are with me. I sat at The Porch today outside with a group of teenagers (one of them sitting on my lap) as they told me about bullying that’s been going on towards them, family stories and all kinds of other things going on in their lives. Then I told them about when I was bullied, about things that have gone on in my life. And because I was open, they were open. No one likes to feel like people aren’t being real with them.
Life was meant to be enjoyed. It was meant to be open and honest and free. Because that’s the kind of life Jesus promises. He promises freedom. And that’s what I want. That’s what we all want. So instead of closing up. Pushing everyone away. Turning friends away because of fear. Because of the fear that they will judge you, that they will hurt you, that they will betray you…take the risk. Because ya know what? Maybe they will? But maybe they won’t! And maybe by turning people away, you are missing out on a really incredible friendship. And I always say, If you’re going to be hypothetical with what you think could happen, you might as well be hypothetical in a positive way! Assume the best in people. Don’t be afraid to be real. To be open. To be honest.
Wearing your heart on your sleeve is not a bad thing. Wear it intentionally and cautiously…but not too cautiously. When you are willing to open up and not be afraid of the outcome, you relieve stress that you bring on yourself. And when you have less stress, you look and feel more relaxed. When you feel more relaxed, you look more approachable. Get rid of the stress and enjoy a free life.
Are you wearing your heart on your sleeve? Maybe you should try it out. You never know what kind of awesome friend could come your way.