Have you ever roamed the aisles of Target on a lazy Saturday afternoon to look up from admiring an overpriced throw pillow and see a woman with tired eyes searching for the perfect picture frame or hear a couple fighting about dirty dishes an aisle over and wonder what their story is about? What are they going through today? You’d like to go over to the woman and put your arm around her. She looked like she could use a hug – but you know, that would be weird, right? Because who does that. But you have the same tired eyes and could use a hug too.
You were up all night with a teething baby, a deadline, and a snoring husband. Picture frame girl just broke off her engagement leading to a sleepless night of Ben & Jerry's and two bags of Cheetos. She was searching for a gift for her best friend's upcoming wedding that she's contemplating even attending. It'd be too hard. While you stared at the throw pillow deciding whether or not to splurge because, heck, you birthed a little human and you deserve something nice and are there other first-time mamas who understand the feeling, picture frame girl glanced in your direction with a big thought bubble over her head:
I need someone to talk to who has been where I am. I need someone to understand. My friends are living blissful perfect lives and I'm a wreck. Well, at least it seems that way. That lady looks tired too. What's her story?
She has a story. You have a story. Stories are meant to be shared. Especially the hard and messy ones.
People want to be with likeminded humans. Not perfect people. Someone they can relate to. Having a "perfect" life only pushes people farther and farther away because they can't relate to someone who talks like they have it all together. They want to know you're struggling too. And lets be real, we all are. We need our people, our girl tribe, connecting face to face and lots and lots of Jesus to even make it through dry seasons, joyful seasons, and seasons where we don't even know what's going on. Creating an unapproachable barrier around your struggles, pain, disappointments or pretending that life is peachy and will forever stay that way will only bear surfaced relationships or even no relationships at all. I have the perfect angel who doesn't cry and enjoys teething and has been sleeping through the night since the day we brought her home and I lost all my baby weight two weeks postpartum said no mama ever. And if you have, you can't be in my girl tribe.
Our people, the ones we call true and dear friends, want to know that they can come to you knowing that if you've been through it, there is a chance they can come through it as well. Even the people we are just starting to build a relationship with or the mama you happen to strike up a conversation about the best baby products and how much you need grace and Jesus, say, in a Target aisle, want to know you're heart isn't made of porcelain but has weathered a few storms.
Don't hide behind the fear that your crap moments will scare people away – those moments are the ones that build the most vulnerable and fun girl tribes. Those are the moments that in turn bring you closer. Let your guard down. You have stretch marks covering your entire stomach. Me too. You wanted to divorce your husband after a couple months of "I do" because marriage is so darn hard. Me too. You had a miscarriage. Me too, a couple actually.
Being perfect is overrated.
Picture frame girl wouldn't be spending the last of her allotted grocery money on another carton of ice cream if she knew her friend Jana went through a similar life event but was too embarrassed and insecure to share her story.
Kirsten Dickerson, CEO and Founder of Raven + Lily, is a leader in the social business and ethical fashion industry. Motivated by a belief that each person is valuable and uniquely created, Kirsten is dedicated to empowering women to discover their full potential. She is passionate about promoting social business models as a means of providing a dignified way to alleviate poverty, especially among at-risk women.Kirsten and her filmmaker husband live in a “tiny house” in the country outside of Austin, Texas on Green Acres, a boutique retreat for artists, families and sojourners. They have a minimalist lifestyle, and are enthusiasts of slow food and slow fashion, and the positive impact they have on people and the planet.
An evening of fashion and faith meant to refresh her through power messages, dinner, pampering and a time to share, create and grow with other dreamers and women of purpose.
There’s something special that happens when women who live on purpose gather around a dinner table. The conversations are life changing causing a shift in momentum in where we are going.
~ A movement ~ An awakening ~
That’s why Created Woman has designed a monthly gathering called CW: Gather Her for women who desire to and are living on purpose and for a purpose on the 3rd Thursday of every month at the Arthouse Austin.
You’re invited to be refreshed, renewed and sharpened so that you can continue to be and become who you are created to be, run your race with endurance and show up well!