Sipping coffee and staring at a wall. This is how my best days begin.
I’m incredibly introverted, so my quiet alone time is paramount to filling my energy bucket. The Christmas tree is great on the eyes for this habit, but today it got me thinking the struggle I had this weekend with decorating our tree and the struggle to be genuine.
After three trips to Target to buy the right kind of lights, what I really battled this weekend was the imperfections of our tree.
Before moving to California, we had a fake tree. A one-time investment of $15 at Walmart, it seemed like the financially responsible thing to do.
But what I really liked about it was the way it could be bent and shaped to fit my desired aesthetic. That can only be done with something that’s fake.
Real life – real things – cannot be bent or shaped. We must accept them as they are.
This wasn’t an easy thing… I found myself disgruntled with our tree after lighting it, even after adding a few ornaments.
We eventually realized what it really needed was more light – more light on the “bushy” parts, more light in the bare parts, more light so it’s true beauty could shine through.
Much of our time is spent trying to hide our imperfections, keeping them in the dark.
Globally, the average person spends 135 minutes of our day on social media alone, undoubtedly shining light on only our great parts, feeling insecure about the great parts others are projecting.
Perhaps this is why depression is at an all-time high.
Each of us have imperfections. It’s a consequence of being real instead of artificial. The more time we spend trying to hide our true selves, the more disconnected we become – with ourselves, and with those around us. We feel even more isolated and alone.
Daily, my struggle is to project only what’s ideal. But fake only lasts so long.
Like the polyvinyl chloride tree sitting in pieces in a box outside our storage unit, the absence of genuine authenticity grows stale. There’s no emotion tied to it, no experience, no love. It was an easy thing to replace.
We pay five times what we paid for our fake tree and don’t even flinch. It’s worth it.
I look at this picture and see a gorgeous topiary shaped by God and nature, one we hand-picked from an entire forest surrounded by dear friends and chopped down with our bare hands, one we accepted as is without trimming or grooming.
Each ornament that hangs from its branches represents a year of our lives, carefully hung by little fingers I treasure.
Beneath it lies carefully selected gifts for those we love (see my earlier post about our Christmas list.)
We’ll water it, we’ll care for it. (And ignore the whole part of having to throw it away for the purposes of this allegory. We’ll tie that into the importance of being rooted and grounded.)
Authenticity is life’s true treasure.
This holiday season, may you do away with the things that are fake in your life and instead embrace the beautiful flaws of the authentic, shining light on those imperfections to make them all the more stunning.
May the ‘real you’ be the gift you unwrap with fervent anticipation and excitement, one to be shared with select confidants who can truly appreciate your inner spirit.
“All you can take with you is that which you giveth away.”
Happy Monday. Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas. ❤