Keeping up the act takes a lot of work. The time and energy it takes to maintain a false image is exhausting, and the effort often backfires anyway. I spent years doing my best to portray myself a certain way. When I turned 40, I declared the next 365 days The Year of Honesty. The words of David became my deepest desire. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
I gave myself permission to feel what I was really feeling, instead of dismissing my emotions. I let myself think thoughts without first going through a filter of shoulds or shame. I began to allow myself to just be Tricia, quirks and all.
This freedom coincided with my newfound security in nothing but Christ. It felt weird to be comfy in my own skin, but totally freeing. I found out who my true friends were, and I was grateful that they loved me in spite of myself. Since my focus was no longer on maintaining an image of perfection and conformity, I was free to use my energy to be a blessing to those around me.
I began to make mistakes while stepping out of my comfort zone and I had a hard time with life when I did mess up. Embarrassment and pride threatened to rob me of my joy, and occasionally they got the best of me. Refusing to be self-conscience and accepting my strengths and weaknesses honored God and His workmanship.
There's nothing wrong about putting your best foot forward or even expressing elation over how well your wedge sandals coordinate with your new spring dress. Just make sure that the image others see is the true reflection of the beautiful person God knitted together in your mother's womb. The warts and quirks we were born with are our reminder that we are wonderfully made by a God who doesn't make mistakes.