Shoes. I love the look of them. I especially like shoes with personality–open-toe, pointed-kitten, strappy-sandal, knee-high-boot, and (of course) worn-out-converse. Each morning there’s a game matching mood, outfit, and occasion to a pair of shoes in my closet. Yet, no matter what pair I choose, within a few hours I want out of them. Pointed shoes pinch, lace-ups squeeze. Even the most comfy of flats burn out the balls of my feet eventually.
If you’re like me, you look forward to getting home, walking through the door, and kicking off your kicks. Bare feet equals freedom.
Life is kind of like this, too, isn’t it? Each day we lace up our true selves in the “shoes” that best meet that day’s mood, crowd, and occasion. Some days we wear patent leather personalities. Some days we wear combat boots. We bind up who we really are in order to portray who we think others want us to be. But isn’t it freeing to take off your shoes, rub your sore feet, and go barefoot?
That’s what this blog is. I’ve walked into 2017 and taken off my shoes. This is a barefoot me. I’ll be the first to tell you, my “feet” aren’t all that pretty. There are some pretty unsightly spots. Avoiding those spots, though, is like never wearing sandals for fear of showing your toes. Yes, you can confine your feet and skip the beach. Or you can bear those toes to God and the world. God will clean up your unsightly spots as the world witnesses. Yes, God gives pretty good pedicures!
Here’s an anonymous quote that inspired me. Perhaps it will you, too.
“One morning she woke up different. Done with trying to figure out who was with her, against her, or walking down the middle because they didn’t have the guts to pick a side. She was done with anything that didn’t bring her peace. She realized that opinions were a dime a dozen, validation was for parking, and loyalty wasn’t a word but a lifestyle. It was this day that her life changed. And not because of a man or a job but because she realized that life is way too short to leave the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket.”
I realized I’d wasted too much time in ill-fitting shoes. So last year, I just kicked them off! What about exposing sensitive soles (souls) to harsh elements, though? That’s the beauty of going barefoot. The more you walk with the feet God gave you, and the longer you walk along His path for your life, the tougher your real soul gets. It becomes less vulnerable to those outer elements, those brambles along your way. Eventually, you quit fearing the brambles. Secured by authentic love for the self God created for you, your soul can’t be scratched. It is at this point, without those uncomfortable shoes, that you actually begin to not only endure your walk, but enjoy it!
No matter your faith (or lack thereof), your gender, your sexuality, your race, your politics, your nationality, your ethnicity, your past circumstances, or your present circumstances, you are worthy of love. You deserve love.
Love begins with you. Learn your real strengths, and love them. Learn your real weaknesses, and love them (you’ll probably find that your weaknesses are part of your strengths). Take off your shoes, wiggle your toes, and get comfortable. This site is my way of inviting you to come walk barefoot with me.