Beauty Store Woes

I don’t know about you, but every time I am in a make-up or some sort of “Improve how you look” store, I feel so totally judged. This is probably all on me, and my tendency to be overly self-critical, but I mean REALLY.

I feel like every interaction goes something like this…

Associate: “Now HERE’s a powder that will help give you that CLEAR COMPLEXION, and you know hide any spots if you need to.”

What I’m thinking: “Can they see my spots? Is that why he’s saying that? Oh God, my spots are showing. Hurry, stay away from direct sunlight, they might see MORE SPOTS!”

What I say: “Oh, yes. That sounds very nice. You know I didn’t take the time to put on my makeup before I came in today (insert forced laugh), I think I’ll just take a look around (Distract! Disctract!).”

Associate: “Now I’ve just got to tell you about this new mascara that we just got in. It gives you great volume, but it doesn’t clump like a lot of other masceras…”

What I’m thinking: “OMG my mascara is clumpy. I knew it was clumpy! Crap, they saw my clumpy mascara. Maybe if I keep turning my head from side to side she won’t be able to see my clumpy eyelashes…”

What I say: “Wow, that’s great! (Look left at something) I’m always looking for a good mascara. (Look down at something) I just keep trying new ones, (Look right at something) you never know what you’re gonna get…Thanks for your help anyway.”

Then I quickly turn my back so they can’t judge my lack of bronzer or my more than likely inappropriate color of blush. WHY oh WHY did I only put on a BB cream on THIS DAY of all days.

Just so you guys know, I don’t NORMALLY let my spots show like that. I know I have spots, and thank you for recommending the $45.00 spot reducing cream, I’m sure it’s really something.

Maybe someday I’ll walk in, face fully done, hair beautifully blown out, and THEY’LL ASK ME for consults instead of the other way around. They’ll say, “Wow, that girl has perfectly voluminous eyelashes (they’ll be fake of course, but they don’t know that because they’re done so well) and NO SPOTS! Amazing. She must use that spot reducing cream. But no, surely we can’t ask her because then she’ll see OUR spots and OUR clumpy eyelashes! Let’s just let our jaws drop and give her a girl-you-got-it nod as she walks by.”

Yep. The jaw drop + nod combo. That’s how you know you’re killin it.

But then I’ll stop and let them know that I’m okay with everything about them, because it took me three hours to get this way, and let’s be honest, that’s just too much. And that next time I’ll come back in with all my spots and imperfections and let them tell me how to fix them, and I’ll smile and nod and try to remember that I’m cool with all of it. Because that’s what I’ve got going on. And holy crap, it’s too stressful and consuming to try to hide it all. 

There’s this children’s book called, “Are You a Cow”, after asking if you are a cow or a pig or a chicken upside-down, it says, “YOU MUST BE YOU, now isn’t that great.” I’m working really hard to find the freedom in just being me, spots and all, and letting the rest of it go. Phew. That’s hard work. But it’s good work.

So work hard to find the freedom in just being you. Because YOU are GREAT. 



People Pleasers Who Hate Pleasing People

It’s a dilemma. A HUGE dilemma. I love defying expectations and hate doing things just so that so-and-so can be happy / comfortable if those “things” don’t make any sense, but I am in complete shambles if someone doesn’t like me. I mean, it is the WORST if someone doesn’t like me.

So I am very confused.

What does a people pleaser do if they hate doing things just to please people? They freak out. All the time. About everything. And they argue with themselves a lot. I mean, it’s a real mess up in here.

For example: Family coming to visit this weekend was a HUGE meltdown waiting to happen. (Okay, it happened, twice. Or maybe more, but who’s counting.) On one hand, I want to make sure that they have a good time, that all of their expectations and needs are met, they have the food they like, the activities they enjoy, the air temperature they prefer. But on the other hand, why do I have to bend over backwards because they need GREEN apples, not red ones. Butter, soft and unsalted. Hawaiian Punch to drink, because water/lemonade isn’t right. Oh, and that loaf of bread? It looks weird.

I woke up at 4 AM the first night, paranoid over expectations and feelings. The pizza took 55 minutes to get here, did they even WANT pizza anymore? I should have picked different pizza!!! What do we do tomorrow? Will it be too hot? If it is, then what? Oh my gosh, do they hate it here? Do they regret coming? Who cares anyway, I’m doing the best I can and that’s all I can ask. So what if my bread doesn’t look the same as their bread. GET OVER IT. But I want you to be happy, and for what I have to be ENOUGH for you!

I just want to be enough.

BOOM. I just want to be enough, and I hate not being enough. If you aren’t happy with me, or what I have to give you, I feel like I am not enough for you. So I try to make you happy because I NEED YOU TO SAY that who I am, what I am, is enough. That you don’t need a constant smiley face, the perfect response, or the perfect brand of cheese.

And therein lies the dilemma. I hate pleasing people because I just want them to be satisfied, and say, “it’s okay, what you have here is enough.” But I don’t feel like enough, so I want to please them so they’ll say, “wow, what you have here is enough.”

The crazy thing is, this all goes back to something I already know, and I already tell myself over and over. Humans are flawed and damaged. (Hell, I’m flawed and damaged.) I cannot, under any circumstances, seek my sense of approval from other people. THEY will never satisfy my unending need for love and approval.

So why do I keep going back to this? I obviously haven’t learned how to receive my worth from the right place yet.

Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you”. And Paul prayed in Ephesians, “that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” 

Filled to the measure. No worry. Sufficient. Yes, I want ALL OF THAT.

I learned an important lesson today, and that is that I haven’t yet learned how to receive my identity and His son/daughter. What a tough lesson to learn, and what a difference it will make when I do! I pray that this sinks in, the God continues to show me how high and deep His love is, that I learn to receive that as the source of who I am, and not the opinions of other people. That I would have the grace and love to extend to those who come against me, and to walk in the freedom of knowing that I am flawed and equally loved.






I stumbled upon this scripture and this song today. There is no coincidence, God is doing a good work!  I can’t ignore the good work that God has promised to continue. He has so much to say to me, I only need to be still, and listen.

Psalm 103

1-2 O my soul, bless God.

    From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
don’t forget a single blessing!

3-5 He forgives your sins—every one.
 He heals your diseases—every one.
    He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
   He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
    He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.

6-18 God makes everything come out right;
    he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
    not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
    he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
    God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.
Men and women don’t live very long;
like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
leaving nothing to show they were here.
God’s love, though, is ever and always,
    eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children
as they follow his Covenant ways
and remember to do whatever he said.

“Freedom reigns in the place, showers of mercy and grace, falling upon every face, there is freedom.”

As I sit here, listening to this song and reading this Psalm, I can’t help but be OVERWHELMED by what I feel God saying to me. I’ve been in a very dark place these past few months, a place that God had me in, a place where I needed to actually SEE the darkness around me, accept it, and be willing to do the work to break it.  I can’t even begin to describe how exhausting it is to uncover YEARS of trauma and struggle and saying, “I have to deal with this now. I have to learn how to work through this.” All of my natural tendencies of fear and hurt are still there, it is not a work done overnight. But God’s promised the work that he began, He WILL continue. And I have hope, and I have faith. I have faith that I will prevail, that the bonds will be broken, that God will heal my heart, heal my mind. I have hope that one day, this will be over and there will be FREEDOM. Amen. (Let it be.)