My younger son wanted me to take pictures of his toy Camaro so it “looked real.” Okay. I had no idea how to take pictures of a toy so it looked like a real car, so I ignored the request, thinking it would go away. Hahaha. Funny. The request not only didn’t go away, it became more frequent and urgent. Finally, after about a week, I took some pictures of it in front of their toy firehouse. The bright primary colors of the firehouse didn’t scream “real” and the carpet under the tires, though dirty, wasn’t real enough. So, we took it outside.
Yes, we took this prized toy Camaro outdoors. I set it in the street, stretched out on my belly and began my photo shoot. We took pictures from many angles…doors closed, doors open, back view, side view…you name it, we did it. Cars drove by. I’m sure people thought I looked strange, but I don’t care. My son was beyond excited.
He wanted his car to look like something it wasn’t. I can think of periods in my youth where I was the car. I thought the right clothes would make me popular. A different hairstyle (or a hairstyle at all) would make me likeable. I wanted my outward appearance to cover up who I really was: a shy, insecure girl who felt her personality wasn’t enough of a draw.
I’d like to say that image creating stopped with adulthood. That’d be a lie, though. I clean the house when I know someone is coming over. Yes, I work, parent the kids, and my house is clean, too. One of the kids experiences behavior issues (they tag-team this one). Everything is going well. Yes, the kids are good. When someone asks how I am, I say fine even when I’m not. Do you really want to know that I feel like crying right now?
I find it interesting that we all struggle, but we guard our troubles like a poker hand. We don’t want to admit that we can’t do it all. We refuse to acknowledge we could use a hand. We don’t discuss the weak links in our lives. Instead, we perpetuate the myth of control by projecting a false image. Imagine how much more at ease we’d be if we allowed our flaws to see the light of day. If we saw others struggled just as we do, wouldn’t we be freed from the pressure of living up to their image?
At least God knows where we are broken – we can’t hide that from Him.
From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been by refuge, a strong tower against the foe. (Psalms 62:2-3)
Have a beautiful Sunday!