I love me some Tieks. Whoever thought a pair of flats could be so awesome? They are freaking expensive. But I wear them just about daily – so for me – it’s been worth the investment. I suppose ripping a hole in the nice soft refined leather with a gigantic steel door corner is probably the best metaphor for today I could have. Because I’m not even gonna lie…it’s been a tough one.
And I’ve challenged myself to put it all out there. Not just the pretty. Not just the healed. But the rawness of life that we all experience – but rarely talk about.
I’m good at doing it with large audiences – like on my blog. But struggle to apply genuine vulnerability to my closest personal relationships – the ones that really matter.
And true to what God does…when I say I want to work on vulnerability in the intimate spaces…He gives me more than enough opportunities to work it…and work it well.
The nice pretty leather? Ripped wide open.
Under the leather sit 5 sensitive little toes. Had the shoe not provided protection, there would have been bleeding. And although my toes are sore, no wound is visible. I suppose I’ve walked around with a beautiful pair of Italian leather Tieks – per-say – on the entirety of my person. Sensitive areas never seen by the eye or susceptible to wounding – because a nice soft shade of protection covered them up. And that’s been ok. It’s worked for a while. Like I said – I like my Tieks.
But wouldn’t it be weird if I never took them off? If I came home and continued to wear them rather than transitioning to barefoot (my fav mode at home). Or wore them in the shower? Or to bed at night? There’s a time and place for shoes, and a time to take them off. Even the very most comfortable pair of shoes gets cumbersome sometimes. Especially when toes feel squished and start hurting.
And my emotional toes have been squished lately. In every way-shape-form. I’ve kept the leather covering in tact, because if I let the sharp edge of the door hit things just right – I might bleed. And I don’t like bleeding. No one does. But reality is, sometimes fragile places need to breath. And sometimes while breathing, the edges might hurt. And I’m not saying run barefoot through a parking lot full of glass. That’s just crazy. But in the safety of our own homes – in the intimacy of our closest relationships – it’s ok to take the shoe off and let your soul breath. To accept a few sharp edges and trust those you say you trust to manage and sit with you through any bleeding.
It’s not only ok, in fact it’s necessary.
And through this process of life’s ups and downs we have all sorts of opportunities. To look tough. To accomplish things. To make people proud. And it’s all well and good. But most of us would admit those aren’t the things we value in our loved ones the most. We value the time spent with our shoes off. That’s where the meaning lives. That’s where true friendships and relationships are born and maintained. In the raw real places of a raw real life. So imma go home after a long day and take my shoes off, and let my toes breathe. Because barefoot vulnerability is what life is made of.