Over the weekend, I ended up with a rather large scratch over my eyelid and cheekbone from our pup. It’s not the first – and definitely not the last time – she’s left a mark on me from her overly excited playing, but it was the first one on my face. And after the pain and tears subsided, my initial thought was
what will people think when I go out in public?
And that simple idea struck a chord within me, making me question if I was truly living the right life if that thought laid on my shoulders. Did it matter what they thought? Did it matter if, or when, I were to be judged? Did it matter if they assumed something completely false and drew conclusions about me based off of this simple temporary mark?
The easy answer is no, but my actions reminded me I felt differently. I internally battled the task of covering it with make-up, silently running through the contents of my make-up holder, wondering if I had enough creams to cover it up when we ran our errands later in the day. I thought about having Nathan run all of our errands while I sat, and most likely pouted, at home.
Ridiculous things ran through my head when I should have been grateful I was wearing glasses or that I was able to close my eye in time to shield it. Vanity encompassed me. I felt shallow and saddened by my need for a stranger’s approval. I was disappointed in myself.
In the end, mascara was the only thing I put on that day in a mere effort to push myself to stand up for what I should believe in. And by the time we came home, I realized I felt more at ease in my own skin than I ever had. I had accepted myself and that was all that I needed to shed my need for acceptance from those I don’t even know.
Despite the fact that it’s still there and still healing, leaving a dull ache where it lays – I’m glad it happened. I’m sure it didn’t cure me of my vain thinking, but it did remind me to seek out acceptance within myself – not within others.