how to give yourself grace to be who you are

gold flutter sleeve wrap dress

dress: who what wear collection | shoes: michael kors | bag: similar | sunnies: karen walker

Hi, babes! Today we’re going a little deeper than just my outfit deets. Although, if you’re looking for a versatile dress, this dress is it. This wrap dress (comes in hot pink, too) is great for work or play. I plan on wearing it to work this Fall, but I also think it would be perfect for a wedding dress guest. I kept my tones neutral (duh), and paired it with some of my all-time favorite heels. Y’all, these heels look so tall, but they are ridiculously comfortable and come back year after year! If you’re still not convinced, opt for a shorter block heel sandal.

gold flutter sleeve wrap dress

Anyway, the older I get the more I realize that life truly is a journey. With each day and each new season of life, we are shaping our character and slowly becoming more of who we are. Lately, my dad and I have had numerous conversations about this and about what it is to be truly loved. We’ve concluded (with the help of some brilliant people we’ve read along the way), that to allow yourself to be fully loved you must be fully yourself. Sounds easy enough, right?

Unfortunately, I would argue that most of us struggle to be fully ourselves; it’s our human nature. One of my devotionals this past week talked about this very subject and posed the question, “what are you faking?” At first glance I felt defensive, and immediately answered in my head that I am not faking anything. But, as I dug in I realized how easily we can all “fake” a little. All too often we fake our financial status, we fake the true health of our marriage, we fake details or exaggerate details in a story to make ourselves look better, or we fake something as insignificant as what size pants we wear. Can you relate?

So how then do we stop faking and live as our true selves every day? It’s not easy, but it’s possible to get close! I am a complete work in progress, but I had a revelation recently that’s really helped me to not only give others more grace, but to give myself grace, too. My revelation is this – we can be two things at once – even two opposing things, and that’s okay. Meaning, we don’t have to stuff ourselves or others in these tidy little boxes and slap a finite label on it.

For example, I don’t have to put myself in the box labeled “fitness failure;” I can be content with how my body looks AND still have aspirations to look more fit. We don’t have to put ourself in the box of “always single; ” we can be content with being single AND still feel frustrated we aren’t married yet. We don’t have to put ourselves in the box of “childless;” we can feel as though we are living God’s plan without kids AND still desire, ache to have babies. Someone can hurt you AND still deserve forgiveness; they can still be trying their best under their circumstances. Since having this little revelation, I’ve had multiple conversations with my friends about this thought and it’s been so enlightening to engage in this type of discourse.

It’s been amazing to see how much easier it is for me to give other’s grace. It’s freed me up from so much judgment both of others and myself. I can love myself for who I am, exactly where I am – flaws and all, and still set goals to be a better, fuller me. This freedom to accept myself for exactly who I am has given me courage to be my full self with others. I have been and will continue to strive to be an open book with my friends – to talk about what I struggle with AND what I’m working on without a hidden agenda of making myself seem like I have it all perfectly figured out. So, who’s with me? Can we accept ourselves for exactly where we are in life and who we are? Can we give ourselves enough grace to be fully ourselves? We so can! Let’s go babes!

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photography: maribel morales