I spilled wax on my dining room table this morning. Crap! I hope that doesn't damage it I say in my head. And yet, what if it does? We have a beautiful wood dining room table with matching chairs and china cabinet. We have had it for years. And for years, we covered it up. We protected it from the kids and well in light of my oops this morning, from us as parents too. More and more recently we've been leaving it uncovered. Eating on it, having tea at it, studying, reading the paper and my favourite, decorating it. I always have an array of plants, flowers, candles and now, smaller table runners instead of table clothes. It looks beautiful and inviting. It is a gathering place for our family.
This has made me think about all the beautiful things about ourselves that we cover up. The amazing things inside of us that we protect. We go out into the world with our table clothes on. And in my situation, layers. Three of them. You can all groan now as you think about the padding, table cloth, and then the dreaded plastic. Yes, layer after layer, we cover ourselves and protect ourselves from the outside world. And in that we hide our beauty.
What would it be like to laugh more at work? How much damage could we suffer if we shed a tear or two at the office? If I was to show compassion to another person standing in line at the grocery store, it might make me be late. To show someone how much we love them makes us vulnerable.
Yes, there are scratches and dents in my beautiful table now. Each one of them however has a story. I don't know about every story, but I do know that combined, they tell a story of how much our family loves each other. How a coffee cup set down a bit too hard might be because we are worried about what our kids are doing. A scratch might be a result of someone setting something excitedly on the table to show it off. And the tons of tiny little dents are from all the family dinners together tell about the connection we have. Uncovering the table has allowed it to hold and tell that story.
Imagine showing your beautiful self to the world. Yes, there may be some scratches and dents along the way. But you create an inviting place to draw people to. Employees might actually want to work for you, feeling more engaged and connected. Your boss might be more responsive to your requests for additional resources. You might get better service at the mechanics shop, grocery store or doctors office. Try taking the layers off and see what happens.
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