It’s been said that most of life is simply showing up, and maybe it is. But in my experience, really showing up is anything but simple.
If showing up is dragging my body from one event to the other without collapsing on the floor, I show up with shocking regularity. Now, that wasn’t true for most of 2003, but in all fairness, I was living in Detroit, so I think I should get a pass for that year.
But when showing up meant having the courage to actually start this blog, I stalled out for more than two years.
I have always said I love writing, but I wasn’t actually writing. I wasn’t actually writing because I was afraid. (I also wasn’t actually writing because whenever I sat down to write, the unholy trinity of twitter, facebook, and email were more irresistible than bacon).
Confession: I was afraid that when I sat down to write, I would realize that I wasn’t actually a writer. Not writing was easier than facing that down.
But I started this blog. Suddenly, I was writing. I wrote a few posts before I actually started the blog. People call this “banking.” You bank a bunch of posts, so that you won’t fall into despair on that Monday morning when all you can think to write about is how sad you are (and subsequently embarrassed about how sad you are) about Downton Abbey.
Then I started publishing my posts. And suddenly, the only thing that mattered in the world was, “Do they like me?” I became obsessed with checking facebook likes and numbers of unique visitors and comment notifications.
Showing up for me has been to write, then to notice how obsessed I am with what other people think, then to feel horrified about how shallow I am, then to check twitter again for retweets. Then to think about how that might be a good blog post (which, you might have noticed, is the subject matter of this post). And then to write.
What is it for you, to really show up?
To show up in the areas of your actual life that really matter means you will need to face “it” down. What are you afraid of? Have you named it? For me, it’s that I’d write and nobody would notice, which, as I have stated, kept me from writing for two years.
God meets us in those places. The Scriptures speak of almost nothing else: people were afraid but showed up anyway, and when they did, God met them there. Abraham, Hagar, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, Esther, Mary… even Jesus. God meets us when we show up afraid.
So show up. Then feel insecure. Then compare yourself to someone else who is “doing it better.” Then cry out to God. Then keep showing up. Then eat bacon.
I wish we could show up and just be awesome, but we’ll probably be a little pathetic.
Show up anyway. Showing up and being a little pathetic is way sexier than being perfect and staying hidden.