I’ve decided to go barefoot this summer. It has been my habit to always wear high heels for one reason or other. Usually it has been because, as my friend Dr. Haffey once told me, I am “keenly aware of people and the fact that [I am] being watched” (i.e. ‘honey, you care too much…’). It gets a little overly stressful, this pressure to be perfect. Just as soon as you think you’ve reached the mark in one area, another starts to fall. It’s not too unlike the never-ending body-tone battle. Unless you’re willing to pay for the plastic surgery, humanity is a hopeless cause.
What did I do when I finally realized perfection was a myth? I ate a piece of chocolate cheesecake… and then I went through the 7 steps of bereavement: shock and disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and finally, acceptance and hope. Acceptance because the only other option was continued denial and perpetual unhappiness. And hope because, praise God, my flaws have redeeming value. I WILL be perfect someday. (Philippians 1:6; I Corinthians 13:10)
I had to ask myself, “why do we love art?” No matter how many times I’ve sketched what appears to be the perfect representation of what I chose to depict, there are always flaws. I could strive for years to sketch the perfect drawing of an eye and I may get close but the mistakes will always be obvious to me. Pablo Picasso is famous for completely distorted shapes, colors, and angles. Why do art critics appreciate the guy? I’m probably going to seriously offend the art connoisseur’s thoughtful, deeply contemplated evaluation when I say this but I’d have to say most of us have an underlying appreciation for redeeming flaws. We value the effort that goes into creating something meaningful… of expressing something with a gift that may be under appreciated in the artist’s time. It’s not perfect. It’s unique. Just like us. We can relate!
I know the connotations are negative when the term “special” is used but think back with me. Did you ever play Mall Madness as a kid? (guys may not get this reference but oh well) You hit the button when you go into a store to make a purchase and suddenly you hear those words that always made you smile; “You get a ‘special’ clearance!” That’s the feeling of acceptance and hope. You didn’t lose anything after all! It’s almost like you just won something. (We optimists are special, bright-siders. “Losing” isn’t in our vocabulary.)
As Oscar Wilde once said, “One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.” High heels are definitely a wearable work of art but, along with the new mindset, I’ve chosen to be the former. Which is why I’m going barefoot. (: