For anyone who has known me for any length of time you all know that I hate shoes. I LOVE being barefoot. It is not only for the comfort reasons of not being confined to a shoe or being able to feel the ground beneath me, it is a symbol of all I feel life should be and who I want to be. I live so much in my head at times, constantly thinking. Being barefoot helps ground me literally and figuratively to the here and now. There is something so raw, simple, beautiful, and freeing about being barefoot.
When overwhelmed, being barefoot reminds me of the big picture. What I may be going through, while real to me in that moment, in the big scheme of things is not so big. I have so much less stress or things to be overwhelmed about than others. I have so many blessings to be thankful for. Being barefoot re-connects me to the world around me, opening my eyes beyond what I see right in front of me. It opens my eyes to the beauty beneath my feet and helps me zoom out on the current picture to see the many other things around me to be thankful for.
When life seems chaotic and I can’t keep up, being barefoot reminds me to just breathe, simplify my life and just be. Don’t worry about keeping up, being this or that for everyone else, kick off my shoes (aka the many roles I play) and just be free in that moment to be me.
When I feel I’m not good enough, being barefoot reminds me that God made me exactly the way I am and loves me just as I am… raw, broken and beautiful. Like the cracks in my heals and the chipped nail polish of my toes, I often feel cracked and chipped on the inside. Taking off the shoes of life that bind us, that we hide in at times and presenting ourselves to God and others vulnerably not being afraid to share our cracks and chips is so freeing and so healing.
I so often try to be everything to everyone I meet, putting on a different kind of shoe to be the best I can in order to meet the needs of that person. I am naturally a very high achiever but not because I want to be the best but because whoever I am serving/helping deserves the best. As an introvert, putting on these shoes is like acting. The roles I play often require so much that I have to act different than the way I feel on the inside. At the end of the day, once the shoes are put back in the closet, I often feel worn out and wonder if anyone truly sees me, the heart beneath the smile. The one that is struggling with my own thoughts and emotions but hides the pain by putting on different shoes. I so desperately want to be in a place in life where I can just be the barefoot beautifully broken simple me.
I want to be wild and free not held back by my own self or duties of life, where I can live minimally and simplistic, going back to life where sunsets aren’t missed and sunrises aren’t distracted by the congestion of traffic and horns beeping. Where life is simple, not easier but simple. There is something about farm life that is so beautiful and intriguing to me. Though I don’t foresee myself ever living on a farm, I appreciate it. I love the idea of living sustainably off the land. You work hard and you reap the crops. You see God in the simple things and are less hurried, less worried, less distracted. That’s what barefoot symbolizes to me and that’s what I want to be. Seeing God in the little things, living more simply with less stuff, living raw, more grounded, being less hurried, less worried and less distracted. I want to be the barefoot me.