I have a confession: I don't wear a dress every minute of the day. Obviously, I cannot. There are at least a few minutes of each day I cannot. Only the closest people to me (my family) are allowed to see me then.
Recently though, a situation arose in which I had to be dress-less. It was during the big snowstorm. My kids and I walked over to a friend's house in our neighborhood. I was wearing snuggly sweater leggings and rain boots and a long maxi skirt to which the dry and fluffy snow stuck. We played outside for so long; it was so fun. By the end, everybody was frozen and starving so our friend invited us in for lunch. I walked inside their house and realized the snow-covered skirt would son be soaking wet. I would need to dry it in her dryer along with the other snow-soaked items of my children.
"Amy, I have to be break my dress challenge code and be dress-less for a little bit," I said to my friend. She is gracious, not legalistic, of course understanding. I know she's not going to hold it over me. But I have to fight that fear, that fear of being known in a way that, until now, only my family may have seen.
I had to let her see me.
Women in Peoria Home will be seen by each other and the staff they see daily. It's integral to their healing. Walking the path of healing and wholeness isn't easy for anyone, especially those with histories of exploitation.
I am no expert, but I think a way to allow healing for people around you is to let people see you. It's healing to watch others heal and be vulnerable. I didn't always believe this; I thought the way to help is by showing others how much I had it all together. Make it look like I know what I'm doing and people will ask me for advice and then their lives will be better for following it. It's silly, and prideful. It's vulnerable to admit. But really, it's better to be seen as the imperfect persons we are.
For in being seen as we truly are, we can truly see others and love them for who they are.
I have been wearing a dress for 65 days and raising money for Peoria Home in Everett, WA. Want to know more? Click the "Clothed in Dignity" tab above or pledge to give here!