I was staring at the chipped white nail polish on my fingers. “Good thing its white” I thought to myself, “that just means its easier to paint over.” So I picked out a darker red color, one that would easily cover the white polish and began to paint my nails. As soon as I finished, I looked at them in dissatisfaction. I couldn’t see the white obviously but the polish was all bumpy and i could see the outline where to white polish was. I was annoyed now I had to take all the polish off and start all over.
I decided I would do it right this time. Start with the base coat; wait for it to dry. Put on the first coat of color; wait for it to dry. You get the point. I’m pretty sure most of you have painted your nails and know that it is a pretty tedious and lengthy process to do it correctly. And if you are anything like me, you usually get impatient and bump them while they are still wet or get a finger print on them or something like that. So as I am sitting here waiting for them to dry I drifted off into my thoughts.
I was thinking about school work, actual work, struggles, hardships, anger, wounds of the past. My mind was spinning so fast, and it couldn’t stop. I couldn’t get out of my head. “Snap out of it” I told myself. This brought me back to reality long enough to make the connection between my nail polish and my life.
I was thinking about one of my biggest fears in life: that no guy would ever want me. I’m not fully sure the root of this fear, but I know I sometimes drive myself to the point of insanity over it. I’m not pretty enough, how can I make myself prettier? I’m not skinny enough, how can I lose weight quickly? My teeth aren’t white enough, my skin isn’t clear enough, and so on. Then I got scheduled to work with one of the prettiest girls who all the boys talk to. I immediately put my guard up. There was no way I would let myself believe that she was actually nice or a good person behind her outside beauty. So I took the easy way out; I made myself feel better by putting her down. I painted over the chipped nail polish.
So often this is what I do. I see the chipped nail polish in my life: the lies, the anger, the hurt, the insecurities and I paint over them. I slap a new color on them so I don’t have to actually look at it. So I don’t have to take the time to work my way down to a clean slate. And guess what? The result is a bumpy, rough, and crackled end result. Its an incomplete end; it needs to be redone and the only real fix is to take it all off and to start with a clean slate. Once you have that clean slate it takes time to produce the end product; lots of layers and lots of patience.
Friends, that is life. It does take an extra effort to work for the clean slate rather than just paint over things. That clean slate is then just the first step. The road to the end can be long and tedious, but it is totally worth it. Think of that feeling when the top coat of your perfectly manicured nails dry and you are like “wow, they look so good” and then if you are like me you stare at them for the rest of the day. You are so glad that you took the time to do it correctly, and that it also lasts so much longer than when you just slap on one coat over your chipped nail polish. Don’t just slap some polish to hide the chipped nails in your life. Work for the clean slate, be patient in building on that slate, and relax in the peace and joy that comes from the final product.
Photo Credit: behindthemirrorbeauty.com