Teenagers and zits are the far less appealing equivalent of peanut butter and chocolate – they just seem to go together. We’ve all had bad breakouts, usually at the worst times: right before a high school dance, before our senior pictures, or right after we get our braces on.
Breakouts are never a pleasant experience. Nobody is eagerly awaiting their first breakout, or their second, or if they’re me -- their 157th when they’re 23 and their face still erupts every month when mother nature takes its toll and they repeatedly have to reassure themselves “breakouts are better than pregnancy” as they drive their ass to the dermatologist and Sephora to try to get rid of their new friendly face craters.
Pimples are a lot like the baggage we carry around in our own lives. We all have it and it’s caused from symptoms similar to that of acne: genetic/family backgrounds, environments, what we put into our hearts and bodies, hormonal/emotional imbalance and external products that we subject ourselves to. Being hurt is a part of life – it will happen, but when we carry it around as baggage it starts to fester and infect our little hearts with the nastiest underground zits that are filled with unforgiveness. Yuck.
We all try to cover it up and to some extent this is actually a good thing -- I don’t think walking into a meeting with the execs at Target corporate with either a massive zit (like the ones teenage boys watch explode on youtube videos) or airing out your emotional baggage for everyone to see would help anyone. When we get home from work we get to wash our faces, take off our makeup and put zit cream on so that our imperfections aren’t as obvious to everyone and their cousin.
However, that’s not what we do when it comes to our emotional zits. We don’t clean our emotional wounds. We don’t purify our heart’s skin. Instead of doing the wise thing and actually dealing with the infection, we cover it up with cheap, knock-off drug store make up that doesn’t match our skin tone: poor relationships, alcohol, bad friendships/community or enter-your-vice-of-choice-here.
What happens when you don’t deal with a zit? Well, it gets bigger. It starts to hurt. What was once just a beastly mofo taking up face space starts to distract you during your day at work. It starts to make you irritable because you always know something is off. It’s a glaring reminder that your cute little face isn’t living up to it’s photogenic potential.
What you were once able to cover up with some good quality foundation could now easily be mistaken for a small tumor and you’re past the point of treating with topical chemicals. You’re pretty much a ticking time bomb for a nauseating explosion of puss and infection at any moment. You can try to pretend it’s not there, but you’re not fooling anyone honey—we know it’s there. We know you’re kind of embarrassed by it. It’s the elephant in the room.
Unfortunately, a lot of us don’t choose to deal with our gross, nasty, abscess baggage until its too late, even the lightest amount of pressure is unintentionally applied and there’s an explosion. I know this first hand and wound up with metaphorical wound on my face and a very real wound on my heart as I looked back at myself through a grime covered mirror – splatters of anger, bitterness, and sarcasm driven from a place of hurt not humor were everywhere and I couldn’t even fool myself into thinking my cheap, drug store makeup could hide it anymore.
What’s worse? That explosion of baggage – the nasty, obvious popping of the infection of our hearts – doesn’t even prevent us from doing the same thing again. We continue to put bad things in and on our hearts and recreate the cycle over and over again, creating unsightly scarring which can disfigure our hearts .
Eventually I gave myself a pep talk and said, “Babe, you’re better then this, ditch the Walmart stuff, we’re going to Bare Minerals and ordering you some ProActiv face soap because Adam Levine said it works, and a man that fine can’t be wrong.” (kidding, I hate Walmart, but for illustration purposes...)
So then what is the solution to treating our existing eyesores and preventing future whiteheads? Deep cleansing forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily change your circumstances immediately, but it frees you from a continuing a toxic lifestyle that only hurts yourself and others. It doesn’t change the past, it doesn’t change your genetics or circumstances from childhood, it doesn’t reverse the pain that others have inflicted on you – but it gets in the pores of your heart and frees your life of a cycle of toxicity that has the tendency to turn others away and isolate yourself.
It doesn’t come in a little magic bottle, but it also doesn’t need Katy Perry to endorse it to drive sales. It speaks for itself, and there is no downside to it. It cleans you, inside out. The other day I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time and she asked me “Kelsey, what is different you are like extra pretty and like glowing,” to which I responded “Honestly, I’m learning to let it all go, and just be really, truly, happy. It’s like an emotional detox, and it’s the BEST.”
I'm a fan. Forgiveness rules.