In case you’ve been living under a rock or don’t have social media, a best seller came out this year by Rachel Hollis entitled Girl, Wash Your Face. I haven’t read the book, but I have read like a zillllion quote memes from it and a few articles saying why it’s bad, so I feel like I’ve read it.
But I haven’t. So let me be clear about that. Let me also be clear about why I haven’t read it: because everyone else has. Perhaps that’s a terrible character flaw, but I get real skeptical when everyone gets excited about something, especially when that thing becomes the hot new inspo for internet memes and literally ALL the friends in your FB feed who run an MLM business quote it like the Bible (I also run an MLM business with Monat, so I can totally say that. I am in it and I am still skeptical.)
This is the kind of quote, taken from Rachel Hollis’ Instagram, that gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Yeah, no. NOPE. I really don’t. I do not actually believe that I get to decide that. Hollis’ book was published by Thomas Nelson and I think it’s supposed to be sorta-kinda-Christian, but this kind of “You’re the master of your own destiny” stuff put forth by Rachel Hollis in her book and in her talks and on her social media accounts rubs me the wrong way. Because if I’m a Christian, I’ve accepted that I’m not the Master of my own destiny, and that my dreams (OH, the MEMES ABOUT DREAMS on Hollis’ insta!! Oy.) are secondary to God’s plans for my life.
So there’s that. But there’s also that…sometimes, life sucks, and bad things happen to good people, even if they love Jesus, and even if they are doing the right things. YES, you can absolutely choose joy even in hard circumstances, and the Bible even commands this. I think some of the Rachel Hollis quotes like the one I posted above are even sort of meant to convey this. But I also think they miss the mark.
Sometimes, life happens TO you, and washing your face isn’t going to change that.
Through blogging, I’ve made friends with lots of wonderful wordsmiths over the years, and so when I opened my Facebook feed this morning and saw a big old photo of and post by fellow blogger Meredith Ethington, of Perfection Pending, I immediately read it. I could tell it was a long post and when Meredith has something to say of this length, it’s always worth reading. But…she had me hooked at the first line.
I’m going to write a book called: Girl, Don’t Shower For Days. Life sucks sometimes. We get you.
YASSS. As I read on, Meredith put words to what I had been feeling about the whole “Girl, Wash Your Face” craze. Here’s the photo she used, with her words in their entirety.
“I’m going to write a book called: Girl, Don’t Shower For Days. Life sucks sometimes. We get you.
Your kid threw up all night or you just lost your job.
You’re getting a divorce after investing in a 15 year relationship or you don’t know how you’re going to pay your bills this week. Maybe the toddler is just toddlering and making life hell or maybe IVF didn’t work again.
Life sucks sometimes and it’s OK not to feel positive about it. It’s OK not to be able to pick yourself up right away and it’s OK to sit in grief or pain as long as you need to.
It’s ok to read positive quotes and not feel an ounce of positivity.
Life isn’t always about being positive and life will be peachy. Sometimes life doesn’t fix itself. Sometimes life means you can’t wash your face or your lady bits for days.
Sometimes we have to do the hard work and it gets better and sometimes we work so hard and feel like we are just stuck spinning our wheels.
I think – as cliche as it sounds that’s what makes life worth living. Life isn’t summarized with a positive quote or pick yourself up by the bootstraps mentality all the time.
Life can be excruciatingly hard. It’s not fair. It doesn’t always work out.
Incredibly strong people still struggle. That’s what makes them strong.
So if you’re struggling right now, and not feeling super positive about things – it’s OK.
There is still hope. It may not come on a letterboard quote on Instagram and it may not be easy. But know that feeling your pain is part of this life that IS worth living.
It’s not as easy as washing your face and bucking up. I wish it were.
It’s more about relying on a friend to carry you.
It’s about allowing yourself to feel so when it’s over the joy will be that much sweeter.
It’s about finding your people even if it’s just a smile from a stranger in the grocery store that helps you put one foot in front of the other today.
It’s about being part of the human race that was meant to lift each other up. Not just do it all alone.
Yes, you’ve got this. But not because you are just gonna wash your face and get it done. You’ve got this because life is worth living and there are people everywhere willing to help you push through the hard stuff.
Look for them. Pray TO them. Don’t struggle alone washing your face. Be dirty. We won’t judge.
Because that’s life. And we get it.”
All I can say, is, thank you, Meredith! And let me be clear, again: Meredith has nothing against Rachel Hollis and she’s not trying to get at her. Neither am I! Neither of us are interested in tearing a successful woman down. (Also, another oft-repeated Hollisism is: “Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.” I agree with that one and it leads me to believe that she doesn’t give a rip what I’m writing here. SO yay! Everyone wins?)
But (I’ll speak for me and not put words in Meredith’s mouth) I am super, super interested in giving other moms HOPE in the midst of their hard, especially when the pervasive message they hear and see on social is “You control it. You choose it. If you’re not happy, it’s YOUR FAULT. Paste a smile on and good things will come your way.”
Because for many of us, that’s just not true. What we can choose, believe in, and cling to, is Christ. And He has promised that if we trust him…then the peace and joy will come.
No matter the cleanliness of our faces.
(P.S. – Meredith also wrote a book called Mom Life: Perfection Pending. GO check it out on Amazon!)