We were a mess.
I peeked up from my computer last night and saw you standing there. Your disheveled look caught my eye. You had food stuck in your grey speckled hair from dinner with our young children, consumed three hours prior. Your five o'clock shadow had disappeared, and was now approaching midnight. Your clothes were faded slightly and had several stains. You were a mess.
I gazed at you until our eyes finally met. They locked right away. I was also a mess. My hair was unwashed, it's frazzled ends tied firmly in a knot. I was still in my pajamas, which smelled like coffee from a spill that happened eight hours earlier. My scattered insides had been painted all over the house; broken pieces of me on display for you to see.
We were a mess. But in that moment when our eyes locked and my heart fluttered, all I could see was our beauty. The mess didn't matter. My soul was winking at yours in a way that effortlessly said, “I see you looking at me. I feel you loving me. I see you. I feel you. And I love you. Deeply. Fiercely. Relentlessly.”
I remembered the first time my soul winked at yours like that. We were both a mess. Your life had been a series of missed attempts at somehow piecing together a broken, shattered shell. My life had consisted of much of the same. I was a hurricane. You were a blazing hot fire.
Our eyes locked from across the room and I was instantly lost in your gaze. Something about your eyes let me know that in the midst of all my messes, I was still beautiful. Your eyes gave me hope when all I could see was despair. Your smile was a beam of light shining through the jet black sky. Through your eyes, I felt your soul kiss mine. It was a kiss that breathed life into a part of me that had been dead for quite some time.
Two broken, hurting, desperate souls. Lost. Alone. Afraid. Buried under messes bigger than the world that anchored them. Two empty hearts dragging these lifeless souls out from under the heavy cloud that had settled around them. Two sets of eyes opening the door for these hearts and souls to meet. Two souls connecting for a brief moment in time showing each other the beauty that lives inside the mess.
Sometimes I look at you and I get caught up in the mess. Sometimes my eyes don't see past the dirty hands, screaming mouths, juice stained carpets, and crumb filled floors. Sometimes I get lost beneath the mounds of laundry, long to-do lists, and the never ending toddler tornadoes. Sometimes it feels like everything is still a mess.
But when our eyes connect and our souls become entwined, I'm reminded of the beauty that exists between us. The beauty that lives in me. The splendor I see in you. The masterpiece woven together because of us.
Everything beautiful in my life started with a mess. My marriage started with two broken souls trying to clean up a mess. My breathtaking children came into this world a mess. My friends are my friends because I invite them into my messes, and they invite me into theirs. My career, my writing, my daily life is built on sharing, untangling, and creating meaning out of messes.
My life is a big, beautiful mess. I used to run from my messes, they made me feel dirty. They still sometimes make me feel dirty. But today, instead of running from my messes, I embrace them. I continue to practice finding the beauty beneath the mess. The beauty is always there.
Last night, when our eyes met across the room, you remind me that the beauty is worth more than all of the messes. Your eyes show me how to find it. Your soul lights the way.
We are still a mess.
We are the most beautiful mess.