Becoming Approachable

(c) Monique Pearson Photography, Design by Renee Fisher

[Monthly Columnist – Rebekah Snyder] – Maybe beauty has nothing to do with it. Maybe instead of focusing on making ourselves beautiful, we need to focus on making ourselves approachable.

I wonder if I’m the only person who thinks how ludicrous this is.

Me. The girl of whom it was whispered around the youth group, “Don’t mess with Rebekah, man. Her dad will snipe you.”

Me. The girl who spent five months avoiding two guys who would eventually become some of her best friends. Thankfully, they patiently pursued her until she finally agreed to attend their silly Christmas party – just to get them off her back.

Yeah, I know all about being approachable. I know it’s what I’m not.

In the months following that infamous Christmas party, I learned a few things about myself. As I slowly surrendered to this persistent tag-team, I discovered just how hard it is to put yourself out there and allow someone else to get acquainted with some of the deeper parts of your heart.

I froze up like a deer in headlights on more than one occasion.
I retreated back into myself more times than I care to count.
But then I realized something…

If I wanted these guys to be a part of my life, I was going to have to let them in.

I know, I know. It was such an obvious, simple revelation and yet so difficult to practically apply to my life. Because letting them in would mean making myself approachable. It would mean that I had to start volunteering some of the information they worked so hard to get. It would mean that I would be forced to step outside of myself and approach them sometimes instead of always making them be the ones to come to me.

It was hard.
Sometimes it still is hard.
But it was worth it.

Those moments where I’m asked a question and I have to struggle to find an answer are worth it. Because I’m still learning what it means to let someone into my life. I’m still becoming approachable.

I think the reason I was a loner for so long is because, all my life, people have walked in and out of my story.

I’ve lost count of the “best friends” who have forgotten all about me as they drifted off to do their own thing. Because I’d grown so used to people floating in and out of my life, I convinced myself that I didn’t actually need people.

But the truth was that I was afraid.I was afraid to open up and really be honest with someone who could choose to walk away at any moment.

When you dare to share your life with someone, you give them the potential to hurt you. That’s a fact.

Making yourself approachable means making yourself vulnerable. It means opening yourself up to rejection and heartache. But it also means opening yourself up to joy and friendship and blessings.

And when I think of the many incredible people who are a part of my life now because of that Christmas party I didn’t want to attend… Well, it makes me thankful for the people who take the first step. It makes me want to be the kind of person who takes the first step.

So here’s to the people who dare to let themselves be known.
Here’s to the people who would take a chance on someone else.
Here’s to the people who live open-handed.

Here’s to becoming approachable.

Rebekah Snyder is more approachable in her writing than in face to face conversation, but she’s working on that. You can get a glimpse of this rare, vulnerable side of her by reading her book Beyond Waiting or stopping by her blog