While I was waiting I sipped on my coffee and attempted to read a book on my Kindle (to all the book purists out there, I was once one of you, Kindles are awesome) but every time I would try to read a sentence I would get distracted. A new person would walk in or walk out. Humanity was happening around me and there were behavior patterns that were too interesting to ignore.
I happened to be in one of the more trendy or "Arty" neighborhoods of the city. Not affluent, but young creatives would wander in and out. It was a coffee shop. A hub of culture as it were.
What I found to be so interesting was how desperately people wanted to be accepted. To fit in, to have the right "look", to be told "you're cool, you're one of us." And whenever that desperation was evident then these people were "not cool."
Nearly everyone there had the right clothes, right shoes, right hair, right facial hair, right tattoos. Perfectly filling the uniform, clearly spending allot of time and effort to put forth the appearance of not caring what anyone else thought.
Personally, I've always been more comfortable in the role of the "outsider". The new guy, the guy from out of town, out of state.
Watching all of this effort and all of the unspoken tension of wanting to belong, worrying what others think shows how clearly we are made to live tribaly. Every one there was looking for there tribe and hoping for acceptance.
I strongly contend that the feeling of being completely and unconditionally accepted by another "warts and all", is one of the closest things that we can get to Paradise on this side of the paper sky. Being understood and loved regardless of not having it all together, regardless of our shortcomings makes us better. It makes us want to be more fully alive and more accepting of others.
The challenge is stop seeing how someone isn't enough (cool enough, smart enough, funny enough) and accepting them as they are. As you long to be accepted and understood yourself.
Also be willing to accept yourself...warts and all. To have any kind of mental stability give yourself grace, give yourself love. Allow yourself to believe that the God of all creation actually and really loves you as you are. Not as you could be, not as you might be some day. But as you are. Right now. That He would be willing to let His son die on a cross for the person you are.
I believe in you. I really do.