Let me start by saying, “I’m not sure this warrants an entire post.” However, I need some feedback.
While looking through FB profiles of my peeps, several times I found myself asking, “Why are they standing with all of those ‘older’ people?!” Only to realize that it was someone my age. We may have even been in the same class?!
This thinking presents a problem (of my own making of course!). Is it me? Do you do this? Do you look at other people your age and think, “Wow! When did that happen?! When did we get so old?!” Do you think to yourself, “Do I look that old?”
I’m guessing you are thinking that I am a self-absorbed wretch. And I get that, but let me ask you this… Have you ever thought these things? Am I the only one?!
As you know, I do not have a healthy relationship with food. Some days are better than others, but I would never call it “healthy.” My internal image of myself resembles something like this…
Some days I feel thin and beautiful and other days…not so much. I realize that this all points back to “SELF.” Ewww…that word alone makes me feel spiritually dirty!
Don’t laugh! This really has me thinking…Am I completely delusional? It is strange that, depending on the day my perception of myself varies between super toned, 20-something hottie and unfit, can’t buy clothes in a regular store, couch potato?
I am extreme. I’m fully aware of this. There is no happy medium in my world. It’s rather exhausting really. This is why I have tried to rid myself of my, what I like to call, “Extreme behavior triggers.” These are the things that make me act like a lunatic, obsess constantly and end up rocking back and forth in a corner not knowing how I got there?!
This is why complete sobriety (aka abstinence from alcohol) was the only way for me to stay sober (what’s a buzz anyway?). It’s literally why I only stop drinking coffee when my hands start to tremble indicating that I’ve had enough caffeine. It’s why I went to rehab instead of college. All or nothing. Go big or stay home. All in. Any of this sound familiar?
That is why I had to rid myself of this atrocious thing. Raise your hand if you like to get up every morning and base your day off of what this little beauty says. And then, for a lot of us insanity types, we step on it before we go to bed!
SO, I haven’t owned one of these since…well…since I was alternating between starvation and puking my guts up on a regular basis almost 10 years ago. What does this say about me? That ignorance is bliss? That I’m refusing to look at the truth? That if I don’t know, I won’t care?
That is nonsense. Of course I care. However, I have to retrain my brain to care the way that my Creator wants me to care. NOT the way the world says I should care.
It took me a long time to learn this, but I can say it with all clarity in this moment.
Are you listening?
His opinion is the only one that matters. Did you hear that? Say it. Even if in a whisper. His opinion is the only one that matters.
Some of you are thinking, “here she goes with the whole religious bit.” Wrong. For me, it has nothing to do with religion. It has everything to do with redemption.
One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 139. When I stand before the mirror, first thing in the morning and last thing at night, I commit my perception to Him. I stand fully stripped of all that I feel hides my imperfections and I pray this verse;
7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight?
…You’d find me in a minute— you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.
13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
What do you think? Could you do it? Would you do it? Are you willing to approach the throne of grace completely uninhibited?
If you’re not a throne of grace kind of person, are you willing to stand before your reflection, stripped of all the things you use to hide? Including excuses?
Try it. And then come back and tell me about it. Don’t be scared. If I can do it, anyone can!
Photos were borrowed from my trusty friend, google.
Hi Joy – You have been on my mind a lot lately. We’ll probably see each other soon. 🙂
I love this piece you’ve written. Every time I read it I cry because it touches me so deeply.
Thank you, Carrie.
I have been walking through some life changes. I sure would appreciate your prayers.
I would love to see you soon. Maybe coffee?
I appreciate your feedback on this piece. Thank you for sharing that with me.
Love and Light,
Joy, I have shared my struggles with food, labels, body image in my blogs. I love the way you talk about these things so openly. I also love the way you share your faith and don’t preach. 🙂
Thank you, Cathy!
Your encouragement means so much.
I don’t ever want to preach 🙂
Almost my entire adult life, I have been a size 3 or 5. Then, a couple of years ago, I had a complete hysterectomy. With no hormones and hitting 50, I gained several pounds and have not been able to shed them. This, along with the fact that my husband is 9 years younger than I am, caused me severe depression for a long while. I was afraid he would no longer be attracted to me. I began to pull away from him in shame. The ONLY way that I was able to overcome this vanity and deflated ego, was to make sure that I spent some time every day in His throne room. I let the Lord minister to me and leaned into the Holy Spirit for comfort and strength. It took a while, but I finally have made peace with my body and my age. I, now, truly believe that I am fearfully and wonderfully made! Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability in this post!
Thank you for sharing this.
It’s so hard, isn’t it.
Those of us who grew up in church would hear, “It’s not about what you look like, it’s about what’s on the inside.” All the while judging each other on appearance and status.
It is wonderful to hear that you have made peace with yourself. That’s huge! I also really like how you worded it about spending time in His throne room everyday. There really is no better place to be.
Love and Light to you friend.
I almost let my insecurities destroy my marriage. I finally had to decide if I really believed what I said I believe about the love of God. I realized I couldn’t believe it for others, but not myself. Whenever I feel those old insecurities rise again, I go right to the throne room and get up on His lap for a while!
You are an inspiration and an example of what can happen when you refuse to fall victim to the lies.
Good morning — or whatever it is there. Probably afternoon. 10am July 8 here in Brisbane.
I don’t know your age, but I don’t think that matters. I’m in my mid 50’s and I sometimes wonder — do I look that old? My loving wife says I am a handsome man, and I know she believes that.
I’ve had problems believing good things about me — courtesy of a really tough upbringing where there was not a lot of love, but an awful lot of meanness from my mother.
In terms of age, I think that I look much younger than what I remember my dad looking at the same age. Maybe it’s because society has progressed to where we have better healthcare, but at the same time, stresses of every day life have probably increased since his time (he was mid-50’s in in the 80’s)?
I’ve struggled with the food issue as well — still do, though a recent diagnosis of diabetes has in a lot of ways changed my lifestyle — for the better I must say. BUT — I still struggle. In times of high stress (which I am in right now), I find myself going off food, which I know is not good. So I force myself.
I really can identify with what you said:
“However, I have to retrain my brain to care the way that my Creator wants me to care. NOT the way the world says I should care.”
That is the essence of it I think — to not worry what others expect, but to do it for yourself. No matter what the issue is, it must be for YOU. Go for it!!
Now, time for some breakfast (I slept in this morning). 🙂
This is great! I’m so glad you commented. It’s 8:15 p.m. here, BTW 🙂
I wish we could reprogram our upbringing. The first time I stuck my finger down my throat was in the 4th grade after my grandmother said, “Now you don’t want to be a chubby girl, do you?!” Um, duh, of course not!
Thankfully I have a man who thinks I’m a hottie even though I’m a few sizes larger than when we met. I was 16 now I’m 35 and have had 3 children! (I can justify anything.)
I think it’s so great that your wife tells you how handsome you are. That is important. But as I’m sure you know, we must believe those things for ourselves. There are times when I am really struggling that I offer up the phrase, “I am beautiful and wonderfully made.” I will repeat it until my mind stops harassing me. It’s a dangerous place to be, between my ears!
It makes me sad that your mother was mean to you. I’m raising two boys and I would love any helpful thing you could say that you wish your mother had provided for you growing up. It’s easier to know those things for my daughter, because I’m a girl. For my boys, I want them to have a strong faith, daily rid themselves of shame, inflicted by themselves or others and understand that love can come first even while keeping their masculinity.
Thank you for reading and commenting. Truly. It means so much.