My dear women friends, It is so mighty interesting, this dance we dance with our bodies, isn’t it? Somewhere in those early years we became not only self aware, but body-image-aware. Do you remember those first thoughts about how you thought you looked? We all have war stories, don’t we? We are all overcoming.
Along the way we learn that our bodies are the vehicles that give reality to our hearts; flesh to our desires. We use touch to soothe, hands and mind to master favorite foods for those we love and eyes to cry alongside the hurting…all with our bodies. We use our voices to express and words of cheer. Even the miracle of pregnancy (I have five babies that grew inside of me… 5 reasons to view my body with awe and admiration.) Every fiber of us is a potential gift to those we love. All of what we have gathers in the green room waiting for a moment to be called to the stage.
I see at least 2 women among us. We sometimes even vacillate between the two.
One woman is so self-conscious, sadly downplaying everything about her physical body. She tries to mask this, but there is the depth of her angst that bubbles up in quiet moments. She gives so much more grace to others than she gives herself. Her feelings of inferiority underly every interaction. She doesn’t want to be this way, but she is paralyzed with self-hatred. She buys into the inward being the most important (which it is) but she uses this as an excuse for herself.
The second woman sees the less-than-perfect image but reconciles this dilemma. It’s hard to even pinpoint how. But she does. She purposefully accepts herself, so she can give herself away. She knows her potential. The good and the bad. She decides to be a “smiler”. To those she meets, she emits little pieces of herself, yet miraculously there is never less of her. She locks eyes and smiles toward her love, not always waiting for darkness, but unashamed in the light.
She focuses on this truth-that in her tangible body, she can give of the intangible. She smiles again and again and gives every inch of her physical body. Nothing reserved. This makes her vulnerable. But Powerful. Confident by default, not by faking it.
I want to be like woman #2, not wasting what I have to give.
Let’s not believe the lie that we can only give with depth until we feel perfect. Because the truth is, we never will. We will waste away waiting for perfect.
Somewhere along the way, we must give ourselves a gift…So, what is this gift that we need to give ourselves? We need to give the gift of proactive thankfulness. What is this? Well, I am presenting this option-the creative, hard-working, thoughtful approach toward our outward appearance while also having unwavering settledness and contentment about what we have in the moment. Thankfulness frees. Liberates. Living in thankfulness lets us live out the beauty we were created to share, renewing us from the inside out.
I’m not trying to sound insensitive, but it doesn’t really matter what your mother, sister, husband, etc, thinks about your body. What matters is what YOU think about your body. YOU have to be the guardian of thankfulness;the catalyst for wholesome thinking toward your body. No one else can do this for you.
It’s true, we are always working to up-keep this body shell but the truth is, this model isn’t designed for forever. But with our bodies, we have opportunities, places to go and lives to touch. Only with thankfulness will we be confident enough in our bodies, to be vulnerable; vulnerable enough to be beauty seekers and beauty givers in life.