You know that gang, the "if only's"…. their mantra is all too familiar. If only I was thinner, If only I could fit into those jeans again, if only I had a personal chef, if only I was taller, if only my boobs were bigger, if only my boobs were smaller, if only my chin wasn’t sagging, if only I hadn’t stopped exercising, if only I wasn’t menopausal…then, fill in the blank with some answer that sounds amazing. I would be happy, I would be pretty, I would be confident, I would be content, I would be attractive, I would be fulfilled and successful.
This gang…they’re sly, controlling and FULL-OF-CRAP! They make us believe that in order for our beauty, the very essence that makes us special, for that to be "good" that it is dependent on some constantly changing target of physical perfection. The thing is though, these elusive criminals are constantly moving that target so that no matter where we are on our journey, we never seem to find acceptance or contentment. They catch us at a young age, bombard us with false thoughts about what makes someone beautiful or desirable. They dig their claws into our psyche deeper and deeper as we age. We don’t even realize we are ensnared in a trap, until we wake up one day and realize we’re embarrassed to go clothes shopping, we’re embarrassed to go to the beach with our family, we're mortified at the thought of a class reunion. We’re covering up from our partners, we’re avoiding social events and we’re putting ourselves down more than we’re speaking positively over ourselves, even in front of our children. Interestingly, even though this gang and their propaganda is fundamentally false, their influence over us as women seems to grow exponentially with each passing year of our life.
Ladies I get it. It’s hard out there to live in a world that worships images of beauty that are anything but organic or real. It’s challenging not to compare ourselves against, well, everyone else, or worse-our younger selves. We compare our waist size, butt size, breast size….heck I even compare my foot size now that those once tiny little protrusions on the outside of my big toes have started to expand. I mean forget the face lift I'm convinced I need, now I'm worried about shaving down the bones in my feet! (It’s my daily elevator ride to the 4th floor at work where I notice everyone’s feet…and then I look at mine and all I see is that my feet are noticeably wider than the average bear). Sigh. It takes incredible focus and prayerful intention to avoid falling into the comparison trap.
But that’s just it…IT’S A TRAP! And it’s hard as hell to get free from.
The truth is ladies….WE HAVE TO FIGHT from falling into it in the first place. If not for ourselves, for the younger women coming up behind us. They need us in ways they don’t even know yet…to pave the way of self-acceptance and self-love that goes AGAINST the grain of this world. We were designed for greatness, to do great things, to love in great ways, to change this world for the better. We MUST destroy the traps that seek to hold us back. Fill those pot holes with truth, expose the “if only’s” for who and what they really are...liars. Set ourselves and those younger deserving beautiful women up for a blissful journey in this life, SO THAT we can move confidently forward and be the amazing women we were created to be.
And we need each other to do it. Ladies, HERD-UP!!!
We are fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who adores us. In fact, He loves us SO MUCH that he chose to die so that we may live. And he loves us…AS.WE.ARE. Just as we look at our children and see through our loving eyes toward them only that which is perfect, so does our God see us. So do our children see us. So do our friends, family and partners see us.
Why? Because that is EXACTLY the way love sees. Love dives right through outward imperfections (defined only by our society as imperfect) and sees the purity and awesomeness of the heart and soul.
We have to root ourselves in this truth. Marinate our thoughts in it daily. We are BEAUTIFUL! Thick, thin, tall, short, dark, light...there is real-life breathtaking beauty in every one of us. There is love and story in every curve, scar and wrinkle. May we learn to treasure these and celebrate them with reckless abandon.
This is not a commentary on physical health. We should never stop pursuing a healthy self…ever. I’m only proposing that as we travel through our journey of life, wherever we are on our physical journeys that we cannot be held hostage in a prison of discontentment that requires some moving target of physical perfection in order to be happy, satisfied, confident, content. Because it’s NOT TRUE. Like, not at all true. Not even a little bit true.
Our beauty is transcendent, it comes from within and impacts the people around us in the most profound ways. We exude it from our souls...through our smiles, through our hugs, through our words, through our actions. Don’t believe me? See Psalms 139. Don't believe God? See what 19 of our male counterparts have to say on the topic here.
So ladies, steam roll right over the “if only’s”…expose those clowns for what they are….NOTHING! This world NEEDS YOU, it needs ALL OF YOU, ALL IN this game, ALL IN your life. Let your beauty out…and as you’re letting yours out, don’t forget to remind those ladies around you that they are beautiful too. We’re in this together...Just remember…
Your friend, Darcy