look this way.
act this way.
be this way.
don’t look like him or her.
don’t act like them.
don’t be this or that.
constant questions driven by media and society lead us all to think who and what we are is not right and should be changed – at all times. the influx of beauty, fitness & health products flooding our news feed subconsciously (or consciously) encourage anyone reading it that something is wrong with them that needs to be fixed, altered or bettered to be accepted.
and again, no one is intending to cause this spiral every time they post; nor am I saying that it isn’t good to take some time to look in the mirror and check where you’re at in regards to your health and well-being. this process is vital and necessary for growth, no doubt. however, what i am saying is that most of us don’t just make this a once in a while occurrence.
we pick & prod weekly, daily and even – hourly. we are looking for every type of angle to showcase not even to others – but to ourselves that we’re not enough in one way or another.
and i’m honestly sick of it.
i’m tired of focusing on what the world or the mirror may say is wrong with me and others. because to be frank, both will always find a flaw in me and you.
so how do we keep looking in the mirror and yet have the strength to walk away knowing not everything we want to be better is going to happen overnight?
dictionary.com states grace as “the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.”
free; without cost or payment
unmerited; not deserved or merited
favor; an act of kindness beyond what is due or usual
we didn’t do anything to earn it nor have to do anything to receive it. the hard part i think is us accepting this and being okay with not only bestowing it on others – but allowing ourselves to receive it.
when i was 14 i looked in a mirror at JCPenney in Midland, TX and had the thought that i was “fat” for the first time in my life. I remember it clearly – those things you don’t forget. all the other girls going to the Valentine’s dance could shop in juniors – but i was shopping in plus size. i was mortified and wouldn’t even let my mom in the dressing room.
if you were in there and just looking from the neck down, you would have thought it was just a little girl twirling in her pretty dress. but once you saw my face, you’d realize with every twirl i found one more unsatisfactory view of myself and that result was one tear of defeat after another.
i hated myself. my body. my glasses. my curly hair. and because of that, two days later i threw up my food for the first time and continued to do so for more than 5 years.
flash forward to that girl over a decade later and because of grace i know now that i’m in process. what me at 14 didn’t know was that perfection wouldn’t heal the pain or protect me from future hurts. those come regardless of pant size, am i right?
but why share now? well, today all of this came to a ultimate circle.
as i walked by a mirror in my living room this afternoon, i stopped myself in my tracks. i couldn’t believe it.
no make up, sports bra and yoga pants and i all i could think was…beautiful.
and immediately i had a flashback to that little girl twirling in that plus size dress. though no fancy dress or twirling was involved this time, there were tears and these tears were no longer of an unsatisfactory nature – but appreciation.
appreciation that the girl looking back at me is no longer halted or taunted by the things she isn’t or wasn’t – but now am fully resting in the identity of who i am and whose i am. though i still question and will continue to most of my life i assume #human, i have found that i am getting quicker and quicker at choosing to find the answer that is rooted in truth – not lies.
grace to see beauty in the process. trust to know we’re not alone in it either. and that’s also the fight. the fight to choose to see beauty in the process and trust that there are people with us in the journey of sanctification. that’s how we beat perfection in this rat race of society; we daily tell ourselves that when we fall, we only have on option: get up and fight again with the strength of His grace alone.
i pray that if you’ve read this far, this blog has given you the encouragement to find your strength in grace. to fight perfection by choosing grace for yourself. if you’re going to look in that mirror for a long time – find 3 things you love about yourself and say them out loud. fight perfection with the process to choose to see the beauty in whatever chapter you are in right now.
i promise, as you begin this journey you’ll grow to love yourself more and with that – love others around you and enjoy the days you’ve been given a bit more. anyhow, what do you have to lose? insecurity? fear? doubts? worry? yeah, okay – nothing, we’ve got nothing to lose but a lifetime of confidence in who and whose we are to gain.
p.s. the founder of We Are Unveiled gave us all this quote at our last staff retreat – and as i was making my coffee that i drank while writing this, i saw it and more tears fell. it’s perfect and reflects everything this blog says in a fewer words.
when you start to feel
like things should have
been better this year,
remember the mountains and valleys
that got you here.
there are no accidents
and those moments weren’t in vain.
you are not the same
you have grown and you are growing
you are breathing, you are living.
you are wrapped in
and things will get better
there is more to you than yesterday
-morgan harper nichols