It can be so easy to tell other women they look great, to not worry about a number on the scale or a clothing label, that the main thing is to be happy, to be healthy. We don’t see the cause for displeasure or stress or dissatisfaction, at least not for “So and so, because (insert listing of fantastic attributes and qualities here).” But turn the mirror on ourselves, in those “just got up” hours with hair mussed up from sleep and eyes barely open, and suddenly the number on the scale or the “pouf” of one’s abdomen becomes The Thing That Determines The Course of One’s Day. There are times when it is painfully easy to see your own flaws and signs of your failures.
Sometimes these comparisons are sparked by societal pressures – something which I don’t need to go into here in great depth, I think, as most all in Western society are familiar with the air-brushed/nipped-and-tucked/photoshopped standards of beauty. Never mind our own penchant for carefully curated and filtered sharing of our own lives on various online platforms. Other times, a spouse or close friend or family member has lost weight/shaped up and when we compare ourselves to them, we are aware of all the ways in which we do not measure up even as we applaud their own efforts. What we once barely spared a passing glance is now a flaw, a defect we must fix.
And I’m tired of it.
Now I know some will say I have nothing to be concerning myself with. After all, I’m on the petite side of life: I’m 5’ 5”, have a small-ish frame, and am in the 130 lb range.
But still – I’m tired. Tired of never being “slim enough” or “toned enough”, of being branded a failure if I’m anything less that “fit”. I’m weary of worrying about what I think my husband or family or friends or strangers on the street will think or do think about my appearance. I can spend so much time fussing with it and never be satisfied, never be content, never look past the individual parts to the whole and see a work in progress that adds up to a pretty nifty sum. Because I’m more than how I look, I’m more than what I do (and don’t do). I’m more than my victories or my failures. I’m more than my looks, more than my actions, more than all the labels I (and others) affix to me with varying degrees of success.
I am all those things, and more. I’ve been made and planned and accounted for by a God who deemed me worthy of saving when I was at my worst, by a God who saw every wrong and stupid and selfish thing done by me from the end of my days to the beginning of my days, by a God who knows every thing done and yet to be done that is good and right and true. And He loves me just the same.
I want that to truly be enough. To truly be a source of hope to carry on, to keep going, to keep me being better/stronger/wiser than the me I was yesterday, than the me I am today.
Let’s forgive each other for where we’ve compared ourselves with one another, where we’ve competed rather than encouraged, been a hindrance rather than a help, nursed our own insecurities rather than each other’s needs.
It will – we will – be better that way.