…and other totally rational choices and decisions I have made.
Not too long
after my mid-life crisis, ahem, I mean, after we had our “bonus” child at an “advanced age,” I turned 40. I’ve never feared aging or the number attached to it, but realized, too, I had spent a lot of precious time at war with myself. As a result, God and I had a few words. His were, “Adrienne, I love you. It’s time to start loving yourself.”
Thing is, as long as my memory served me, I hadn’t ever been my biggest fan. Never “good enough, smart enough, skinny enough, pretty enough, disciplined enough…never enough: whatever.” But, I figured since God made me and not the other way around, maybe there was something He wanted me to know deep down inside…like all the years I’d preached and ministered to other women about how much God loved them exactly as they were was something I was supposed to believe myself?
Like, just being born and existing was enough…simply because God made me.
Part of learning to love myself was to spend time soaking in God’s truth over me, what He said about me, rather than all the lies I had believed about the worth and value of my soul as it related to the beauty industry.
It’s shallow to admit, but authenticity is an aim and practice of mine, so, there you go…all of my teenage years I spent hours upon hours looking through TEEN and SEVENTEEN magazines, truly believing how I looked merited even more hours of my time and mental capacity.
Some lies die hard.
During this time of exploring what it meant to love myself, I started a separate blog called, “Confessions of a 2nd Grade Closet Eater.” It helped me to compartmentalize my head and writings there, apart from blogging other stuff. Well, it was over on “Confessions” that I had a personal epiphany. God showed me the moment when I was a kid where my journey of self-loathing was birthed…and that, out of fear. You can read all about it here.
And fear still creeps…it’s all around us everyday. And lies swirl. They are ours for the taking…or not. We don’t have to believe.
I don’t have to believe! Most lies I don’t believe anymore. I don’t base my value and worth on whether I’m 5, 10, or whatever amount of pounds off my healthy, comfortable weight.
There’s miraculously more to me than whether my jeans fit nicely or not.
Plus, there’s yoga pants, holla!
But, I have days like just a few weeks ago when I bought 4 cute tables…you know, for the house we don’t even have because I wanted to purge and be free of stuff…but I couldn’t afford NOT to buy them. You know what I’m sayin’? But this, all because I was getting too far ahead of God’s plan and I wanted to know what will happen at the end of this “Graveswold” season…so I bought tables…duh. Wanna buy a table?
And then there was that time a few years ago when a friend mentioned she had free botox and I was so busy looking down, inwardly, at my own thighs, rather than up and out and around me at this beautiful life, that I endured painful pricks in my forehead…because paralyzing the muscles in my forehead would obviously make my thighs stronger faster than actual lunges and deep squats…duh.
Or what about the time I bought Frye boots because my mom died? Or that thing on the end-cap in Target, because it was on sale…or when I “rewarded” myself with a sweet treat because, by golly, my jeans fit again? WTF?! Or that time I tried to fill my longing with any number of things other than just sitting with the pain, the fear, the unknown, and letting God and I wrestle with it a bit…knowing deep down, He’s my Source.
I can try to rationalize why I’ve made some of the irrational choices I’ve made over the years. And I can beat myself up about them. Now I can even raise my eyebrows at some of my choices. (get it? get it?) Or, I can accept that some days are harder than others…every day requires intention and mindfulness…each and every day is new and a gift from God, and one more day to live out of loving myself.
(photo: pixabay user, Ben_Kerckx)
(*This post is part of a 31 Day Writing Challenge I’ve taken on to exercise the art that I love. If you are just joining, you can catch up on this “31 Days” page. Also, just for fun, Dayspring is offering a $500 shopping spree to readers of those participating. THAT’S YOU!!! Starting October 15, running through the 31st, you can enter here each day for the giveaway…watch for the button, and good luck!)