Right now my daughter is learning this sad truth. When we see it in those we love, it looks so much more menacing. She is 12, her body is changing, her thoughts are evolving. And in a world prolifically portraying unrealistic expectations, it will lead to a skewed reality. Even as an adult, I have to constantly remind myself that images are altered and most of what we see simply isn't true. Sometimes, I wish we lived in a world with no mirrors. Girls spend precious time in front of them criticizing the beauty that God himself formed to be them.
It's an epidemic. I even find myself caught up in the sad side of being critical of people! We are much too easily decieved, and ensnared.
Sitting in the church foyer I hear women discussing their dissatisfaction with their bodies. We must stop. We have to set an example. We have to learn to love our bodies if we are to teach girls to love theirs. You know as well as I do that we can talk until we are blue in the face....but if we don't BELIEVE what we teach....it is all for not.
I've actually started seeing a counselor for my body/food issues as well as past problems. I'm trying to seek help to get fixed. It's a big, scary step. But in my heart I know it will not only help myself, but my family as well. We try to fix everyone around us, but it's often too uncomfortable to work on our own issues. For the longest time, I felt it was selfish to work on my problems. What I've come to realize is it is actually the opposite. Working on my problems better equips me to handle other problems, and help others, in ways that weren't possible before.
My prayer for my daughter, and all girls, is that they may see themselves as God sees them. As something priceless, beautiful....loved. That is my prayer for all of us.
Once I went to a ladies retreat where the speaker talked about how much it bothered her when her "roots" showed and how she didn't want to even go to an even because of it. She did say she ended up going and felt silly for it. What have we become?
Ladies, let us shed this vanity. Let us wrap ourselves in the light of our Lord and let His true beauty be ours.
Now, don't go crazy on me, and tell me we are supposed to become Amish-like. In a way though, I think they have something right. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look nice. But it is a fine line we walk between wanting to look nice and making our bodies our god. Do we spend more time on our physical bodies, than on our soul? Let's step back and look around us.
If you are reading this, know that I am praying for you. It's a long fight, and we are all in it together.