Do you get scared of seeing those scars, marks, folds, cellulite, wrinkles and other real or imagined imperfections on your body? Ever chosen to stand in front of a mirror bare naked. I did. I gathered my courage and looked at myself… bare. However, just as it may not be easy for some of us, I opted not to look at the areas I didn’t like. In fact, my eyes looked without seeing those parts and moved on swiftly to areas I didn’t have any problems with. In my view, there is a reason God placed certain parts in the back, not for constant viewing. You know, areas where one can see the cellulite and all.
Here are my fears… I may not like what I see. I don’t want to look at those areas that will take so much effort to work on. And yet, it is very important for me to face my scars and imperfections. For they are part of me. And I can do something, like eat right and exercise. And for those that I can’t work on, like scars, I must live with and accept them to have a happy life.
Mirror, mirror on the wall.
Facing your issues head on is daunting. Take for instance, social media. It is a rare day when a less than perfect pic is posted. We don’t like posting what is ugly, we don’t like looking at what we consider dirty or imperfect. We post pictures that depict a good life, a life that others can only admire. And for those who post the ugly, well, the ‘likes’ or lack thereof tell it all. Society doesn’t approve.
And yet, it is good for us to look inwards, at ourselves, and assess those areas that need to be worked on. To have a conversation with our own selves. To ask, are we who others think we are? Why do we feel the need to hide our past or current lives? What is this that we are ashamed of? Why are we afraid?
Meditate. Spend time alone. Face who you are. Journal. It helps you reflect. As an aside, I haven’t been a fan of that process. I don’t like the silence that comes with it, because I am afraid of what I will hear. But I know, as I’ve come to understand as I grow older, there’s that appreciation of doing it, and doing it more. It is a spiritual discipline. It gives you a chance to think deeply. To focus. To have perspective. It sets one free.
My second date with my husband was a moment to remember. We talked a lot. After a while, he came clean, laid his life bare. It was such a surprise. I didn’t expect him to tell me all he did, much less on our second date! After much prayer, consideration, research on his past and consultation with a few older people, I got to know the truth about him. I was now in a much better to place to decide about him.
It reminds me. My family recently hosted a German girl who was on an exchange program in Kenya. Of course, the house was neat, but let me not lie to you. I was very concerned about the house needing to look perfect. I removed the things that I deemed not necessary out of sight. And that’s what we do many times. We cover our (perceived) shame. We go to great lengths to cover the (ugly) truth about our lives.
Seeing only what you want to see is destructive. Choosing to overlook your mistakes isn’t good for yourself. Being true to yourself is hard. But be you. Be real. We worry about what others think of us. Many times people actually don’t care. Therefore, worry not. You know your strengths and limitations.
Have wholesome conversations and speak the truth. Let Jesus take over your life, for you to have a meaningful, impactful, enjoyable and a role model life.
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. ~ Thomas Jefferson
But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. Psalm 3:3