Have you wondered recently how we became so discontented with our body images? Is there anybody out there who can actually grin in her skin, no matter what it looks like? I'll have to admit, I'm one of the multitudes who are discontent. (I'm not saying we should all audition for "How to Look Good Naked", but maybe be a little kinder in our personal critiques.)
On a recent trip to Wal-Mart, I noticed a pair of people walking toward me. The first thing I noticed was it appeared to be a grandmother and a teenage grandson...walking (and talking) together...in Wal-Mart! While my heart was warming, something else caught my eye.
The woman was dressed very casually, jeans and a sweater. She had a fashionable haircut, and wore very little makeup. Not exactly ordinary looking, not runway gorgeous either. But there was something distinctive about her.
As I watched the pair come toward me, I noticed the boy looking at the woman frequently. Without breaking stride or conversation, and without exception, he would straighten his posture, and walk a little taller.
That's when I looked at the woman more closely. She could obviously "grin in her skin". Grace in gray hair, she casually strolled the aisle with as much poise as royalty. And the boy walking alongside her was taking it all in. It was glorious!
Can you grin in your skin? I'm not sure I ever have. I also have a bad habit that perhaps we share: "dissing" myself. While teaching in a very harsh, challenging secondary setting, I got into the habit of referring to myself as this "fat, old, white woman." What! Having been called much worse by students, I figured it was better to beat the students to the punch, figuratively speaking of course.
Oh my gosh, Dear Reader, I can't tell you! I began walking taller, and grinning more. at least on the inside.
Kelly is an extraordinarily kind person, and maybe she didn't really mean it. But you know what? It doesn't matter! If not an outright grin, Kelly's kind words made me smile.
It gets even better! Because of the confidence Kelly's kind words gave me, I decided to take a chance. For Vocations Day during Catholic Schools Week, I pulled out my Bobby and Bonnie shirt, that had been too small since I ordered it, and tried it on. Guess what? IT FIT!! And you know what else? Since proudly wearing my B & B shirt to school last Thursday, I'm even more motivated to keep making healthier eating choices. Thank you so much, Kelly!
What works for me is to DELIBERATELY try to tell "sisters" something specifically attractive about them. Our words are incredibly powerful. How they respond isn't my concern. What works for me is to "do unto others, ...," and that includes affirming myself. ("Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14 NASB)
What makes you grin in your skin? How can you help others do the same? Have you formed the empowering habit of giving yourself positive strokes?
This week I'll be linking this post to Giving Up on Perfect and Coffee for Your Heart.