Wednesday, June 11, 2014

We All Fall Apart

We all fall apart sometime. Or rather, the reality of it strikes us. Sometimes it's a myriad of tiny reality pin pricks and other times, it's a blow.

My friend posted this photo to Facebook last night.  That's me on the left.


I've been trying to un-see it for the hours that have passed since. It was taken the morning after a super fun triple family camp out.  

I don't always look angry, bloated, and exhausted. I usually don't wear my pajama shorts with the top half of my outfit, either. But, that's how things were when I got called outside for a group photo with a couple of ladies (and a baby) whom I absolutely adore.

Neither do I consider myself a particularly vain person, although I'm at least moderately vain-I think most women (and men) are to some extent. So, my inner reaction surprised me with its intensity.

I complain that Facebook is a place where people cultivate an online representation of their ideal self. Then, when a less than ideal version of myself is made public on Facebook, I'm thoroughly uncomfortable with it. Obviously, I'm as guilty as anyone else is of wanting to be seen only on my terms.

Seeing myself like this-it holds a mirror up to me that no ordinary mirror can hold up. I'm flawed. I'm a year away from 40 and I have to work harder and harder to keep things the way they've always been because I don't know what else to do. I feel like I can really, re-he-healllllly identify with Goldie and Meryl in Death Becomes Her.

Yes, I want to, need to, UN-SEE it.

What to do when the seams unravel? The outer seams, (wrinkles, bulges, gravity's pull) and the inner seams (anxiety, negative self-talk, fear)?

What brings the pieces together?  What silences the negativity and fear?   What reveals the beauty at the heart center?  

It's not a what, it's a whom...

Jesus.   It's that simple and that complicated. 

It's a daily, every hour, every minute, every second struggle to tune in to Him and tune out from the lies. Lies that say my value can be found in the most vulnerable and fleeting of places.

It's time for some Proverbs 31:30, my friends.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

I pray-for peace-acceptance that this is the way of time. 
I pray for gratitude-much of the reason I lose sleep and feel trapped in another person's body is because I have 2 little human beings I'd never trade for a wrinkle-free complexion or bump-less silhouette. 
I pray for Love-His Love, for me-that I would allow myself to receive it, that I would love myself enough to release unrealistic expectations and be joyful.  JOYFUL, I tell you! 
I pray for freedom-freedom from the desire to prove something, the endless striving for what's out of reach, from finding self value from anywhere I ought not be seeking, and from any other ideas that bind me and prevent me from being near to Him.

Does that mean I quit taking care of myself? Of course it doesn't-being healthy makes life more...just, more! And, putting an effort into one's appearance is rewarding-but, I do this for my own reasons. 

I'm sure one day a much worse image of me will be made public. That's okay. 

It's much less attractive to be held down in chains.


prettybyrdie said...

My reaction to this picture was: "Camping, the kids must have loved that." Upon further reflection, this picture does not really do you justice. Neither do the lovely, smiling and in focus pictures of you on facebook. None of them really show the things about you that I love. There's no picture of your ability to think outside of the box, your willingness to do anything for your kids, the fact that you accept people for who they are without judgement, (even friends who don't work out or wear make-up :) ) I wish we could all see ourselves the way others see us.

Val said...

@prettybyrdie, okay-totally cried reading your comment, thank you!!

Val said...
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