Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Accept Yourself

First of all, I have not been writing the last few days because....well I have been in labour! Ugggh. It has been what is called "prodromal labour". For some women, labor is extended over days rather than hours. Contractions are regular and painful, however in my case they will last for 12 hours or so and then stop. Then they will start again, never getting strong enough however to get that baby out. One has referred to it as running a marathon in spurts rather than at a constant pace. The destination is the same, however the strategy of getting to the finish line is quite different. I am not having contractions right now however, so I figure it was a good time to make a post...then I am going to take a nap because I was up pretty much all night having contractions. 

One of my biggest passions and reasons for writing this blog is to help people understand what real beauty is. I am sure many of you have heard of the Dove campaign for real beauty where they display many different body types of women who are posing in their panties... Although, I can appreciate their effort and understand their objective, I think they are missing the real point. They are trying to show that a beautiful body comes in all different sizes and shapes. I agree with this whole heartedly however real beauty goes much much deeper than your physical appearance. First of all, real beauty would not be posing almost nude for millions of people. Real beauty is purity and virtue. Real beauty is a kind smile and loving hands. ANY and ALL women are capable of this. Like I have said, this does NOT mean that you will be admired by people for your beauty. You may just have to bite the bullet and accept that most people are going to think you are ugly for the rest of your life. In summary, it should not matter what you look like, but rather who you are. 

So, in no way am I discouraging exercise or a balanced diet. I am ALL for this, however having studied Health Education in University, I see health as much much more than just physical health. There are several aspects of health and too often people sacrifice their emotional health, their social health, their financial health, their mental health, their spiritual health or their intellectual health all so that they can focus on their physical health. Exercise and and nutrition are very important for a long and  fulfilling life, but it really does not take that much to be healthy in these areas. Much of what we hear in the media about exercise and nutrition is aimed at changing what you look like. I feel that most people disagree with me on this point, but I really believe that your appearance should not be of concern for you. This is probably the first time you have ever heard this, and can be a hard concept to wrap your mind around, but stay with me on this one. 

I have worked in the beauty industry on and off since high school and I always end up leaving it, because quite frankly I find it sad. You would probably die at the money that is spent on face creams to prevent wrinkles. Can our developed nations really justify spending hundreds of dollars each month on face creams when there are children dying everyday because they don't have food to eat!? 

I realize that the reality in our world is that physical appearance is soooooo important. I realize that. I don't foresee that changing either. What I am saying is that we don't have to buy into it. At some point in life you will get a saggy bum and wrinkles. You will not have a rock hard stomach, or flawless skin. If you don't believe me, call your Grandma. If you think, you will just not care by that point, I would beg to differ. I am confident that unless I stop caring now, I will care then. I know of a lady who is almost 90 and still obsesses about her weight. 

I am not God, but I am trying to help Him by helping his daughters understand why He loves them and what he expects of them. God loves you because you are amazing! You are sweet and caring and tender hearted. He loves you because you would never pass by a child on the street who is crying without stopping to offer help. He loves you because you bring create bodies for His children to come to earth. He loves you because you are HIS! You are His creation. I would like to believe that you would not criticize a gift that someone gave you in front of their face. That would be ungrateful and rude. Well, the reality is that your body is a gift from God, and you are always in his view. We would be wise to be grateful and treat it with love and respect. 

That was weird, I thought I saw an ant crawling on my arm... but alas it was just my mole... :) Anyway,   I hope that I am helping someone. I have seen too many people destroy themselves over this pressure to look a certain way. I have said this before, but not only is my immediate family and extended family plagued with these issues, I had a roommate die of a heart attack after starving herself. I took another roommate to the hospital and spent all night with her as she was hooked up to a heart monitor after her attempted suicide in which bulimia had a strong role. I had a friend addicted to laxative, another whose heart actually stopped for a moment because of anorexia but thank goodness she lived. I have heard others throwing up in the bathroom after a big meal, or spending hours at the gym. Not only have I seen these things, but I have lived in my own hell as well. It feels so good to slowly break free from it and release myself of all these pressures. I am learning that I am good enough. There is so much more to me than my body. I love my body. It allows me to express myself and enjoy the wonderful earth God created for us. Sometimes I look down at my hands and marvel how just a thought can make them move, or how my heart has been beating for 27 years without any effort on my part. What a gift! 

God, a long with my parent have given me a life. I am so grateful. I love my life. The love I have for my family and friends is overwhelming at times. Other times, not so much.... he he. But deep down I am so grateful for what I have been given. I love my body and what is had allowed me to do and experience. And, Finally, I am realizing that what I see in the mirror can never rob me of the gratification that comes from giving someone a big hug, or wiping away a tear. Even my fat swollen pregnant fingers can still do that! :) The number that changes on the scale will never have the power to change my ability to pray, or to listen to a friend who needs to talk. This is what being a beautiful woman is about, and when we let vanity in our hearts, it will rob us of these sacred experiences every time. 

I love you Daddy!

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