26 August 2009

This Body

Some days I survey my own body and I am not exactly pleased with what I see. I begin to play the ultra-damaging Compare Game. Particularly when I find myself on a sandy beach surrounded by bodies. Barely clothed, flesh-in-excess bodies.

So I find myself playing The Game. I pick apart body parts, compare my untanned self to the perfectly tanned supermodel splashing near me. I realize I am too short and too flabby. I think I am not toned enough, my hair is the wrong color. Are my ears even aligned correctly? Why can't I have a little more here and a little less there?

When I surrender to this slippery slope of self-pity, I pretty much am ready to volunteer for the kids to bury me neck-deep in the sand and just leave me there.

I know I need a reality check and I know I cannot rely on anyone else to pull me from this sand pit I volunteered for, so I try to remind myself of some truths.

These are not in order of importance.

Guess whose image I am made in? And I can basically guarantee that the point of that copycat image is not the outside covering. It's not all about the way I look in my mirror. Thank you God that there is a holier standard than that.

My beauty should not come from the stuff I drape across my body. I believe the exact words are your beauty should be "that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." So the tan will fade, the body will sag, the ears may indeed be wrongly aligned, but the gentle and quiet spirit will not fade. Oh, I like that. A beauty that lasts. And doesn't change from season to season like the whims of fashion.

And there's another one too. This body, this God-designed, ear misaligned, shorter than I would like, body has done some incredibly amazing things. It has been remarkably healthy for thirty-six years. It has navigated me through years of highs and lows and neutrals. And, most impressive of all, this body that I continually take for granted and disparage at will, has supported the very life of four magnificent little humans. They could not exist without it. What's more, this body has sustained those four little lives for the better part of four years in total as those tiny humans grew and thrived from this body's nourishment.

It's not just a body, really. It's a miracle.

I guess it all depends on how you define beautiful.

Now that's the kind of truth I need to drag my sorry self out of the sand pit I dug and to embrace this body and all its features, good and bad, saggy or toned, big and small.


  1. That's a new twist I hadn't thought of before in the "body acceptance" struggle. Appreciating all that your body HAS been for you . . . especially in light of health and abilities and the birthing of children. Very cool perspective.

    And I'll be looking closer at those ears : )!

  2. I struggle with the body comparison thing pretty much every day. Thanks for the reminder that it really isn't about what's on the outside that matters so much. God created us just the way we are and are beautiful no matter what mistakes we make or how our body changes. Great perspective!

  3. confidence is the most beautiful thing a woman can wear :-) - i struggle with that a lot, but i'm trying. in the end you can't change to be more like someone else...you can just be you. a character in a movie i watched over the summer mentioned the "moronic beauty of youth"...i like that line. it reminds me there are many types of beauty and you don't have to be young, toned, tan, or anything in particular to be beautiful. you just have to be you.

    - t

  4. besides, i think you're really and truly gorgeous, and you're right, all the more beautiful for being the amazing woman/wife/momma you are. i love you miss lacey :)
    -becky nifong