I stroll through Kirklands without a care in the world. My children were at home with baby daddy and no one was trying to break anything or poke each other in the eye or play tag amongst the breakables. Honestly, it probably wouldn’t have mattered if I was looking at horse manure. I was kidless and it was quiet and it was glorious. Out of nowhere I caught a glimpse of a figure. A slim but shapely, beautiful figure. For a brief second I didn’t realize that the figure was me…but distorted. I stood there with my head slightly tilted trying to make out my own reflection. This was magnificent! It was like the best Instagram filter ever right in front of me. I couldn’t stop staring at my thighs, they were so thin! I can’t imagine how I must have looked to the other customers. I soon realized that this full length voodoo mirror was tilted upward. It was an optical illusion and I LOVED it. I immediately thought, “Ahhhhh if only that were real. If only that were my true reflection.” I felt deflated as I walked away…and my thighs inflated back to their normal, fleshy reality.
Today’s challenge was to identify the negative self talk that plays in our head and begin a 5 step process to change it. I immediately thought about my encounter with the magic mirror. The truth is, I have been much thinner than the mirror portrayed. Unfortunately, I can’t remember a time when have I been satisfied with my body. If I actually had the thighs in the mirror, would I have been satisfied?
I remember going through nursing school, learning in depth details of the human body. I was shocked that anyone could know the intricacies of how our anatomy worked continuously in perfect harmony to sustain life and not believe in God. Our bodies are perhaps the greatest work of art ever created. We have been given a gift far better than all the riches in the world. My eyes have seen the most beautiful scenery from nature. I have visited ancient castles and tasted the best wine from their sprawling vineyards. I have felt the ocean waves and enjoyed the sun’s warmth on my skin. My nose has been able to smell the natural sweetness of my son’s skin where his forehead meets his thick, curly hair. My eyes have seen the beauty of a baby coming into this world. My body has carried 4 humans. I will forever cherish the privilege of seeing my husband’s face as the church doors opened and my daddy walked me down the isle. I watched him mouth, “I love you” and saw him biting his cheek…a trick I knew he used to hold back tears. Almost 15 years later, I’m hoping those were happy tears. I have used my hands to give life saving treatments and provide comfort and care to my patients as a nurse. My body has never failed me. It is truly a gift. A gift that I have never fully appreciated. I can only imagine giving someone the most amazing gift my human hands could muster, only to repeatedly hear complaints about the way it was made. My body is so much more than what society has brainwashed me to believe is acceptable.
My plan of action seems simple, although I know this will not happen overnight. I will catch these negative thoughts as the first step in the process suggests, and I will slowly but deliberately change my flaws. Not the dimpled flaws on my thighs, but the thinking that has caused me to see my life giving, beautiful gift as less than.