Wednesday, July 17, 2013

powerful words

I feel like I've come a long, long way in the journey of letting God teach me to love my body.  Apparently I still have a long, long way to go.  How do I know this?  Simple:  the voices in my head as traffic passes me when I am running.  Despite the fact that no one EVER calls out anything unkind, EVER...I still imagine it. 

I remember riding in cars with friends who made mean remarks about the way a runner's shorts fit or the whiteness of their legs or the jiggle in their caboose. 

I remember the endless number of mean words that women around me have used to describe themselves and others within my hearing.

I remember rude ways that celebrities get evaluated in popular magazines, no matter how thin and beautiful they seem to me.

I remember catcalls and dog barks from cars driving by me while I was out walking, minding my own business, twenty years ago.

I remember unkind words from the boy who made the most damage on my self-esteem, all before I turned 16. 

And I assume that at least some of the drivers going by are doing just the same.  Noticing the jiggle in my caboose and remarking.  Noticing the inelegance of my stride, the whiteness of my legs, the way I'm not shaped like anyone on modeling pages, and saying or thinking mean things. 

I mean, I don't obsess on it relentlessly.  But it still does make its way across my brain at least once, on almost every run I ever make.  I try to push it back.  I tell it that people seeing me slogging my way up those huge hills maybe RESPECT the effort, even as they see the extra weight.  I tell it that what others think of me is none of my business.  I tell it that I'm letting God change the way I love my body. 

And it lets go of me, generally.  Doesn't have the power to continually torment me that it had for so many years. does come back.  Pretty much every single run. 

I look forward to the day when I won't move through the world assuming that people are thinking or saying mean things about the shape of my body.  That will signal a really LARGE healing in that seems very far away at this point.  I have a feeling that the change is another "inside job" - that it's not about, "I'll feel better when I get skinnier."  I've seen too many skinny people feeling huge to buy that lie.  It's about letting Him finish the work in me...and meanwhile, not helping those voices. 

You notice, I didn't provide any of the horrible words here.  Didn't quote anyone.  Didn't get specific.  That was intentional.  I'm DONE repeating those awful things aloud.  Done breathing life into them by purposely dwelling on them.  When they come, I will continue to shoot them down with all my might - and I will trust that one day, they won't be able to come near enough for me to hear anymore.

I believe it's possible.  Some of you maybe never had that narrative in your head.  Some of you have it so loud that you cannot possibly believe it could ever be silenced.  I'm praying for you (and for me) today about this.

Meanwhile:  all of this is evidence of the incredible power of words.  PLEASE stop and think about what you are sowing into someone's life with your words.  PLEASE help others to make kinder choices in what they speak...most especially into the ears of the very young. 

After might matter...for the rest of their time here on earth.

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