Body image can be a monster! Whether we think we’re too big or too small, especially when we’ve been “fine or foxy” before, our view of ourselves can really mess us up.
I dare you to love you right where you are even if you don’t want to stay there, and not hide who you are. Medicines may affect us. Babies will change us. Illness can alter us physically, but none should change our minds about how beautiful we are.
Your Girl Angela❤️
Between the social media attacks on celebrities like the AMAZING Gabby Douglas, having young nieces and nephews going through the trials of life also known as growing up, remembering my own childhood and reflecting on my more recent adulthood I’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes people don’t like you. Gasp! I know that’s shocking.
It’s as simple as that. Sometimes people don’t like you. Now, I’m not talking about those things about you which you know (or maybe need to know) needs some serious work from On High. I’m talking the no explanation given, and none coming kinds of people who simply don’t like you because they don’t (even though we know there’s usually a reason and it’s often something which has nothing to do with you). Sometimes people simply don’t like you for absolutely no fathomable or reasonable reason at all. Guess what. That’s okay. That’s their problem. That’s their loss and that’s not reflective of you.
Too much investment of time in wondering and wanting to know why can become consuming. Too much talk about it can cause internal chaos. Too much defense of it can become contaminating. Too much thinking about it can become crippling. BUT just enough confidence in who you are and how awesome God made you, coupled with sympathy or empathy for whatever must be going on in their lives and minds, added to the right amount of focus on those who absolutely like and love you, mixed with a willingness to pray for them and forgive even before they come to their senses or not, and a big, hearty dose of that inner “I can’t be bothered” is the anecdote to dealing with the imperfect people who don’t like the imperfect you.
You know you have flourishing self-esteem when you whisk your head around to say “thank you” after hearing what you think are whistles only to find out it’s actually real, live birds just doing their job of tweeting in trees. (I promise you, those birds sounded so “fake”. I just knew they were humans…LOL!) Not to be one easily swayed by the whistle, hiss the, occasional “Hey Girl” or my all-time favorite from the University of Alabama Quad…”Hey, Ms. Lady”, I did want to be polite to whomever I thought was using that age-old method of complimenting and at least wanted to smile in my best southern way and say “thanks”.
I laughed, really hard at myself after this experience. I laughed even harder when I shared this with a friend who almost choked laughing then begged me not to repeat this story. Of course I did choose to repeat it, hence the purpose of this post. There was a time when I would never have assumed a whistle was coming my way. Now, let me be honest and clear, those times were rare, as my parents did an excellent job of instilling in us to the best of their ability as we received it the importance of healthy self-esteem. However, bouts with life sometimes deal a tough blow which can taint even the most perfect balance of esteem and humility.
There have been times when I would have kept on walking either with my head down (not in a good way) or my head up (in an even worse way) after hearing the fake, yet really real whistles because I thought I was too tall, too thin, too big, not dressed my best, or even too good to be admired by the type of person who has the audacity to whistle from a street (those were the days when the “stay humble” struggle was real for your girl). So as I hopped down 3rd Avenue North in Birmingham, Alabama in my Old Navy deal of the week with an orthopedic boot on my foot and wind-blown hair that had to be rewashed later that day because I failed to condition it and it showed, nothing in me said that for whom the whistle whistled wasn’t me. I knew it was.
So many times we let life tell us who we are, how we are and what should be expected. I expected the whistles to be from an admirer because that’s what I expected. Simple and plain. I dare you to expect. Expect the best. Expect to be admired. Expect to be appreciated. Expect to be valued. Expect to be recognized, all in the purest place of humility, of course. Expecting is scary sometimes. I know. It’s disappointing sometimes too. I’d even go so far as to say that expecting is risky. but I know the other side of the flipping coin and let me tell you, having expectation is better than having none at all. In my mind, the fact that God saw fit to even let the birds of they were tweeting) is just the icing on the cake, cherry on top, food for fodder, a post to post about and laughter for days.
Sometimes I wonder if I say too much in my blog posts. This time is one of them, but here I go…
Recently, a loved one recommended that she thought I would be a good fit to be matched romantically with a man of a certain stature. My first response was a school-girl giggle, and a shake of the shoulders reminiscent of Tamar Braxton. My second, and shocking internal response was the silent utterance of the words “But I’m not his type.” Mind you, I’ve never met this man and had no idea at that time why that thought came to mind, but sure as Christmas always comes on December 25 that thought came.
This morning in the shower I had a talk with myself asking why I thought I wasn’t his type. Again, I’ve never met him before. Would I ever want my nieces to grow up to think they aren’t a man’s type? Would I ever want my amazing teens at Woodlawn High to think they aren’t a boy’s type? No. There are some things in my health and physical life that I want to be better. That’s just the bottom line. Some of it is my fault , and I will be the absolute first to say that. Pray for me. Some of it happened at no fault of my own (check my testimony), and I believe I have been lingering in a little state of “I can’t believe that happened to me and I’m still not sure I’m pleased about what it left behind” and had somehow gotten stuck after my healing, but not being brave enough and dedicated enough to move to the point of “let’s get this show in shape and back on the road”. So, there I was, in the shower dissecting myself, thinking about why I thought I wouldn’t be someone’s type and simultaneously waiting for some swift word from God to get me back on track. And sure enough, it came, just like Christmas always comes on December 25.
Here’s what I now know. There is a difference in disliking who we are and wanting to improve how we are. Simple and plain. I believe that like me, many have double-dutched back and forward with the temptation of actually looking at who we are and not liking what looks back. I believe at times, we’ve contemplated listening to the wicked whispers which dare us to tear ourselves down with words (spoken and unspoken) that destroy the very essence of who we are. That’s the wrong way of being and seeing. Simple and plain. I now, decide to see what is as it is, embrace it, and work to enhance it, but I should never dislike something that houses all of the best of God’s presence in me.
Am I “his” type? Who knows. I’ll let you know if I ever have a chance to find out. In the meantime, I’m going to continue to work on Angela from the inside out knowing that, while I’m absolutely not perfect there are parts of me which are pretty darn spectacular (to know acclaim of my own), and the other parts will either become better or just continue to be ME.