**Warning: This is a long one and THE BIGGEST "THROW MYSELF UNDER THE BUS EXERCISE TO DATE". Grab some coffee**
This year my word is TRANSFORM and as we just finished 1/2 of 2014 (yikes!) I have been reflecting on what has changed, what has started to change, what still needs to be worked on and what has not moved an inch. It has been 26 weeks and will continue to take a lifetime of successes, failures, roadblocks and setbacks but I am in it for the long haul.
I read and shared something on Facebook last week and within minutes of reading it, I wrote the following letter. I have debated all week long on whether to share it here or not but I firmly believe that being transparent, authentic and honest is something we all need to be reminded of and sometimes when one person does something, it encourages and inspires someone else to pass it on. I also believe that I am not alone and this may ring alot of bells and hit home for many.
The first thing I need to say to you is I am sorry. Sorry that prior January 1, 2014, I constantly criticized and hated my body, the body that you created just for me, for secretly neglecting and not loving myself. I know now and believe that I am one of a kind, fearfully and wonderfully made, by you.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:13-14
You know that for as long as I can remember, I have looked in mirrors and have seen something completely different than what others see. I want to see what YOU see. I have pulled the skin from my hips and belly and told myself that “if this was gone, I would be worth more.” I am sorry for being selfish and not realizing that my body is not mine, but yours. I am sorry for not realizing sooner that I have a job to do and therefore must be healthy so that I am able to do what you have planned for me.
Forgive me for being ridiculous by telling myself I’d only wear a two piece once my hips were smaller and my stomach was flatter. For repeating over and over that I would wear fashionable clothes and accessories if my hips were smaller.
Forgive the fact that I have repeated the same thing over and over for longer than I can remember. For thinking that “As soon as I am thin” things would be better, things would be different. I would be happy or happier, I would feel successful, that I could walk around with confidence…if only my hips were smaller, if my arms didn’t wiggle or at least if I were tan at least it would look better. Forgive me for looking at myself with a lack of confidence instead of looking to you for all I need.
“My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” 2 Cor. 12:9
What makes all this more frustrating is the fact that I arm wrestle with myself and at the same exact time, I know better.
I know that I am an ordinary person created by you to do extraordinary things but that I cannot do it on my own. I know that I have the courage to face anything but that it does not come from me, it comes from YOU.
If someone I knew was telling me all of these same things about themselves, I would tell them that they were perfect, that YOU created them just the way they were for a reason and that they are loved, no matter what..
So why have I been the most hard on myself?
Because I was constantly failing. I was failing because I was trying to do it all on my own. I was seeking knowledge in the wrong areas instead of looking to you. Forgive me for forgetting to look towards you for strength, especially when I am tired.
“For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control.” 2 Tim 1:7
I want to love myself and see myself the way you see me, the way you made me. I want to consciously make the effort to continue to allow you to transform me. I want to feel strong and healthy. I want to care for my body so that it can carry me wherever YOU need me to go.
I want to love the body that I have without always criticizing the fact that it has bumps and lumps, curves and swerves. That the legs I have help me stand with people, that help me sit down and create with people and are able to help me move through the world.
I will embrace the fact that I have curves in my hips and in my belly which my sons came from…Embrace my long arms that can lift sweet babies and hug my family and friends…and continually pray for my hands to be blessed so that I can continue to write, touch, wave, doodle and love with.
I didn’t understand until this year that my body is a temple and I want to spend the rest of my life loving my body and loving myself.
I know that I can do this with and through you.
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” 1 Cor. 4:13
I know that it is very easy to fall back into unhealthy habits and I also know that I cannot do it on my own. I need constant reminders and I want to be a reminder to others.
- I will trust YOU to meet all of my needs
- My best requires rest – I will rest my body, refocus my spirit and recharge my emotions. “My best requires rest”
- I will start the day with reflection and gratitude, not social media.
- I will get outside every day to breathe, exercise and focus.
- I will create something daily.
- Recharge my soul with beauty
- I will trust YOU to guide me
“Fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.” Phil. 4:8
Lord, I will continually honor you and love myself. I will be grateful for every day you give me. Thank you for giving me this past 26 weeks to recognize all of this and to forgive myself.