Friday, August 12, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Beauty

This challenge each Friday is just about my favorite bloggy thing to do - take FIVE MINUTES without editing, without over-thinking, without pre-planning and see whatever the heck comes out of your fingertips. Thanks to Lisa-Jo for her steady invitation and welcome at TheGypsyMama. Check it out - lots and lots of people respond each week - there's room for you, too!

This week, she has written a powerful series of posts on how difficult it is for us to see ourselves as beautiful. Nothing in our culture, nothing in ourselves encourages such positive self-reflection. Rather, we are reminded, sometimes dozens of times each day, that we fall far short of the 'standard,' that we are less-than, that we are too big or too small or too young or too old or too .... So our task this morning is to write for five minutes on how we are indeed bearers of BEAUTY.

Here goes:


"Beauty is as beauty does..." so the old saying goes. And I've spent most of my life trying to make that true for me. I have done, done, done - a lot of the time because it is the only way in which I feel that others will perceive me as worth their time and interest. So, as much as I appreciate Lisa-Jo's invitation to list the ways in which I see beauty in myself because of loving acts that I do - I also resist that approach. Because I know myself so well - so, so well. And listing off the things that I do to love others plays right into my insecurities, right into the besetting sin of my life: trying to earn love and respect.

So today, I will tell you that I am older than I believe myself to be, smarter than many people wish I were, and deeply grateful - after 66 years! - to be me. To live in this too-dry skin, to own these too-many pounds, to appreciate each and every wrinkle, age spot, dimple and freckle. I am grateful for this body which I've hated for so long, grateful that it easily carried and bore three delightful human beings, grateful that it brought me and my husband pleasure for so many years, grateful that it is able to move with relative ease. I am blessed by this temple, and coming to be at peace with who I am. And that, my dear friends, is my prayer for each and every woman (and man) who might happen upon these words. God gave you a gift - no matter its limits, no matter those things you wish you could change about it. YOU (and I) are gifts to this world. God's gifts. Sink into that truth, won't you?

STOP (one minute extra - sorry! It's the soapbox mentality, I swear it is!)