April 22, 2014

Exactly As I Am

I want to be loved whether I am a size 6 or a size 16, whether my face is porcelain smooth or has a few extra lines at the sides of my eyes from smiling. When did how we love someone or if we desire someone become about clothing size rather than heart size? When did we become so superficial and start measuring the outsides to the point that they make our choices of what rules our souls, when we don't even know what lies underneath? I want to be okay with my extra 15 pounds and some cushion around the middle, as well as the new wrinkles and freckles that I'm finding as I age. I want someone to look at me and see me exactly as beautiful and special as they always did, even with these changes, because that would mean that they truly were in love with my heart.

Instead, we're compared with how much inferior we are to the latest issue of magazines flaunting cover girls and chiseled guys, or the half human Barbie that just walked around the corner flaunting her stuff in scantily clad clothing. The same can be said for the men. When did we become more interested in their bank account and their hairline than in their soul and their mind? Comparing them to Matthew McConaughey and Brad Pitt…and all the while becoming livid if they are comparing us to ANY other female on the planet. They say if you want a perfect person to go buy a doll. Truthfully, I don't want to be a doll, an I don't want to be with one either. I want to be adored, accepted, loved, made to feel beautiful, shown that I am enough. I also want to give all of those same things to who I am with so that they know I see them in that same way.

And we are: man, woman, tall, short, skinny, a few extra pounds…we are all beautiful. We are all loved unconditionally. We are all enough just as we are. Do you know how I know? Jesus tells us we are, Jesus died for how beautiful and loved we are. If he can make that profound of a statement about us, who on earth are we to say otherwise? Who are we to turn around and say, "Yeah right, nice try but you're full of it". No, the Creator made us in His own image. We are not supposed to look like clones, robots, Photoshopped magazine ads. We are real, we are unique, and we are each precious in our own way. I am not saying we should not take care of ourselves. God tells us that our bodies are temples that should be holy and cared for in honor of Him. But I also accept the fact that we are human. Just because were size a 2 when we were 18 does not mean we should be expected to be a size 2 when we're 58. Just because we have a beautiful head of hair when we're 25 does not mean we should be expected to still have it at 45.

We are human, we are imperfect. Men go through midlife changes, women go through midlife changes…they are facts of life and they change your body no matter how much you fight against it. Why are we made to feel that it's wrong to embrace that, to still see it as beautiful, to see it as something that we have no reason to be ashamed of? Instead we are told we need to wear more makeup, have hair transplants, have plastic surgery done. All of society keeps telling us we are not enough the way we are, we have to be improved upon. God tells us that we have always and will always be perfect. He created each one of us, and He makes no mistakes. If only we could all walk around blind to the outside but able to look in and see everybody's hearts, minds, and souls. With that we would be able to see motive, intent, and trustworthiness. That would be a wonderful vision to have and something much better to base our decisions upon. Surprisingly, we can have that right now. But it entails letting go of the superficial ideals, the fleshly perfection that we keep trying to seek. It involves loving ourselves just as we are, so that we can love others just as they are. It involves digging into other peoples minds and hearts and personalities so that we can fall in love with them as the people God created them to be, and not the packages He wrapped them in. Some of the most beautiful women I have ever known are overweight, homely to worldly eyes, and "nothing special". And some of the ugliest women I've known have been slender, outwardly attractive, and "all that" from a worldly perspective.

My point to this all is, we let some of the best things in our life pass us by because we are so busy seeing with our eyes instead of with our hearts. May we look as Jesus did, may we love as God wishes for us to. Let's start looking at the important things that make us want to be in someone's life forever, instead of the temporary things that might make us want to be with them for just a moment. And let's stop always searching for more, looking around the corner, checking for greener grass, wondering what else is out there. The greenest grass you will ever find is your own, if only you will water it as much as you desire to water other grass. Let's look at what we already have right in front of us, let's embrace it, let's remember why we fell in love with it…whether it is a family member, a friend, a romantic relationship. Just the same way we need to remind ourselves how and why we fell in love with Jesus, we need to remind ourselves of those same things with people here on earth, and with ourselves. There is no "better than", we are all equal, just different. And we should all be loved just the same without being compared, scaled, measured. Just loved and accepted, plain and simple. Acknowledged for the beautiful creatures that we are, man and woman, each beautiful and God's masterpiece of design. Accept yourselves and love yourselves, accept others and love others. Close the worldly eyes and leave them behind, and open the eyes of the heart and let them allow you to see things and people the way they were meant to be seen.

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