Monday, February 25, 2008

come out of hiding

i recently changed my icon on myspace and youtube to this picture of me with my little family. this was kind of big for me, as i have a history of hating pictures of myself. most of the time i would try to avoid them all together, but with the digital revolution, i now see a zillion pics of myself on my computer. in the past, i would scrutinize them, sometimes delete them, or keep them but never share them with anyone. they'd pop up on my slideshow, and i'd cringe and look away. for some reason, i just never quite looked the way i wanted to.

i've been working on this problem for as long as i can recall. i have a master's in psychology, and my interest in this field has been, in part, to free myself from issues like this. but psychology can only take you so far. for this deep, longstanding issue i've needed the same kind of help that enabled me to quit smoking cigs.... the supernatural help that only God can offer. like the "good book" says, through Christ, all things are possible. so i've been trying the same thing that worked before... i've been handing it over to God through Christ.

the problem really came to a head when i had my baby (almost three years ago now). my post-pregnancy body is much curvier and larger than it was before (even my feet are bigger). it's been a real challenge. i've been praying about it, sometimes very intensely, mostly because i don't want to hand this self-consciousness down to my little girl. each time it crops up again (that cringing feeling) i hand it over to God and thank him for healing me. slowly, quietly, patiently, God is working inside of me, and has been changing my mind about it. he is helping me see myself in a new light: one that more resembles the loving way that he sees me. (one kind of miracle is a "shift in perception", as marianne williamson says)

this issue came up again over the weekend. i had to wade through a bunch of video footage, and i'm in a good bit of it. i've had to make some decisions as to what parts to include in the videos. yesterday, as i watched my excited little girl and myself gallop like "little horsey and mommy horsey" toward one of those big moon bouncers, i felt that cringe again, and i had the urge to delete it. just then, a clear, resounding thought filled my eyes with tears:

"come out of hiding"

so, today, i am completing that video, and including that footage of us galloping along as a leap of faith. i am making a conscious decision to let go and stop worrying about how i look. i've also decided to stop being concerned with other people's judgements of me. i will no longer fear ridicule and criticism. i have decided that other people's opinions of me and my appearance, in the grand scheme of things, are totally irrelevant.

i choose to be free. i am what i am, and i look how i look. some days i look better than others. and, as morrissey sings, "some girl's mothers are bigger than other girl's mothers". and that's just fine.

i'm already starting to get used to seeing myself. i'm already feeling better about it. it's a real relief. i'll be including more and more footage of myself in our videos, so one day my little girl can watch them and see me there too, not just hear my voice or catch a glimpse of my sneakers. i'm sure she'll want to see me there laughing and playing with her. the sight of a mommy having fun with her little girl is one of beauty, no matter how you dice it. i want her to look at these videos and see a woman - her mother - who, no matter how she looks on the outside, feels comfortable in her own skin. to me, that's what makes a confident, courageous, beautiful woman.

besides, my girl doesn't seem to mind at all that i'm not some glamour queen. she loves me just as i am. (although sometimes she says "mommy, take those glasses off! i want those eyes to be free!" maybe i'll stop hiding behind those one day too.)

so.... i'm just fine, as i am. i don't need to be perfect to be beautiful in my own way. and i'll keep reading these words as long as i need to for them to really truly sink in.

i'm a bit thick headed. it may take a while... ;)


Me said...

"...the sight of a mommy having fun with her little girl is one of beauty..."


This post went right to somewhere deep down inside me, as I recognise your struggle as very similar my own. Thank you for taking those first steps and showing yourself. It is not surprise to discover that you are beautiful on the outside as well as the inside. With that much love inside, it's bound to shine out.

amy said...

thank you - you are so very kind.

much love,