Friday, October 30, 2009

Comfortable ...

Once upon a time I struggled with who I was, how I looked, and finding the 'right' words to say to people in a group. I never felt that I 'fit in' anywhere. I think that's a thing that's common to most young people. I remember having a big discussion through the mail with my friend who lived in Oregon at the time. I didn't find a lot of comfort in her words to 'just wear what you like, and don't worry about anyone else." After all, she was living in the 'laid back' west coast, in a Christian commune of hippie types. I was living in an upscale town where how you looked seemed to matter to people.

As a young mother, the family was quite involved in a church where I thought I wasn't really a part of the group. I wanted to be, but I didn't know how to look or act. I did the best I could, as I suppose most of us did. But I didn't think I was 'there'. That was the case in most of my life's settings.

The feeling of not fitting into the over-all puzzle seemed to hang around for a long time...until I reached middle age. I can't tell you when it was, but at some point I began to let go of the thoughts that I had to look, act and speak a certain way. I just began to live my life, and to enjoy it. To heck with dressing like models. I'd never look like them anyway, with their straight, boney figures. I finally came to the realization that my mother's words were true. "Beauty is as beauty does."

Since I was born with an empathetic and compassionate spirit within me, I began to let it out. I discovered that my words of encouragement seemed to come easy for me. It wasn't an overnight thing, and it wasn't always easy, but I've come to realize that when I took my eyes off of myself, I began to grow in ways that I'd always wanted to. I realized how freeing it was to just be who I was created to be, with all my idiocincrasies, feelings and flaws. Some things needed to be tempered and shaped, and I work on those. I wasn't born perfect, and don't suppose I'll ever be, but I am far more comfortable with myself these days than I've ever been.

The shell that I live in, my body, is short and round and soft. It shows the wear and tear of living. There are silvery stretch marks that came with bringing five wonderful children to life, freckles from too much fun in the sun. A few wrinkles, gray hairs and 'laughter tracks' show on my face. I can line up the cosmetics, the body filler for the ruts, the cover ups for the stretch marks, varicose veins, and age spots, the dye for the gray hair. I can, but I don't, but for a small amount of mascara and lip gloss. It's too much work for me to bother, and besides, I'm supposed to look like this! God put me together in such a way that these things would be here at this stage of my life, and I'm not going to change those outward things. I have vowed to look the best I can, naturally, without the aid and expense of a lot of paint and putty. Don't even mention tucks and nips and suctions!

It is my hope that I can live the rest of my life working toward good attitudes and actions. Whatever there is inside of me that is to come out in beautiful ways, let those be where my focus is....for the good of others. I may not be 'eye candy', but I can live with that. I've grown to be "comfortable in my own skin", as the saying goes and I'm free to be me. Take it or leave it, it's what I have to offer.

1 comment:

  1. We all struggle with those feelings. The nice thing about middle-age is that the playing field becomes a bit more level as everyone ages (just attend a high school class reunion for proof of that!). And like you said, we just don't care as much anymore!