“Woah girl… I know why you avoid the mirror… You’re definitely stacking on the pounds these days… Where did your abs go anyways?… Geez you’ve got scars all over too… You better think twice believing any guy is going to be attracted to you…”
Is there anyone out there beside me who has thoughts such as these run through their mind? Like a hamster on a wheel, over and over again, it seems like I can’t get off this track… “If only I could get on the literal track”, I think…. But to my world of chronic illness and life that has attempted to cope with loss after loss these past few months, or years rather, my body and self image in general seem to have gone to the shambles. And when it comes to dealing with it, battling Satan’s lies, I frankly just don’t have the energy. Anyone else been there?
Training, lifting weights or running, throughout my formative years, I constantly strived to be the top player and along with it a size 0. Although this past year and a half, my hobbies have dramatically shifted and rather than a Saturday morning workout or even a walk around the trail, I find myself in bed needing to take another nap or searching for another movie to watch to pass the time, not even able to stand. My wardrobe no longer consists of jeans with a cute shirt and boots to go out on a date, but leggings, t-shirt and a sweatshirt without buttons to fight with and big enough so I can help my left side in as I have therapy and spend the day resting.
Our world, the paparazzi of the media and pressure to conform to the perfect “image” causes us to feel like we have to use what little energy (and money) we have to hide, consciously covering up the tubes and scars for our own sense of self confidence, but also so others don’t feel awkward by all the medical equipment and such… Have to look like everyone else, right?
Although what if I were to suggest something radically different…
The idea that WE ARE BEAUTIFUL… YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL…
No matter what age, shape, size, or clothing brand… No matter your J tube or PICC line, walker or wheelchair… No matter your messy bun or straight hair, or even the shaved head you may have because of your last round of medication….
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!
And while you may or may not not have had a feeding tube or knee surgery… An infected central line removed or even all your teeth… The truth of the matter is we all have scars, whether external or those internal of our heart. Although we need not be ashamed of them. Hear me loud and clear… We do not need to be ashamed of them for our scars tell our story of both beauty and brokenness… A real story, a genuine story of HOPE and TRIUMPH that our world so desperately needs to hear… A story only you can tell… It is your journey and your journey alone… The question is “Will you be brave and share?”
You are not alone and oh how I am praying for you and cheering you on. Much love always, Alisha