Here is the weird thing… I have these amazing thoughts and ideas of things to write about (I just know they are amazing… don’t ask how!). I have great sentences and paragraphs formed. The ideas and messages that could come from those sentences and paragraphs are heartfelt and real. During SOAR Heartland (http://www.mbmission.org/soar/heartland/overview) I was made aware of this idea that God uses our imaginations to bring forth images and ideas. I always thought that I needed to ‘hear’ God’s voice or that he would magically move my hand and my words would be automatically penned to paper or I would speak and then wake up 30 minutes later to an audience raptured by the presence and voice of God (ok – that was just a little dream I once had!). But at SOAR I was introduced to this idea that God has gifted us with an imagination – and some of our imaginations are perhaps a little more vivid than others (as I have mentioned before) – but those imaginations create stories and art and voice.
So I have these great sentences and paragraphs formed in my head. BUT WHY DOES GOD CHOOSE TO USE MY IMAGINATION WHILE I AM DRIVING???? I’m just saying, ‘perhaps you could pick a better time, like – and I am just throwing this out there, God – when I have a pen and paper or a keyboard in front of me?’ Because by the time I get home… poof… gone! If you know my imagination you also know that my memory only holds so much for only a small period of time. I’m just saying.
So the other day on my way home I do recall that I was thinking about something I had read online. It pertained to the way we talk to someone who is grieving. It talked about things that are not helpful to say. As I read it I was heartbroken to realize that too many times I had possibly said the wrong things to people hurting. Now, I did it out of love, but it still may have hurt them. So as I drove I started to hear those voices that sometimes have the audacity to talk in my head without my permission. They were saying things like, ‘once again you screwed up’, ‘probably every time so and so sees me they remember those stupid thing I said to them.’ The voices also couldn’t stop peeking into every memory bank I have, searching for those words and those phrases. As I drove I remember thinking that there are many times that I have read ‘helpful’ articles that make me question things I said or did. So as I drive I quietly decide to just keep my mouth shut – just don’t say anything at all – stay away, stay safe.
Then, a few days ago, there was this article that I shared with my daughters on FACEBOOK that talks about body image and how we as moms need to teach our children the right way to look at themselves. The right way to talk to our daughters – what to say and what not to say. I’m reading down this list and thinking: check, check, nope, nope, double nope, oh sh#$, wow – not even close, check, crap, nope… and by the time I am done I know that I have personally screwed up my daughter’s image of their bodies. They will either be so skinny that I won’t be able to find them if they turn sideways or they will be so big that I won’t be able to find them because they won’t leave their house. And I feel guilty and wish I could turn back time (oh, Cher… you will always be my 80’s hero!) …if I could turn back time and do it right. But I can’t. So I feel bad and the voices start up and the horrible memories stir. (Sure, now my memory works!)
However, when I look at these gorgeous (oh, yeah, not supposed to say that) healthy daughters of mine and watch them and listen to them – well, I think for the most part they figured it out in spite of my bumbling’s. They have taken ME to task when I talk about being fat, or going on a diet or (the list does go on and on). They stay active – they play sports, they do this insane Kayla workout – and they sometimes can convince me to join them. (Although sometimes that becomes more of a giggling marathon as I try to bend and stretch and lift my legs off the floor without my pelvis leaving the floor and my head maintaining a horizontal line with the floor. Ladies – I can’t get my feet off the ground – mind you my legs!! What kind of Amazonian do you need to be to pull your legs straight up without bending or swinging or tying a rope to your toes and pulling??)
But I digress. My daughters seem to be ok. Maybe they were just hardwired to be who they are. Maybe every once in a while I said something right. Maybe they just didn’t want to grow up to be like me – hating my body and struggling with my self-esteem.
The article was good and had great points and I wish I had read it 14 years ago. But here I am now. So part of me thinks: stop talking or giving advice about body image – stay away, stay safe.
There have been lots of great articles. Facebook is inundated with them. Fantastic blogs – such as the one you are presently engaged in – haha! Tips. Tricks. Advice. New information. New ways to do things. And it goes on and on. I think there are great articles and I am great with taking in new information – however, I can’t let each article be my ‘god’ and my ‘standard’. I have to remember that those who wrote these articles are human too – and maybe their advice isn’t better than what I chose to do – maybe it isn’t the right answer. Maybe I just need to take it in and spread it around and try my best to be the best I can be – to follow the road Christ set out for me to follow.
So with that I mind, I go back to the way we talk to people who are grieving. I was thinking about Job (in the Bible - that Job) and wow did he get hit hard with grief, pain, misery, and anger. And those friends of him who visited him – saying everything wrong. They get blasted in many an article or devotion. However, it was pointed out to me that even though they may have said things wrong or gone about things poorly – they showed up. They were there beside Job. They took the time to sit with Job. Where were the friends who would have said all the right things and made no errors in what they said? Where were they? Where were those people who would have just sat there and listened and cried with Job? Where were they?
So I wonder. Are the people I said things incorrectly to upset with me because of what I said? Or were they just happy that I showed up. Are my girls better off with my mistakes and apologies or would they be better off if I stayed away and didn't show up.
Hmmmm. Now, I don’t always show up. I need to work on that. But my best guess is that I am better off showing up and maybe screwing up my words because I love that person – then not showing up at all.
Food for thought.
The fine print:
Although the author has made every effort to ensure that the information in this blog was correct at post-it time, the author does not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or you tried to listen to my advice.
This blog is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The reader should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to his/her health and particularly with respect to any voices that sound distinctly like Cher, Cyndi and/or especially, Miley.