Body Consciousness


What is it about the majority of us that makes us body-conscious? As a woman, I particularly feel the pressure to look svelte at all times. Some days I feel like I’ve achieved that goal, but it has to be a cool day because layers are my friends. The hotter it gets, the more I fail; at being svelte, that is.

I have a friend who has about 7 years on me, and we’ve talked about body-image often. She has told me to “shake my thing” now, because in 10 years I’ll wish I had. My body will begin to sag in places it’s never sagged before, and I’ll have lumps and bumps and wrinkles in areas I didn’t even know I had. I believe her. Why? Because the body I have now is not the same one I had 10 years ago, and it’s the one I’d like to go back to today. But I didn’t know what I had back then. I was too self-conscious.

In my women’s bible study on Thursday, we were talking about Adam and Eve and their Eden-esque selves. The story goes that in the Garden, they worked alongside each other, enjoying their lives in complete nakedness. Bliss was all they knew. They were completely happy and satisfied in their created state.

Hiss. . . Then that wretched snake came along and wrecked everything–their body-confidence as well.

As soon as Adam and Eve ate that forbidden fruit, they began to judge and compare. They shivered and hid and covered things up. I can fully relate. I did the same thing just last week after sunbathing in my back yard. I was happy and serene laying on that lawn chair, catching some rays, just my kids and me. But when I thought I heard someone at the front door, I hurriedly grabbed a cardigan and a pair of shorts. I needed some cover; afraid of imperfections they might see.

I suffer from and have not transcended the tragedy of the fall: unhappiness in and dissatisfaction with my created state. I want, terribly, to shake my thing and show some swagger no matter the amount of fabric that covers my body, but I’m not there yet.

Cellulite looks better when it’s tanned. Skin imperfections dissolve in the rays of the sun. And like my skin, my insecurities are diminished in the Light of the Son.

This summer, I plan on giving myself more fully to my Creator so that I can be less self-conscious and more self-aware. Relishing in the beauty and strength of my body. I love what my body does for me and allows me to do. I love that I’ve born and birthed two precious lives from my own, and nourished them as well. I’ve been fully immersed in the love of another, because I have a body that allows it. I’ve been able to gaze into eyes that’ve beheld more than mine. Scratches heal in their own time. I shiver when it’s cold; I sweat when it’s hot. My fingers are nimble to button little buttons. My pulse quickens in response to fear, excitement, and desire. My eyes shed tears for reasons only my heart knows. And these are just a few of all the things my body can do.

As the Bible says, I am fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14) Why should I hide because of 15 extra “vanity” pounds and erratic, stubborn blemishes? From now on, I will do my best to not let the two or three bad qualities outweigh the innumerable wonderful qualities of me.

If you, like me, don’t fully enjoy your created self, I ask you to join me on the adventure of giving yourself more fully to Him and allowing Him to change your perceptions of you. Maybe there will be some things we have to do to honor the bodies He gave us, but maybe we just need our hearts realigned.

Blessings to you and your beautiful, glorious bodies!!!

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