Posted by: thewoobdog | June 6, 2007

Primitive

Hmmm.  So I recently saw the pics from the wedding (my SILs, not mine – see prior blog ‘Closure’ – I’d tag it but I’m not that xanga-literate).  Uh, yeah.  Why didn’t someone at least mention that my dress was riding up funky under my arm in half the pics?  Hmmm?  Would that honestly have been too much to ask?  I was actually so depressed for days about how I looked in the pictures (versus how I thought I looked at the time) that I blocked out the memory. 

It is so embarrassing to look at yourself in pictures and remember how good you thought you looked at the time, only to find that (to your eyes, at least) the reality was quite different.  You feel as though somehow you made a fool of yourself – as though people were pointing and laughing inside the whole time at how deluded you were.  I know this is not the case.  I know the people were not even paying attention to me or how I looked, for the most part.  I also realize that the entire population of the universe in line-of-sight at any given moment actually isn’t focused on how good or bad I look.  But logic has little to do with emotion, and the shaky feeling you get inside when you feel you have been exposed – worse, exposed yourself – to ridicule does not respond to reason.

You know the silly thing?  I was actually (for a brief, but intensely primal moment… or hour…) jealous of my SIL.  Because she looked better in her picture with my husband (her brother) than I did.  And because all I could think was that that was the picture he would want – the one of her with him.  Without me.  Foolish and stupid and egocentric and self-pitying and pathetic and unfounded – yes.  But heartbreaking in its intensity, at the time, no matter how I tried to ‘reason’ my way past it. 

Yet, I think I came past it with new insight, which is most decidedly a positive thing.  Better to have come through and gained in wisdom and self-revelation than to remain wallowing in the muck of such a base and selfish emotion.  I came to the realization that at its root, this jealousy and even shame were nothing but pride – it is honest fact that she looks more desirable by society’s standards than I do.  I also have to face the fact that I don’t work as hard at staying fit as she does.  Am I going to stay angry with myself, taking it out on those close to me, because I have let myself slip where my fitness is concerned? Am I going to continue to live my life constantly comparing myself to others?  Isn’t it enough there are always other people all too willing to compare me to themselves and others, without adding the extra burden of myself to that list?  And if I am constantly comparing myself to others, can I ever really accept others for who they are, lumps and all, or will I be ever conscious of their lack of perfection, as I am of mine? 

When I am told to ‘love others as myself’, I am forced to evaluate how I love myself.  Can I accept the words of love and protestations of beauty that come from my husband’s lips, or will I laugh them off, unsure of their veracity?  Doesn’t that show a lack of trust?  Do I honestly think he is being falsely effusive?  Here, again, logic is a poor counter to self…  What it shows me is that I have a long way to go in learning to love myself, and I can’t even begin to hope to love others until I start down that narrow path.  I must accept the responsibility for who I am and what I have become, the responsibility for my choices, and in so doing, I become free to make new choices.  So I will begin – and have begun – to accept myself as I am, and love myself as I am, and see myself through the eyes of the One Who loves me unconditionally and has given me a wonderful expression of that love on this earth in my husband. 

This doesn’t mean that I will not strive to be a better person, to grow in knowledge and wisdom and understanding and especially love, and to keep my body in better condition, but it means that I will realize that it is a journey, and as long as I am on that path I am the person I was meant to be.  And I can learn – I can choose – to love that person.

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