We had a great morning. All the other ladies were friendly. It was a small enough group that I feel like I could easily get to know some of them. It was warm. I felt welcome. I felt confident.
I walked out of the meeting feeling good.
Then I went to pick up my 2 youngest children who were with me that morning from their childcare rooms. And, I needed to use the restroom before we left. So, we made a pitstop in there.
As I was washing my hands and getting my stuff and my children back together I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
Once again I was taken by surprise by my size. Even though I know I'm heavier than I want to be, I still have an image in my mind of how I look. But, when I see myself in reality, I feel like I'm looking at a stranger.
And, in that moment, I saw myself as I imagined the other women had seen me - overweight, frumpy, graying, aging, and definitely not hip or stylish like so many of them.
All the confidence, all the warm fuzzy feelings I'd had walking into the bathroom vanished in that one moment. I suddenly felt the urge to leave quickly as though my very presence was offensive.
I have struggled with body image issues for almost as long as I can remember. As I've gotten older I have ( I thought) become more comfortable with myself and have learned to focus more on the inner me...who God wants me to be.
But, here I am...almost 40....and it turns out I still can let thoughts of "I'm not pretty enough", "I'm not thin enough", "I don't really belong" destroy an otherwise lovely morning.
I am getting too old for this.
My husband made a comment the other day (in relation to an entirely different discussion) that he thought he married a confident woman. And, when I met my husband I was confident...or at least I had become really good at putting forward the appearance of confidence.
But, underneath there still lurks the awkward, misfit, shy girl who was teased and taunted by her classmates. That girl has never really left me. There is still this piece of me that wants so desperately for people to like me. For me to belong.
I am so ready to move forward. To get beyond this. To stop beating myself up because I don't fit the image of physical perfection.
I know I need to remember who I am in Christ. It's just that sometimes our feet are so darn planted in this world and all the messages the world has for us.
I guess I need to go back to my post from yesterday and remember to tune out the other voices...and to listen to the One Voice that matters.