When I think of being chosen by love…I think specifically. I think of checking out TED Talks together and discussing topics related to our respective ambitions. He dreams. I think about his humor and laughing with me in the evening even if nothing went in his favor all day. He is optimistic. I think of his kindness and how he will show compassion when I’m wrong. He’s gracious. I think about his relationship with God and discussing personal realities of Christianity versus our humanity. He submits. I think about his imperfections and how we both desire to do things God’s way but also deal daily with the nips and tucks of the world’s way. He prays. I think about his work and how his purpose gives him energy. He lives. I think about him thinking of my well being above his own. He provides. I think about how he helps those in need even when no one is looking. He serves. I think about his value of family and his contribution to community. He leads. I think about this man who is imperfect but manages to love me above mine. He is wise. I think about our love surviving by grace. When I think of being chosen by love…I think specifically.
When I vacation on the beach I often reflect and write. Connect with God and with nature. Plus I have a blast! On my last vacation I wasn’t at my lowest or even ideal weight but I decided some time ago to love myself consistently. When I’m up, down, long hair, big hair, no hair, etc. So I did. After I saw this photo, I posted it on social media and journaled. Define your own beauty. Don’t wait to be an expected standard of beauty , weight, height, or whatever. Improvement is great but don’t wait and miss out on how beautiful you are now.
I was standing in the mirror next to my colleague in a restaurant when I started to pick myself apart. I looked at my skin and I was still pleased with my complexion. I looked at my eyes. Then I looked down and noticed the grey cami under my red cardigan that did not match. Then noticed my love handles. While I would have liked to see less handles at that moment it was okay because of a few recent healthy lifestyle consistencies and results would be showing soon was what I was thinking. Then I made my way up to my hair which I recently decided to wear short and natural. I love it! However, old mindsets and negative defaults of insecurities attempted to push through my thoughts in a matter of seconds. To the point that I almost expressed negative thoughts to my colleague about myself. I was going to say that my hair is much curlier today. I wish that it was this way on yesterday but the humidity made it all crazy and flat. I need to trim it, curl it, shape it, color it, etc, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah! All of this was going through my mind within 30 seconds of looking in the mirror at the restaurant. Then before I could even begin to think of opening my mouth I glanced at her and I was reminded of her situation. She is seasoned in age, mother of several children, wife to a husband, and a new grandmother. Oh and she has breast cancer again. Yes. For the second time! She was actually on the way to receive her 5th cocktail of chemotherapy. So in the 30 seconds that I looked at all of these small nothingness of flaws in myself I was immediately reminded. Reminded to keep my thoughts focused on gratitude and being compassionate. I was reminded not to waste my thoughts on flaws in myself or others. She and I both stood in that same mirror. Me, with my short and natural hair that never curls the same and my love handles. Her, beautiful but forced by cancer to wear a wig after losing all of her hair due to chemo and dealing with poison running through her body just so that she can only hope to be well. In those 30 seconds I shifted my focus and made a decision to humble my thoughts and to admire her strength well over focusing on my small nothingness of flaws. Next time you attempt to pick yourself apart. Think about the circumstances of the person standing next to you. Choose gratitude and compassion. Don’t waste your thoughts on their flaws or yours…
Prayers for my friend and colleague to be well and to kick cancer’s butt again…Amen