I had a moment. In Home Depot of all places. I had taken my mom up to get a few things for the apartment complex that my parents manage. In addition to working full time (spring/summer/fall) for the city in the parks department, my dad is also the handyman of this complex. He is constantly on the go. Mom has been letting me take her wherever she needs to travel out of town. I enjoy our time together visiting and laughing as we go to and from these places. We arrived at Home Depot and I needed to use the restroom. I went inside and entered the ladies room. I did my thing and came out to wash my hands. I lathered up and then started to rinse. Now, at this time in my life, I spend very little time looking in the mirror. I do it long enough to moisturize my face in the morning and fix my hair. I don’t wear makeup much since I am not in public often enough for it to matter. I thought that I should check to see if anything was out of place and that my shirt wasn’t ruffled or anything before leaving the restroom. I glanced and thought I looked ok. I started to look down at my hands but something made me look up again. I stood there, staring at my reflection, for an unreasonably longer period of time than was probably necessary. Normally, I would have started to criticize the bags under my eyes, all my white hair poking out all over, my still very large frame, my need-to-be-whitened teeth, the hair on my upper lip, my bushy eyebrows in need of plucking, or the smile lines cratering my face. Instead, I saw something for the first time and acknowledged it by saying out loud, “You are pretty.” Then I said it again in more of a surprised yet factual tone, “Hmmmmm . . . you are pretty.” Simple statement. But I don’t know that I have really ever thought that let alone said it to myself. And I wondered why.
Now, I am not caught up into physical beauty. I’m really not. And I am not saying these things to fish for compliments. I don’t necessarily care what others think about my looks. If I did, I never would have allowed myself to become so obese. Never, ever. But in this moment, staring at myself in the mirror of Home Depot, I realized that I am pretty and I can actually say that. Outloud even. I wanted to delve into what had made me think for so long that I wasn’t pretty. Was it my body size? Was it my large face, neck and arms? Was there more to it? I believe that all beauty really is rooted inside a person. A physically attractive person is not beautiful if they have an ugly heart. Someone I look up to and respect a great deal told me not long ago that God and my genes made me pretty and Jesus in my heart made me beautiful. So what had kept me from thinking I wasn’t pretty for the last 40 something years of my life? The answer to that is probably enough to fill an entire book. Maybe someday.
In part, I really think I have let myself believe that because I have struggles not everyone has I am somehow less than. Somehow less than deserving of my own love let alone deserving of love and appreciation from others. I am going to get kinda personal and revealing here for a minute but I think it is worth writing about because I know I am not alone in this and if it helps others know they are not alone then maybe we have done something good. I have really high anxiety. I have for a very long time. I don’t remember when my life wasn’t at least in part subject to it. Along with the anxiety, I also have panic attacks. While I am thankful that the depression I have also struggled with over the years is under control thanks to the CBD products I take, these are still an issue for me. I don’t talk about all this to many people. Very few, in fact. But there are times when this is particularly rough for me. This week has been a tough one for me. Sometimes, I can pinpoint what is happening in my mind that causes the anxiety to skyrocket and other times, a panic attack just hits. Thanks to past years of counseling, I have some pretty solid ways to work through them. And I do. But each time I come through another bout with the anxiety and/or a panic attack, I am left often wondering what is wrong with me. I feel unlovable in those moments and very, very ugly and unworthy. My stress level always has a lot to do with triggering an anxiety/panic attack. I have had a lot less stress working here at home and that has helped some. Lack of sleep and other factors along those same lines also contribute. Being around a lot of people sometimes raises that to higher levels as well. I know there are others out there who suffer from these same things. I know I am not alone and I want them to know they aren’t alone, either. In that same way, though, there are those who think that people who suffer anxiety and panic attacks are weaker in some way than they are. I would beg to differ. I honestly think that it takes some sort of supernatural strength to allow yourself to work through the anxiety or panic attack to continue breathing again. It is physically painful and exhausting. It is spiritual warfare on the next level. It is emotionally draining. And if you’ve ever had even a small dose of this, I applaud you for picking yourself up and moving on.
I know that these issues are directly related to my out-of-control-for-too-long weight problem. And my weight is also another reason I have had a hard time seeing myself as pretty. I have had truly well-meaning people tell me that they have a hard time seeing me as a fat person because my face is “just so pretty.” I am not saying what they had stated is wrong. Nor am I saying that the fact that they said it is wrong. Not at all. But, from where I stand, in hearing that over and over, I had (and still do have) a hard time not thinking that my “pretty face” is my only redemptive quality and saving grace in their eyes. I know what they are saying. I really do. But when I make every effort to look at the WHOLE person and see beauty, it is hard for me not to feel like they are really saying that while one part of me is pretty, the other part (much larger and visible part, I might add) is horrendously ugly. And that hurts. I am more than my fat body. I am more than a pretty face. I am smart. I am kind. I am loving. I am a hard worker. I love with my whole heart. The physical characteristics I happen to carry with me everywhere are small matters compared to what lies within me.
I feel like God took a moment to show me something that He sees in me every day. I am His child. Perfectly created and formed. He knew me in my mother’s womb. He ordained and put in me every single thing that would set me apart as different from others and make me uniquely Lacy. I have heard Him speak to me over and over again throughout my life. Sometimes subtly. Sometimes not. And His delivery system has been strange at times. But, I definitely heard Him loud and clear . . . even if He did choose to speak to me through the mirror in a Home Depot restroom.
#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou
4 thoughts on “Reflections”
Love you Lacy. You never cease to amaze me.
Thank you, Diane. I love you too ❤️ I really appreciate that.
What can I say? You are so beautiful in and out – all of you. I appreciate your honesty and transparency. I love nature too as you referred to in your last blog, but I enjoy even more watching people and seeing all the beauty in them and the uniqueness God has put in each one of us. Thank you for sharing your journey with the rest of us Lacy. You inspire so many more than you realize. Thank you for being yourself and sharing that with the rest of the world.
Thank you, Kelly. I appreciate this. Everyone has something in their journey that is worth sharing! Thanks for walking along with me in mine.