Father Robert Barron posted an article which had Bruce Jenner in the title. That name is kind of everywhere right now. And so I clicked on the link because Fr. Barron (no relation, by the way) usually has something very insightful to say. He did not disappoint.
But what he had to say struck me in a different way than I thought it would. It made me want to point a finger, not at Bruce Jenner and the upside-down world we live in, but at myself. At my own war with my body. A war that has been going on for the better part of my life.
This is not a post where I say I should give it up and let it go. Stop trying to be healthier. Stop wearing makeup. Stop taking showers. Nothing like that. Rather, it is a reminder that God made me. All of me. My smile and my hair and my Howard legs and my nose. I say all of these parts, because they are all parts that I look in the mirror or at pictures of myself and see and criticize. Over and over again. And GOD MADE ME. And this creation that we are all a part of is GOOD. He looked at the world that he made and said “IT IS GOOD.” And my body, which is ME, not separate from me, is GOOD.
I live, we live, in a fallen world. So, I am aging. My knees hurt sometimes. Parts sag. Wrinkles deepen. But, GOD MADE ME. I have to learn to work WITH, not AGAINST, my very self. As Fr. Barron says, “Moreover, the mind or will is not the “true self” standing over and against the body; rather, the body, with its distinctive form, intelligibility, and finality, is an essential constituent of the true self.” My body is myself. And lest I seem like this is strictly about ME, there is another step. When we give ourselves a break in the body department, when we learn to love ourselves with our flaws because we are made by GOD, then we tend to be able to love others more fully, because we see that GOD MADE THEM TOO. ALL of them. Even their physical flaws, which are the most obvious to us, and sometimes the hardest to look past.
So…challenge. Especially for women. Look in the mirror. That person that you see…God made them. And those parts that you criticize…he made those, too. So, there you are. Look and say, Thank You to the God that made you. I will endeavor to do the same.