Posts Tagged ‘Self image’

True story: Diana and I were having a ridiculously great evening. We had just enjoyed a great meal at one of the best restaurants on the planet, Babe’s Chicken House, right outside of Dallas. It was a beautiful night and our bellies were filled with country fried goodness, life was very good. As we were walking out of the restaurant and onto the sidewalk, an all-American family was walking into the restaurant: a mom and a dad and their two well-dressed kids. I’m guessing their son was about five or six years old. The little boy looked at me, and then he doubled up his chubby little fist and punched me as hard as he could in the stomach. I must admit, he hit pretty hard for a little kid. It hurt! And I had no idea why this little demon-child I’d never seen before in my life would hit me.
His parents were mortified. My wife was laughing so hard she was about to cry (thanks, Hon). I was doubled over—not because I’m a wimp, but for a five-year-old, the little punk had a killer right hook. I looked up to see the boy glaring at me as if he’d have killed me with his bare hands if his parents would’ve let him.
I still have no clue what I did to provoke this beating. For some reason this kid wanted to pound me.

And yes, I see the twisted irony, I was Bullied by a babe at babe’s.
Bullies bug me.
Bullies come in all different shapes and sizes.
It seems like the Common denominator is insecurity.
They have a need to elevate THEIR place by putting YOU in YOUR place.
They lash out at you because you are different…because you are other.
Or maybe, they lash out at you because you are the same and they don’t like what they see.
Whatever the reason, they bully.
They use whatever means necessary to put you in your place.
As I write this, I’m sitting in the lobby of a middle school.
There is a hand painted poster board about protecting yourself from cyber bullies hanging a few feet from me.
The lobby is busy and I can’t help but listen to the awkward social dance of middle school students and I remember…
I remember that this is the scene of the crime for many of us.
The first place we felt the bitter sting of the playground punch.
I remember Alan, who was a few inches taller than me, and reminded me of that every day by making my life hell.
The punch of the playground.
Sadly, it didn’t stay in the playground.
Bullies never go away, they just get slightly more sophisticated, more sneaky and stronger.
I’ve encountered bullies many times since 7th grade.
In restaurants and workplaces, telemarketing calls and special events.

I’ve come to believe that religious bullies are the worse.
They are terrorists of the heart.
They manipulate and coerce just to get their way.
They impose their own will rather than invite God’s will.
They judge and justify.
They belittle the different…the other.
They pound you in the soul with their expectations.
They are intent on sucking all the liberty out of freedom.
The punch of the pulpit.
If you have experienced the sting, I’m so sorry.
Please know that the religious bullies are wrong.
What they do is all completely contrary to the one they claim to represent.
Jesus didn’t come to bully, he came to BE love.
He didn’t come to put people in their place, he came to invite them into a new place…a place of belonging, not bullying…a place called beloved.
Jesus had a group of religious haters constantly try to bully him.
They lashed out at him because he was more about people than protocol or position. They couldn’t bully him, because he knew who he was, so they killed him.
He refused to be bullied.
He refused to be belittled.
After all he came to BE love.
Lean hard into BE love.
The secret to being bully proof is all about identity and ownership.
Know who and whose you are.
The soul that is beloved refuses to be belittled.
It knows that the ONE who owns you gets to name you.
Don’t be owned by anyONE who didn’t make you!
That narrows it down to the ONE who came to be love.
Don’t let the bullies win.
Let love win.

I’m getting old.
Oh, it’s true.
This little pirate is looking at 50.
I’m okay with that. I’ve had a really good time getting here.
I think life on the other side of 50 is going to be even better.
We are all aging.
It’s amazing how age just grows on you.
It’s also amazing how we try to fight it.
We don’t want to look our age.
We want to look young, fresh and vibrant.
We live in a cosmetic crazed culture.
We are obsessed with youth.
We try to go young.
People do a lot of cat scratch crazy stuff to look younger.
We nip, we tuck, we peel, we get Botox.
If you have done any of these, my intention is not to shame you.
My intention is to say you don’t need it. You are enough.
You are beautiful and interesting.

I look in the mirror and my face gets a little more interesting each day.
I discover new wrinkles, new bumps and blemishes.
I’m okay with that because each line contains a story…they shout “I LIVED!”
Laugh lines are my favorite, they announce that I lived and I laughed….alot.

When I Photoshop away my imperfections it seems that I also Photoshop away a fragment of my soul.
It seems that my imperfections and my soul are attached at the hip.
When did looking old become such a bad thing?
True attractiveness is found in the authentic.

Proverbs says “Gray hair is a crown of glory.”

I like that!

When we talk about getting a little work done, it should have to do with our soul or character, not our face.
When we value appearance over authentic we run the risk of losing our true selves.

Life is a journey.
We are meant to constantly going forward into uncharted lands…places we’ve never been.
As we travel we assemble a pack of experiences, memories, lessons learned, life lived.
We are moving from one season to the next.
We love…we learn…we leave…we LIVE!!!
Every season is meant to be lived to the full.
Enjoy young.
Enjoy old.
Enjoy the time in between.
We should celebrate each new season while holding onto the things that really matter from the previous seasons.
There is a wisdom that comes with getting older, but I think there should also be a great silliness too.
We should learn what should and shouldn’t be taken seriously.
We should learn what does and doesn’t matter.
We have to value the authentic, the real.

Wrinkles are a sign that we are growing into ourselves.

They should be worn like medals!
We have stories to tell and songs to sing.
They are written all over our faces.
Why would we erase that.

A while back I went to an event with a lot of amazingly interesting people.
They were hipsters, individuals who like indie techno music, free trade coffee and cynical banter.
You can tell that they are totally unique by the way that they all dress alike.
Hipsters are all about making a fashion statement.
They were dressed in scarves and flannel shirts (lumber jack chic?), tight sweaters with multiple zippers (zipper chic?). They wear stocking hats even when it’s really hot outside (sweaty chic?).
and of course skinny jeans.
Hipster love skinny jeans.
I’m sure they are lovely people, but I don’t think I will ever fit in their tribe, because I will never fit in their jeans!
I tried skinny jeans once and almost broke a hip.
Nonconformity can be really uncomfortable!
I ALSO tried once to be cynical and I just couldn’t pull it off. Sorry, I’m way too happy.
I’ve come to realize that I’m HUSKY in a skinny jean world.
Let me explain…
Growing up I had a problem (that I never actually outgrew).
When it came to jeans …
I needed pants that were twice as wide as tall.
There was only one place for that…
The husky department at Sears, a magical place where the pudgy and portly could buy their toughskins jeans.
I grew up getting all of my jeans in the husky department.
Then I would have to get every pair hemmed up.
I’ve never EVER been able to fit into long pants right off the rack.
THAT is why I hate long pants and skinny jeans and any other reminders of my obvious imperfections.
I’ve come to realize that I’m HUSKY in a skinny jean world.
I’m okay with that.
I’ve seen the people desperately trying to be different by dressing exactly alike.
They don’t look super happy, they look kind of constipated.
Maybe it’s the unnaturally tight pants.
Fashion is a club where the rules are constantly changing.
Just when you think you are past the velvet rope, things change and you are out again.
It’s tough to keep up.
Wouldn’t it be better to just say…
“You’re imperfect? That’s perfect cause…I!”
Let’s create a husky horde that values comfort over constriction.
It’s husky so there is room for everybody!
Let’s celebrate our perfect imperfections.
You be you, I will be me.
Skinny, husky or somewhere in between, hipster or husky, It doesn’t really matter.
What matters is finding the true you.
Make your style more about expression than expectation.
Who are you?
What is authentic?
What makes your heart happy?
Try that on for size!

Identity amnesia

Posted: March 14, 2015 in fizzy faith
Tags: , , ,

Sometimes I get Identity amnesia.
The littlest doubt or critique can set it off.
My psyche is slippery.
It’s like a cheesy old movie where the hero gets bumped on the head and forgets who he is.
My self image can get bumped and thumped.
I forget who I am.
Identity amnesia.
I’m a bird in an opened cage held captive by my inability to see my wings.
Truth is traded for lies.
I read the wrong name tags.
I lose my self.
In pursuit of better i forget that I’m enough.
I have to daily remind myself who I am.
I have to revisit the place where I was given a new name.
Where I learned that I matter.
I run to my Maker, my Father, the Name Giver.
My Maker never says you aren’t enough.
My Heavenly Father never says why can’t you be like your brother?
Instead He whispers to my soul let me tell you who YOU are.
I read the words that are fearfully and wonderfully engraved on my heart.
Sometimes it’s fuzzy and it requires a baptism in holy fire so that the layers of insecurity, cynicism and apathy are burned away.
Then I can see the words again…
I need to pause long enough everyday to remember WHO I am and WHOSE I am.

My prayer: Father, Let me BE the one that you BElove and BEhold.