Calling a Truce

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I tugged at my hair and frowned in the mirror. Then I remembered I couldn’t frown because that’s bad for the furrow between my eyes. I lift my eyebrows as if to iron it out. I can’t look too close at the things that are changing more with each passing year.

I apply makeup furiously and with a vendetta against the things I am trying to cover up. I do my usual squint in the mirror, my usual way of addressing mirrors ever since I was in fifth grade when my Mom let me start using pancake makeup to cover up my early acne.

In many ways, I am still the girl behind the curtain of hair on my first visit to the dermatologist office, all these years later. I look for the seat against the window, not facing it. Those visits lasted years and took me to some dark places.

I thought I could make myself disappear if I lost enough weight.

When I finally emerged at 25, by God’s grace and healing and my parent’s prayers, I entered into a foreign and wonderful place I had never been before. It was my own personal Woodstock. I waded in at first, then I plunged in with both feet. I exulted, I danced, I splashed, I reveled in my new-found joy and freedom.

I got my hair cut and looked out at a new and wonderful world.  I ran my fingers over my face and down my neck where there were no more lumps. Praise God. For the first time in my life I felt beautiful.

It was a pretty good run from then on. Until lately that is.

At 50 I was all confident and unafraid, ready to take on the next phase of life. At 53  I am entering into a peculiar stage. It’s not so much fun anymore. Gravity and years are tugging at me.  Simple tasks result in stupid injuries.

But from today on, I am calling a truce with myself and my body.  I will forgive it for aging.  I am going to fall in love all over again. With myself. Cause God said I could.

This….day….I….will….remember.

Each time I get angry at the  extra pounds pressing at my clothes, I will remember this post.  I will not think of it as my body betraying me, but reminding  me that I have to work a little bit harder. When I look at my upper arms I won’t pinch angrily at the extra flesh, remembering how firm and muscular my arms used to be.

And when I look at the wrinkles on my skin, which to me are looking more like trenches,  I will try not to dream of winning a trip to the plastic surgeon or running to get laser treatments. I will not hate my extra sun spots and think of them as defects but friendly freckles, and  I will let my arms go free from sleeves and I will wear shorts and enjoy it.

I will love my legs, knowing that underneath they are the same legs as when I could point a toe and see muscles pop like a ballet dancer. I can still use them to walk fast and even run when my back doesn’t give out.

I will not dread the swimsuit season. I will not allow it to give myself permission to hate my body or berate myself for how lazy I have gotten over the winter, I will use it as extra motivation to improve and make better food choices.

I will remember my re-birth, both of them. And live the truth that God has called me wonderfully made, and good, and yes, beautiful. And when I love myself, I am not only praising what He made, I am praising Him too.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

I will from this time forward, look to my beautiful older sisters who dress young and act young. I will see their radiant faces in my mind when I am tempted to pick up the barbed chains of self-flagellation.

And last but not least I will let my inner beauty shine so bright it’s the first thing people notice about me.

And starting today, I will hug myself in the mirror instead of frowning or squinting.

Because I love the me God created.

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4 thoughts on “Calling a Truce

  1. oh girl. you’re right. i absolutely love this post. i love the peace that you’ve made with your beautiful self. bless you. thank you so much for sharing this with me.

    • Oh Emily….you are a busy lady, so it means so much that you took the time to read and comment. Love and blessings to you. Your life and words are so inspiring. Your love for God shines through! Lori

  2. Dear Lori
    I just smiled when I read your words!! I turned 50 this year and I know exactly what you are talking about. And guess what!! I cannot care less. I never want to be young and beautiful and without wisdom that only comes with the years, again. For the first time in my life I am beginning to be quite comfortable in my skin. Thanks for such an honest REAL post.
    Blessings and love
    Mia

    • Mia, there is something very comforting about gettin older too, I have to admit it. God has been with me on this walk all along and I am so thankful for great role models like my Mom and her friends who have walked before me. Thank you so much for commenting! Always a pleasure to meet new people!

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