As much as I hesitate to write about things that are negative, I was recently reminded that life is not meant to be lived without the support of friends. That said, I need to process something that happened this week. I haven't talked about it or thought about it much since it happened, but in that moment it felt like an eternity, dragging on and pulling me along with it.
Over the past 6 months or so, I have been really breaking free of my addiction to running and consuming thoughts about controlling what I eat or don't eat, how much I exercise, etc. And let me just say that giving something up like that at first, feels like a free fall, exhilarating and terrifying at the same time, like you don't know if you will be able to catch yourself. But I have and I am gaining alot of steadiness in that area of my life, with the help of God and prayer and confession. And community. I am gradually learning in my life that my community needs to be part of my confession and struggle, not just my joy and others prayer requests, but mine as well.
All of that said, this week I had an intense "both/and" experience. Let me unpack that a little. I had a girl who is a stylist at a "chic-y" salon in Grand Rapids who was ordering some Uppercase Living and I drove out there to meet up with her between clients. From the moment I entered the spa she works at, I felt an overwhelming struggle going on inside of me. I know alot of wonderful girls who are stylists who are warm and open, but let me tell you, none of the girls in this salon were any of that. I felt an enormous lump of jealousy building in my chest over their perfectly matched designer outfits complete with fashionable heels, the newest accessories, all hairs in place, makeup perfectly shaded. And I felt like as I sat in the waiting room and waited and waited, they were unpacking me as well.
And I plain felt like I didn't measure up. I felt both inferior and superior at the same time to them (the "both/and" complex). I felt inferior by everything I just wrote but I felt a sense of superiority, knowing that I am not living my life based on my merits of beauty. Please friends, don't hear me saying that I need an ego boost or kind affirmation. I just need to be real about the struggle that goes on between women. My friend Brandi & I were talking just a few days before this incident and we decided that women operate on the point's system:
"My hair is cuter than hers" 1 point for me
"Her jeans are smaller than mine" 2 points for her
"My home is decorated better than hers" 1 point for me
You get the picture. And in those moments, it made me really sad that I was feeling myself playing that game. I feel better already, putting it out there and am thankful for each of you women in my life who don't keep track of points, but affirm Godliness and grace, knowing that those things truly are beautiful.