I sit and think of what I want to write about this week and my head is swarmed with fractured ideas and concepts I am only beginning to understand. All of them are worth dwelling on, so I am forced to almost pick one at random. One thing that I never seem to get used to is life’s ability to humble it’s participants. No matter how much I accomplish something is thrown back at me and I realize how futile it really is.
This Summer I’m in the best shape of my life. What I didn’t necessarily think about when I began this fitness journey in November 2012 is the drastic change in treatment I receive from people I come into contact with and the automatic popularity that comes with it. My core is the same as it was before, but I’m treated like a different person. People have wanted to be around me only because of my body. Often specifically people of the male variety. Most girls and women can probably think of an age when they started getting more attention from the opposite sex. For me it was around age 13. Some are probably thrilled when this happens, but it freaked me out to no end that they could view me that way. That they could want to use me without love. Now that I’ve made my physical well being a priority it’s worse than ever. It’s disheartening when I can’t leave the house without someone trying to use me for pleasure. The comments, the gestures, the way they think they own me because they like what they’re taking in with their eyes, and that makes me theirs. I feel violated just by their attitude towards me. I’m less than human. I’m a toy. Even without sexual overtones I am not respected by the majority of men I come in contact with. Even at home I’m belittled and degraded by my dad who uses me to boost his power ego. He can call me anything he wants. He can curse in my face. He can tell me to get out. He can tell me that I have nothing to offer and devalue me because that is his ‘right’ as a big man. Then, like today, he can go to church put on a face and be friendly and respectful to everyone else because the image of a good or changed person is all that matters to him. I refuse to let him have that full undeserved power of manipulation.
Everyone has equal value in Christ, and these people need love just like everyone else. They are victim to the world we live in, but the circumstance in which we are born does not decide who we become. That choice is always ours. I’ve been blessed to know a lot of good men who try hard to better themselves and do what’s right. Human efforts alone are also worthless without God’s grace. No person can ever hope to measure up to His standard. Still it can’t be His will for us to live like animals when He made us in His image as a reflection of His character.
So much attention and praise is put onto things that don’t matter, or focused on the positive instead of the whole. A good critique sees the picture in all it’s aspects. I think there’s often a misunderstanding in what it means to be kind to one another. It doesn’t mean ‘be positive and give praise all the time’. To respectfully acknowledge the truth and point out flaws as well as achievements is necessary for growth. A flaw is a weak point, and just like in anything else that will be the first to break unless it’s corrected. I don’t want friends who give me praise. I want friends who love me enough to share the truth. What has always unsettled me is sensing a person is being superficial or less than authentic. I cannot stand shallowness or fakery of any kind, and I recognize it right away. There is no room in this life for hiding. It is senseless.
it’s partially for this reason that I’m so uncomfortable when so much attention is drawn onto how I look. It is in a very obvious way very shallow yet my worth is based on appearance, not depth. My achievements, not His. That is wrong. Everything that we see is a temporary holding place for what is eternal. Everything in this world is a reflection, and does not actually exist. We can think of it as a cheap copy, imperfect, and fractured. I was having a conversation with my brother last night and he made a good point in that God does not have separate mind, will, and emotions, but rather a collective eternal force that is Him. What He gave us is a reflection of Himself, so therefore we have something that effectively looks like Him, but does not operate like Him. We cannot come close to the depth that is God. We mirror Him, and just like any mirror image we are backwards and hazy and we only view the surface. This means that we’re limited to the physical, and even our mind will and emotions that we refer to as our soul is physical, stemming from the brain that God created and only mimics the reality of Him. The significance of this is boundless, but it led me to ponder this; God felt the universe, then created it. He felt us, and that’s why we exist.
The separation of male and female is a good physical example that ties into the separation of mind will and emotions. God is neither male or female, but both, yet He created male and female apart from each other. Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Everything in creation reflects different aspects of His being, but in man is a collection of everything. He made male and female separate yet designed them to be united into a whole. Maybe He did this so we would not be too powerful. We continually must search outside of ourselves because we’re incomplete. Only He has all the pieces and can bring completion.
1 Peter 3:3-4 (New King James Version)
3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
- The Image of God: Thoughts on a Nondual Christianity (hanumandass.com)