Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My closest friend (part 2)

I hope that it's painfully obvious that I don't actually talk to my friends like that.

But that is the way the Lord chose to reveal this sin to me. Because that's what it is. Sin.

I tried to sugar coat it. I tried to tell Him that I'm just giving myself a realistic self-image. I'm not depressed. I'm not unhappy. I'm fairly confident but, Lord, do YOU see my thighs? And do YOU see the numbers on the scale? I'm just being honest when I say that I'm lazy and I did this to myself.

That's when He replied: "Don't talk about my friend like that."


I'm not alone in this, right? I think we women are especially prone to being harder on ourselves than on anyone else.

We would never scream at our best friend for gaining two pounds.

We would never deny our child breakfast because she had dessert with dinner last night.

We would never demean someone or make them feel like a failure because they made a mistake.

We encourage. We uplift. We even tell little white lies so that people feel good about themselves. We love. We forgive. We overlook. We forget.

As women, we have the profound ability to look past someone's imperfections, to see beyond their outward appearance, to search deep into their hearts, and to find a reason to love them despite their apparent flaws. We hear about it all the time in cases of abused women. We listen to their story in disbelief as they answer the question, "Why did you stay?"

Because I love him.

Because when he isn't drunk, he really is a good man.

Because he never hurt the kids.

Because he promised me he would change.

We sit back and judge their reasoning. But is it really so unbelievable? Is it really that difficult to understand their need, their desire, to see past the flaws and love the person underneath?

We women love hard. God has given us the rare ability to love our husbands, our children, and each other with a love that goes far beyond a fleeting, wimpy love. It's a love that pierces through the outside shells and sinks into the soft, god-like part in the middle.

But when it comes to ourselves, we can't get past the cottage cheese thighs.

Women can forgive the most heinous of crimes against our soul. Rejection. Abandonment. Neglect.

But we can't forgive ourselves for eating that potato chip last night.

We look at those who suffer from anger, and see abuse from their past. We look at those who run from relationships, and we see the abandonment with which they still wrestle. We look at those who work too hard, drink too much, or care too little... and we see who they are beneath all the crap that the world has laid upon them.

But when we look at ourselves, we see failure and lack of discipline. We see the enemy.

But I'm done with that. It's disgusting. It's unfair. It's a self-inflicted nightmare that I refuse to give into.

Because He created me. He loves me. He is my friend.

And I won't talk about His friend like that anymore.


Jessica Ham said...

Thank you so much for sharing. Really convicted me and spoke to me. I should love myself as I love others...wholly, completely. Thanks for the insight.

Michele said...

I showed this to all the women at work..it is seriously the most profound look at what we say to ourselves that I have ever seen. Thank you.

Jess said...

My Closest Friend is exactly like yours...and I really still want to talk smack about her. Hmph.

Dark yet lovely...

The Quote That Started It All...

I myself have twelve hats, each one representing a different personality. Why be just yourself? - Margaret Atwood