The Eye of the Beholder

That phrase “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder” is really deep when you think about it. A few days ago, I had the opportunity to attend a sleepover with some young ladies. Looking at them I remembered my youth so distantly. The worries of my high-school years that at the time seemed so devastating now seemed so inessential. However, as the ladies spoke memories of a not so pleasant time came to the fore. The topic of beauty, was what was being discussed. I remembered when I thought I was ugly. For many years, I believed what I’d been told by mean-spirited kids who told me I was not attractive. I wasn’t depressed about it. I just took it as – “oh well, I don’t need to be pretty.” This mindset followed me through college and then through most of my twenties. When the first person I ever dated told me I was pretty… I just brushed it off as lip service. Of course I didn’t believe my mum when she said it, because she was my mum she had to tell me that. It also affected my interactions with men. I didn’t consider myself pretty so I depended more on my personality when conversing. I would maybe push my personality a little too much – I was too funny, too animated, too much of anything that would push my appearance to the back.

Listening to these young ladies talk of similar self-image issues I realized how damaging what we say and do to people can be. Also how even more damaging how we receive that information can be. Only 4% of women around the world think they are beautiful. Its disconcerting.  Now that I weed out a lot of things of the world, so that I feed my spirit with good things, my mind on this has changed significantly. I am created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). Does that mean I think God is ugly? When he is described as a being of light and beauty in the bible (Revelation 4:3). As a Christian woman I strive to reflect Christ. For me, He is one of the most beautiful beings I can think of. So it makes no sense to have self-image issues when my creator made me beautifully.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV)

To persist in such negative thinking is to insult the One Who Made Me. I wont lie it’s still a bit difficult to accept compliments. However, I smile now when I hear them because I am not accepting them for myself but for my God. They are complimenting his work.

I found this excerpt that I thought would be nice to share:

Heather Davis Nelson says in the Journal of Biblical Counseling:

In pursuing worldly beauty, we strive to become this elusive image in place of who we really are. You and I are created in the image of the living God. Our purpose is to reflect His image to the world. But since the fall, we let the world inscribe its image on us. It is the very picture of sin and ultimately death. Instead of being transformed to God’s image, we conform to the world’s image. We are hopelessly stuck in a lifeless cycle, exchanging God for the creature as our object of worship. But God in His mercy rescued us! In love, God sent Jesus Christ to take on the consequences of our idolatrous affair. He became sin so that we might become righteous. In Christ, God gives us freedom from sin’s power now and hope for its eradication in heaven. God makes you beautiful with the beauty of His Son, Jesus. It is in gazing at God’s image in Jesus Christ that you are transformed.Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, (sisters) in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Amen.

Getting Over Romance

I’ve come to the acceptance that I may never love a man the way I would’ve at my fresh-faced early 20s. Then a lack of experience and a doe eyed countenance made me susceptible to too many fantasies. A few years ago I passed through a painful relationship that left me feeling lacking in so many ways. My sense of self seemed to have hid away somewhere deep inside huddled and alone, covered in festering wounds. Never did the thought of warming up again to someone else even seem possible. Then the unexpected happened and I fell and clichéd-ly tripped into a chasm… I wish to put no names to. Though a close and wishful cousin of mines would call it love. All I’m willing to agree to is that I was pulled inexplicably into an emotional roller coaster. In the end, as usual I was left picking up the pieces of a heart I never knew had so much left in it.

Last night as I joined a girlfriend at a mutual friend’s house party, all these thoughts came to me. Our mutual friend, an old college mate of mine, looked at me with overly warm affection in his eyes. Affection that I’d known existed many years ago in Uni but had ignored for strictly academic pursuits. Now a desire to focus on academia was no longer what blocked his attentions. I looked back at him acknowledging his feelings yet sorry for them. Distantly I knew I found him attractive in the age old way women find strong masculine lines and broad shoulders comforting and right. However, once again his timing was wrong. Now there was not even a shard of emotional potential left. I’d thrown even the dust from the broken shards away. In spite of this, I smiled gently and returned his hugs happily. Having no desire for more but genuinely happy to see an old colleague. With light steps I joined my girlfriend on the dance floor and swayed and jived till we were all laughs and brighter thoughts sparkled the darker ones away.

NotSoSkinnyDreams Goes Independent

It is 2014 and once again I have not written in ages. Before you hiss… hear me out! I had a plan seriously. I’ve been writing quietly in word till a time I felt comfortable to restart my blog. I want to become a consistent blogger with a real following. Pray for me folks. The experiences I had in Nigeria as well as a lot of things I’ve thought about have all been saved.

Why you ask?

Well for several reasons. One, I hated being hosted by WordPress. I felt like my writing was being blasphemed by their random adverts. They never asked for permission nor did they let me choose what kind of ad could be displayed. Two, while going through what I went through in Nigeria I didn’t feel it was the time to take on my blog again. I hardly had consistency in my own life let alone time to blog nor internet to blog with (smh). Three, I wasn’t comfortable having a live blog that could expose certain people around me at the time. Now time has passed and I am entering a period of clarity and a need for reflection. As a result… I apologize in advance if some people may become offended by my writings and detailing of certain events. However, I will not retract anything since I’ve decided to continue as honestly as I started this blog years ago.

Me

Another Blog :: Attempt 2

I once had a blog…

I wrote about everything and absolutely nothing. Spinning lyrical words that sounded lovely and deep… almost musical. It was as if i wanted to pull out as much emotions as i could in each and every post. Breaking hearts, mending wounds, laughing at beautiful moments, sighing at tender ones… this is how i lived in my words. Every letter embodied drama either real or created. LOVE… HATE… PASSION. Yes in all caps as if i was shouting them at my readers. As few as they were I wanted to own them. Make them my own flesh and blood… so they felt what i felt. Even Anonymous shed tears with me, loved me and screamed with me. I was known for drama. A passing glance from a stranger became a searing gaze. A seemingly accidental brush from a bus rider – a passionate caress. I lived in a world of heightened senses – steamy embraces, fights erupting fiercer than Mt. Vesuvius, and declarations of love an ode to epic romance.

Now its 2011. I’m older now. I would like to think wiser and a bit more sensible. However my “sensibilities” have brought me mediocrity and a grey landscape. I live in grey and neutral colors. Where is that girl that dyed her hair orange just for the heck of it? That wore one glove before she even knew who MJ was? No i do not want to return to all my prior antics or naiveté. A return of my passionate self is what I want. The drama that colored even the most minor things i did. Maybe not as intense as it once was but a more mature version of it all would be greatly welcomed. This blog is my second attempt. A blog documenting my journey… to reclaiming – ME. I smile as i write that. ME – feels like LOVE.HEART.WARMTH.

I am ready.

Until my words meet you again,

Joy