Tuesday, October 26, 2010
If you don't see the real me, you won't see what mercy's done
If you don't see my weakness, you won't see what love has won
If you don't see the distance, from the darkness to the sun
you wont see, honestly.
Those are lyrics from VOTA's song Honestly. It is a beautiful song that totally peels back the layers of the listener's soul; teaching us a fact or two about ourselves. What are we keeping bottled up? What masks are we wearing?
As I listened to it, I felt my layers being pulled away. All of it. I know that sounds extremely weird, but this is a beauty of art. It effects each and every one of us differently. Different mediums, different artists, different themes, different viewer/listeners. I'm artsy myself, so my mind does like to see things even weirder generally.
While I was listening I felt myself break down. I didn't cry, but I felt really exposed, if that makes sense. God really showed me two things I need to be honest with myself about and honest with those who care for my well being.
One: I am struggling with hate.
Over this past summer I've had two instances where I have been betrayed. This isn't the first time I've been betrayed, but it was really personal this time because the persons involved really acted like they cared about me, my family, and what went on in our lives. One of these instances especially hurt because said persons got close to my family, their only intent of using information gathered (mainly from my father's business) against us to profit themselves. I was physically sick after finding out. What made it worse is that I was out of town in Houston for business with my father, so I couldn't be with my family. It stabbed my family more that the people from both instances went to our church. People we thought we could trust and in the end, we have been made out as the bad people here and everyday I am in a battle with my flesh to not lose my temper. To treat my enemies in love like God commanded us.
I walk into church every Saturday night having to face them and myself. To resist the urge to want to yell at them (I know, very mature), to stand there and proclaim all the wrongs they did to us because no one has either heard our side of the story, or they don't care to because said people are very respected.
I'm not trying to sound melodramatic. I'm not trying to seek attention here. I'm merely being honest, because I feel that I need to. Its not fair that I keep my flaws hidden from the world, or that I not allow those who care for me to help me because of my pride or fear.
It's hard, because I try to do as God commands and treat people with love. Because, I do believe love is and always will be the answer to a multitude of problems. Unconditional love. Love free of biased views, hate, hidden agendas, etc. Free love.
What do I gain by hating someone other than injuring my spirit and my internal body by the harmful adrenaline (designed as a natural survival instinct, whereas too much is harmful) that my anger creates? To smile and say a kind word, or to think kind thoughts to the person is the most powerful and beneficial thing one could do. But this is where sin is allowed in. This is where our flesh, that vapory voice whispers in your ear that it is okay. An eye for an eye, right?
A dear friend said once, "You can't truly treat others in love if you don't have love inside you." Talk about hitting the mark! I didn't tell her till months later how much that quote has really stuck with me since. Every time I start to feel that hate build up again, God always, without fail, pops that quote into my head, like a huge red WARNING sign.
So yes, hate was allowed into my heart like a silent disease and I have fought it since. But you know what? Along with that hate, God gave me a way out: a chance to grow from this. A chance to embrace love and use it's humble power. Sure, life is tough, but in the end, what did you take away from that experience? How did you react, and in the end, how did you respond later? Now this lasts a lifetime.
Two: I am struggling with self-esteem/appearance.
I don't want this confused with self-worth. Please. That is not what I am struggling with.
I've been realizing lately that I've developed a fear of looking at myself in the mirror outside of putting make-up on (of which, I'll address in a little bit). Its not that I don't feel beautiful, because I know that I am; God made me that way. I feel gross and disgusting. My weight is out of control and I feel ashamed at myself. I feel don't like going out at times after I see myself in the mirror. Never have I been a fan of much snack or junk food, nor do I spend my days sitting around like people are quick to assume. My problem is that I enjoy good food (mainly breads) and I tend to eat when I'm stressed if I don't watch myself. I envy my siblings who have a high metabolism, though I never have really let them know that.
I maintained a weight of 170 for a good two years and then when I tried to lose weight starting back in June, it decided to plummet upwards. When I weighed myself the other day and got 200 I just broke down and sobbed. Its not like I'm super obese or have flabby fat, but I'm at the point where I need to decide to get my life in order. I'm trying though, so I suppose that counts, right?
Secondly, diabetes runs in my family, among other things. If I don't get my weight in order there is a strong possibility I will acquire these diseases. Outside of weight/food issues, I am a pretty healthy person. I only get sick three times (at most) a year, generally two. I'm a clean and tidy person and I always have hand sanitizer and a first aid kit in my purse.
So mainly, I feel ashamed. I don't feel like I'm not beautiful, just . . . embarrassed. I don't want to be stick-thin or anything. I just want to be a healthy weight.
As for make-up. Most days I don't wear any, but there are times where I like to have some fun and wear some. Make-up to me is yet another medium for my art. I've worn long and glittery eyelashes, bold and bright colors of eye-shadows, designs drawn on my face, etc. I do not believe one needs make up to be beautiful. It is an art form.
One more thing I need to bring up. Last week I mentioned that I did something "daring." Indeed I did. Allow me to explain:
I love my long hair. I feel like an elvish princess with it and I love having people brush and play with it. However, I also used my hair as a security shield if need be. Days when I wasn't feeling great in the confidence department I could leave it down and significantly minimize the view around me. I'm not saying EVERY day I had my hair down I was having a bad day (I love the feel of hair on my back) but it was always an option. Days when I felt like I could take on the world I could pull my hair completely back. Sometimes I'd even cheat on drama performances and leave it down and be able to avoid seeing the audience, especially if I had a bad week or needed to eliminate distractions. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to perform in front of people, but sometimes one just feels overwhelmed.
(DISCLAIMER: I am not stating having long hair is a bad thing. I LOVE long hair. This is just personal notes from my experience(s))
So, when mom presented the idea of getting something done with my hair last week, I decided to step out on the track of an emotional roller coaster and do it.
The result? My "anime" hair as my siblings call it. It is so light and easier to brush and it really does remind me of an anime character. I just wanted something a reasonable length with some body to it with layers. I love the layers on my new hairstyle and how I cannot hide my face anymore.
It took only fifteen minutes and the entire time I fought off tears. But you know what? Hair grows back (mine grows really fast, actually) and I think it was about time for a change.
Let the light escape
From these holes inside my soul
When I start to break
Then grace begins to flow
Let the light escape
From this wounded place inside my soul