Comparison: The Thief of Joy

Social media is a cesspool of comparison. There is absolutely no way to deny it and if we would be honest, we would admit that as much as we don’t want to compare ourselves we do. I found myself drowning in that pool recently and I had to get the heck out there. So I removed all of my social media apps cold turkey.

At first it all started with me seeing a girl in a dope outfit on Instagram and thinking to myself, “Oh she is wearing that!” Soon after that I found myself looking at picture of Kim Kardashian on the beach looking all slim and fearless, feeling hopeless because I would never look like her. I even fantasized about what it would feel like to look like her and when I looked down at myself and saw my psoriasis covered rolls around my stomach I just cringed in horror.

I am one of those people who like to think I love myself but in truth I and in the process of unwrapping decades of being put down by others and years of self-hate. It wasn’t until I snapped out of my fantasy of looking like Kim K that I realized that by remaining in that space that I would be ruining any progress I’ve made in truly accepting myself as the chubby, psoriasis covered queen that I am.

I would love to be able to say that I can be on social media and be unfazed by all the hype but I still find myself being negatively influenced by it. One thing I will admit is that it’s me that is allowing this to happen, so it has to be me who works on making the change. That is why I’ve decided to leave social media for a bit and work on myself.

Will I go back to it before I’m completely healed? Probably.

But I will not return until I’ve done some extensive work in learning to love myself more thoroughly. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Twenty-Twenty-Two

I made a deal with myself that I would do TWO major things this year.

The first thing is that I would be the most genuine I’ve ever been. Like I want to be so transparent that it scares me. Why do I want to do that? Because when I’m in fire I thrive and I decided that at the tender age of 37 I deserve to be the most authentic version of myself and thrive. It’s crazy because I am a person who likes to believe that I’m always showing up as my true self, but there so many parts of me that I keep hidden in an attempt to keep myself safe from judgement and the potential of being hurt. There are so many things I’m not experiencing because of the walls I’ve built to protect myself. This pandemic has forced me to see how soft and fragile I actually am. For a long time I thought it made me weak but it’s what has kept me alive and filled with hope. It’s the thing that has given me the ability to bounce back from whatever tries to defeat me. I don’t think I would be able to do that if I had let the world make me cold and shrill, not saying that I wasn’t close because I definitely have been. On the outside I’ve appeared to seemingly bounce back from all the things that have tried to defeat me, the truth though is that on the inside I’ve been building many walls to keep myself protected out of fear and I trust no one.

Here’s the thing though… I’m so sick of living in fear and I’m sick of being sick. So I’m writing. I’m going to write about everything no restraint, no sugar coating, just me and my lived experiences and thoughts. I’m going to allow myself to be soft and I’m going tear down every wall I’ve built. I’m exhausted of trying to seem callous so I can feel protected. I don’t want to be cold like the world and because I found Jesus, now I don’t have to be praise God. I can just be and as scared as I am, I’m ready to jump. I’m ready to be who God made me to be when He formed me in my mothers womb.

The second thing I said I would do this year is finish everything I start. I started this blog some years ago and I didn’t write because I didn’t want to be fully honest. I wanted to paint this pretty pink picture and inspire. Pretty and pink doesn’t inspire though. Gritty and real does.

So here I am… just a scared, soft, vulnerable girl ready to rip the bandaid for the first time in her life and be REAL, like really real.

You in?

Let Me Spill Some Tea

Why is gossiping so easy? How many of us are partaking in it and think that we aren’t because we are “just talking?” The answer to that is most of us. I was just sitting with my sister talking about a personal family situation and without even thinking about it, I fell into gossip. The crazy part is that I really thought I was just giving her some good advice. It wasn’t my intention to gossip, it just happened and it wasn’t until I was done talking and was rehashing our conversation that I even realized what I had done.

Why is it so easy to fall into gossip? I wanted to understand gossiping more, so I could get to the root of it and see where I fall short, so I looked up it’s definition. Gossip is any kind of talk about someone who isn’t present and it’s most often something we think we can make a moral judgement about, whether it be to approve or disapprove the information. I also found an article in Time where they suggest that gossiping could have been a reason that our ancestors had survived and evolved because it was like grooming and it helped them bond and I was like, what? How? Then I read some more and they mentioned a professor named Matthew Feinberg who said, “when subjects heard about another person’s anti-social behavior or an injustice, their heart rates increased. When they were able to actively gossip about the person, or the situation, on the other hand, it soothed them and brought their heart rates down. The act of gossiping, Feinberg explains, “helps calm the body.”

How many times have you sat with a friend and they say ” I have to tell you something” and your heart begins to race as you anticipate the information you are about to hear? Then when they finally tell you there’s this weird euphoria. Feinberg is right. It does calm you down. It does feel like a moment of bonding. How insane is that? It’s rare that gossiping makes you feel uneasy and I believe that has to be the reason why it’s so easy to gossip, because as humans we crave belonging and feeling good. It’s a matter of our flesh taking precedence over what we know to be right, and it’s the posture of our hearts towards the person we are speaking about as well. There have been plenty of times when I feel the need to execute my judgement of some one I’m not fond of and all of a sudden my opinion becomes a “verdict” laced with poor judgement, but when I’m fond of someone I think twice about what I say and still fall short and that’s wrong.

So now that we know that the root of gossiping is our selfish flesh, what can we do about it? I’m glad you asked.

First, we must put our flesh to death daily. Not a physical one, but a spiritual one where we bring all of our thoughts captive to Jesus Christ and flee from temptation every time it rises up. Then we must think of others as more important than ourselves, understanding that we are called to love everyone just as Jesus loves us. We should also always seek to edify people with the words that come out of our mouths because like Proverbs 18:21 says, there is power of life and death on our tongues. Even if the other person can’t hear us, we should speak about others the way we would want them to speak about us. We do reap what we sow, right? Lastly, like the old saying says… if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all.

I believe that if we can all be diligent about making these things a part of our daily life and interactions we will gossip less and eventually quit gossiping all together. Do we want to stop though? That is the question.

Until next time, you are love and have purpose.

Here’s the article about what gossip is scientifically if anyone is interested https://time.com/5680457/why-do-people-gossip/

Godfidence

I will openly admit that for years I’ve struggled with getting my confidence from the validation of others.⁠

It always left me feeling like I could never measure up and if I did in some way I was always trying to figure out what I had to do to keep it. ⁠

It wasn’t until a huge falling out with someone that I truly cared for and who’s validation was my world that I realized that another human being could not and should never be my source of confidence. ⁠

In the midst of the separation I allowed God to work in me. He showed me that everything I am should come directly from who He says I am. Not from what any human has to say, whether they be soothing words or bruising ones. His words are the only ones that when spoken actually manifest in our lives. Therefore, He is the only true source of all things I am meant to be; that includes confidence.⁠

If you find yourself feeling low because you aren’t being validated by people please turn to Jesus Christ and understand that His validation is the only actual true source of everything you’ll ever need in this life to walk in what He’s called you to be.

Until next time, remember you are loved and have purpose.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 15:13 ESV