September 20, 2019

Bounce back

I have been thinking a lot about the words “bouncing back”. We live in a society that prides itself on snapping back after we are knocked down. Athletes are pressured to be back on the court ASAP after an injury. After a tragedy we are supposed to “get over it” and move forward. Jr. High girls watch movies of “girls their age” facing boy problems and looking like super models walking through the halls of their school, and wonder why their bodies aren’t making those changes in the ways they “should”. Moms are supposed to take a few weeks after pushing a small human out of a very small hole😬and return to work without any hiccups...throwing on their skinny jeans and taking on the world. Celebrities cover magazines showing before and after baby pics just weeks after giving birth. All the while post baby women—in real life—stand in line at the grocery store still in our maternity sweats, wearing an oversized diaper, and praying that no babies cry or Niagara Falls will cover our shirts—staring puzzled at pictures of what we think everyone believes we should be...looking down at our “ruined body” and shaming ourselves for not being able to do the same. 

So what other option do we have than to hate a body not capable of what we think we know it is supposed to be? We don’t leave room for imperfection...and definitely no room for time. We want it now! Just like the latest phones and gadgets, we don’t want to wait. Our ability to bounce back depends on obtaining that “happiness” right now.

We have spent our lives hearing and reading statements like, “when I lose ten pounds then I will be happy”, “if my nose was just a little smaller...maybe the boys would like me”, “once I get in shape I am going to put myself out there”, “hate your body? Want to love yourself again?”. Demanding that to love ourselves we must be different than we are—and we must find a way to be like everybody else claiming that their rock hard abs is what brings them joy. 

So when does it end? To all the girls who have passed by the magazines and wondered if they will ever measure up. To all the boys who stand at the gym mirror and behind them scan a room of enhanced peck muscles the size of their entire body wondering why they can’t look the same. To all the moms who drive around vans full of babies and granola bar wrappers and walk them in to school on the first day in their pjs and a messy bun, passing all the “real moms” in their workout clothes talking about how they already ran 10 miles, baked cookies for after school snacks, and decorated their front room this morning. To all the dads who barely have time to make ends meet, let alone work on getting their high school six pack back. I stand with you. These jobs we do, these challenges we face, they are hard. And living in a world that tells us we need to always be striving to be what we once were—and what everybody else already is—is one of those challenges....and—guess what—they are lying to us. 

God didn’t ask us to come here to learn how to stay the same, or be just like everybody else. He sent us here to grow and change. He didn’t ask us to bounce back. He asked us to enjoy this journey. He asked us to come and remember that these bodies are where our spirit dwells. Perfection can be found in our spirit that rests inside—but our bodies are never going to remain constant...and they will in fact never be perfect. They will hurt, they will change, they will fluctuate, they will grow...and until we die they will continue to be a imperfect home for our perfect spirits that are here to obtain a mortal experience. Sometimes we will love how our body looks and feels on the outside, and other times we will be grateful for the parts that still work, but until we truly see ourselves for what is inside those bodies...the mortal experience will continue to disappoint. 

Who we are meant to be does not lie in the past, it lies in the future. We don’t have to bounce back. There might not be many days where we feel like we are bouncing forward but today let’s start with just putting 1 foot in front of the other. Those days when we feel like our current state has slowed us down... we have to start asking “What am I learning here that I couldn’t in any other way? While He has me slowed down, what is God trying to say to help me remember who He sent me here to be?”

In our journey to discover what is really eternally important we will find out that the more time we spend on others—and the less we spend obsessing about our bodies—that is when we will find joy. Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to bounce back. He wants us to spring forward. Through change and building resilience we will never be who we were before. We will become better. Today is what we have got. Live it. 


Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

You're so right.
God bless. It is hard in the world with so much emphasis on how we look or what we weigh. Husbands who feel you should be 120lbs and expect perfection.

Post a Comment

Blog Design By: Sherbet Blossom Designs