Not Apologizing Any More

on August 30, 2010

A few weeks ago I was helping a sister in the temple who was very obese.  I could tell that mentally she wasn’t as smart as the other kids.  As she stood next to me I glanced up at her – and for a moment – a brief moment, I SAW her.  She was beautiful.  Not in a “she has a sweet spirit and a great personality” type of way when we try to describe someone who is nice but doesn’t fit the mold that society has deemed as attractive – but she was beautiful in every way – including physically.  It was a glimpse – and I knew Heavenly Father saw her as a beautiful woman.

I have thought on this often – especially as I have tried to see myself that way and struggle every day.  I remind myself to see the beautiful things in myself but still struggle to accept and love the “whole package”.  But I’m determined to work on it – because I know the answer to my health and emotional well being must be based and grounded in love.  Criticism is not a good long-term motivator and neither is shame.

Tonight I went to a choir practice for a special event (don’t worry – I don’t sing – I just take the roll) and one sister came and apologized to the choir manager that she didn’t have the appropriate attire.  She explained that she had ordered it but it hadn’t come yet.  The outfit for the performance is a white long sleeved button down shirt and a black skirt.  This should be simple for anyone to find, right?  Not if you are a large woman.  And this sister was.  There was apology in her voice and as someone who is also overweight I realized that the apology wasn’t for not having the right skirt.  I felt as if I could hear what she really felt and what I have also felt and not verbalized.  I looked around the room – including the dear sister I was sitting next to.  There were others there too.  We have an unspoken bond and not one we relish in.  I realized how many times in our minds we have apologized to the world for the most horrible of sins –taking up too much room in this world.  If we did verbalize it – it would sound something like this “I’m sorry I’m fat.  I’m sorry I couldn’t find the right skirt and blouse on the rack.  I’m sorry my butt flows over this chair and may end up touching you in the next seat.  I’m sorry I make you uncomfortable when you look at me.  I’m sorry! I’m sorry”.  We feel we must apologize to the world for taking up too much room – we don’t say it out loud – but we feel it.

Tonight I wanted to hug those extra large sisters (make that a 2X or 3X) and tell them that they are beautiful.  I want myself to believe that about myself too.  I want them and myself to get a glimpse of who they really ARE.  How their Father sees them.  I want them to carry that beautiful image in their minds.  I want to carry it in my mind.

Here is the interesting thing – I’m not saying “embrace your fatness” and shout out “I’m bold, big, and beautiful, get outta my way.”  Those of us in this place know that our weight is just where we have carried much of our pain. It is not comfortable to be large. What I AM saying is embrace yourself as a divine being and stop apologizing (even mentally) to the world for being who you are at this moment.  Then love the being you are.  Nurture your body and spirit.  Quit torturing yourself for what you are not.  Love IS the answer.  I really believe this.  The more I am tuned in to how Heavenly Father sees me and start acting like that vision – I know I’ll stop using food for coping.  I’ll be happy to move my body because it helps my body feel connected to my spirit.  I’ll be healthy and feel respect for God and the body he gave me.  I’ll learn what it really means to nourish and nurture my soul and my weight will go to whatever is normal for me and be totally okay with it.  The miracle will be that my worth never changed – I only changed in how I see and act according to the worth and beauty that is already there.

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4 responses to “Not Apologizing Any More

  1. Laurel says:

    beautiful.
    brave.
    honest.
    thanks.

  2. Erin says:

    I love you. This is really beautiful and i am grateful for your sharing.

  3. Cassidi says:

    I still remember the treasure boxes you gave us in Young Women’s. You opened it up and there was a mirror in the top and a picture of the Savior inside with a quote that said, “The greatest treasure I could give you is to see yourself as He does.” I’m glad you are remembering that too.

  4. DeeAnn says:

    You have done it again Dear friend! You have touched my heart and made me think. Thanks so much!

    L O V E Y O U ! ! !

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