I had a dream a little while ago which has made me realise something quite significant about myself. In this dream I saw myself in a kayak doing a canoe race with someone. I knew it was me in the dream although I did not recognise myself. I had long brown hair, I was tanned ( not likely after a year in Ireland and returning to South Africa for a second winter). But what has had a major impact on me is that I had this super toned body - muscles everywhere. I even had my much desired Michelle Obama Arms!!
Why the impact? I realised that I had never seen myself or even imagined myself like that before. Yes, I desired it, and have tried endlessly to tone up... but never actually 'seen' myself looking so super hot and healthy ... Fit, Firm and Fabulous! The image inspired me and motivates me now ... because I guess the cliche 'if u can see it - you can achieve it' (I hope). But this is not my point.
My point is that my self-image has always been distorted. I have always! always! always! seen myself as the 'very chubby, friendly girl'. I know that ones self-image is like the cruise-control setting in Ian's much loved TDi Polo. If you set the cruise control at 100km per hour, you can slow down or accelerate to a higher speed for what ever you need to, but the cruise control will always bring you back to 100km per hour. To make point: If my self-image is me weighing 10 tons - I may lose or gain 5tons. But if my self-image is or I see myself as 10 tons its likely that I will always slowly creep back 10 tons. The same goes if you see your self as a loser or as unsuccessful or a bad friend. You will never rise above the expectation you have of yourself.
I will give you some example of my mindset. I joined the gym here in Worcester for the couple of months that we'd be here. As you know you have to go through the whole assessment - make me a program exercise first. Anyway, so I go and tell them my usual goals blah blah blah... get on the scale ( The usual result ) and then the BMI and fat percentage. I read the results and expect the worst. I was surprised to see I am in the normal-healthy range for fat percentage.... and my thought is first 'the dude is clearly not a professional,he must of made a mistake'. Then my mom gets one of these fancy scales that can measure your fat percentage...I am surprised it is almost exactly the same percentage as the 'unprofessional gym dude'. So I think it must be his table that's incorrect,I search the web and check the scales handbook ...I am in the healthy zone. I did a few more tests at Run/Walk for Life and yip same result. My problem is that self-image is that I am not 'Normal'!! but maybe, just maybe I am. Not my ideal!!, but 'normal' is a very big jump from what I thought I was.
I need to change the expectation of myself in order to firstly accept that maybe I am okay - even now - which is the hardest part! and that 'I'...yes 'me' can actually be the girl in the Kayak! I have seen an image of myself - and that I can actually be 'her', IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE ...because I have seen an image that it is! even if only in my dream =).
In my next blog will be about how I got this self-image - the lies I hear/heard and believed which set my cruise control at very chubby - friendly girl. Likely the most important reason for this post being written. Because many of us have been told lies about ourselves that we have believed and it may be stealing our potential.
In my post ‘The 2 year Old in You’ I wrote about how adults have lots their ability to make their world colourful. We have lost our creativity, imagination and belief that we can change our life-world. I have also come to know that we have lost the dreams we hoped for in our lives. The dreams we desire most are the very things we have lost faith in believing we can achieve them. Dreams including a love story with a romance so beautiful its tangible to everyone around you; marriage that lasts a lifetime and doesn’t fear divorce; a career so exciting you actually jump out of bed in the morning – not necessarily a career that will change the world but one that changes yours; or a family that’s still together and not broken. We have come to accepting that this world is a dysfunctional mess - Why pretend things can ever be any different? We accept mediocrity at the cost of the dreams for our lives. We settle for second best and wonder why we are ‘just living’.
A quote by Eric and Lesley Ludy puts it like this “As we grow up, the world tells us that aiming our lives at the impossible only leads to disappointment. Somewhere along the way, we are persuaded to loosen our grip on our dreams and we pitch our tents in a land where everyday humans dwell”. Why would we want to settle where everyday humans dwell??? Where is the adventure? Where is that person in you that would rather go take a step into the wild to discover something new and exciting rather than stay inside where it’s boring and safe?
Something else the Ludy’s said that I thought was so significant: and hear this…"After all, if you never aim high, you will never be disappointed with mediocrity”
Either we play it so safe that we say “Its not worth taking the Risk” so we often settle for second best or harden our hearts so much in order to avoid disappointment – suppressing and suffocating the very dream we desire most.
I mean the above most in regards to Love. I have had 3 conversations with friends recently that have made my heart rather sad. The first one is a 16 year old, beautiful, talented young woman who tells me that she will never get married. Don’t get me wrong I think she would love to, but she says ‘It’s not worth the risk’ she lived through her parents divorce and now continues to give me stats on the divorce rate in SA. Then the situation with my last two friends is that they have come to that point in their relationships where they have been dating the ‘great guy’ for a while and they are dreaming of marriage, but he just isn’t asking or planning anything of the sort. And if the girls try hint their hearts desire of a man so in love with them that he wouldn’t hesitate to fulfil their childhood dream of a romantic story of when he buys the prettiest ring and promises to honour her by making her his wife forever! Instead he has excuses of ‘I just haven’t thought about it, or I like the way it is’, or ‘I don’t believe in marriage’. The girls’ heart begins to harden, her love and childhood dream of marriage and a family begins to suffocate. What I fear most is that they ‘pitch a tent where everyday humans dwell’. That they settle for second best.
If your boyfriend cannot see himself marrying and honouring you and it’s your hearts desire and dream to get married’…and he isn’t planning on changing his mind and your love and heart is beginning to harden… know this, it is his loss! He will wake up and one day and realise that he believed the world lies. He settled. Pitched a tent of mediocrity without taking any risks and lost out.
Believe this - you were born for a romance! It is out there when two people believe that love is possible and realise that is worth taking the risk and if you are both willing to give 110%. Don’t hold back because you scared of a statistic. Believe that your life can be different and you do not have to settle for ‘everyday'. Don’t hold back because life is an adventure and there is a lot to be discovered. Don’t lose your passion and belief that the impossible is possible. After all, with God all things are possible to those who love and trust him. The God who is the God of the impossible, who can do above and beyond what we expect loves us and desires to give us the desire of our hearts. If you cannot trust yourself with your dreams… trust God.
And if any boys who aren’t honouring their girlfriends with their hearts desires happen to stumble on this blog. If you love her, honour her! Be her knight in shinning armour. The world lies and leave you empty. A Women blossoms when she is in love and loved – you will benefit in her glow I promise you.
I updated my Facebook profile yesterday as ' It's time to start my adventure'. What I meant is that I am going to step into the life that I have been living on the side lines for the last while. I wrote in my first blog post about what I intended for this blog 'Girl Talk Topics'. If you read my last couple of posts they have been what I have been reflecting on in my life but not what I wanted the focus of this GIRL TALK blog to be. This same 'theme' has been in my life too. It has been my hearts desire to pursue doing GIRL TALK workshops on Self Image, Self- worth and accepting yourself as a unique, beautiful, purpose filled girl. Helping women like me and many others who struggle for their self worth in a world that makes a women's worth often look cheap. The workshops are to help girls find their identity, help them find the girl God made them specially, for a purpose on purpose! I hope to host these workshops with an team that I haven't met in Pietermaritzburg yet, but am hopeful and faithful that God is preparing their hearts for this mission. Together we will hopefully help plant seeds and truths into many girls hearts at schools, youth camps and churches. Seeds that will help girls' grow into more confident, wiser, purpose filled girls and with the ability to say the word 'NO' loudly when needed. My blogging is meant to compliment this, to help me sort through some ideas and together with your feedback and critism get the best of the best in order to help a generation get a clear message instead of from a world that sends a thousand different ones.
So my point ... watch this space. I am going to get focused and step into my greatest adventure yet! I am going to try stay focused on my dream and hearts desire and not step into the norms of this world. And norms for me are the getting a job so I can 'fit in' with everyone else, if its not a job at a school with teens or a youth group ... STOP ME! and a big temptation - earning money for the sake of earning money. I enjoy business, and see lots of opportunity thats gets me on my rollercoaster ride of planning and scheming, unfortunately a ride that wastes my time and gets me off of the path that my hearts desires most to walk.
I am sure I will still throw in a couple of odd ball 'what I am thinking about ( normally chocolate, my handsom husband Ian and flowers)' blog posts. But my theme is going to be mainly GIRL TALK REHAB! =) enjoy!