Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Flies in the Kitchen...and Comparison, too

I have a problem and it is called I have fruit flies in my kitchen and also I have no idea how to get rid of them. I mean, those guys are really so annoying.

You know what else is annoying? This crazy world's obsession with--and this is among other disturbing affairs like money, power, drugs, alcohol, guns et.al., and violence--beauty.

When you are lying on your back at the dentist's office, mouth open and light in your eyes, there is little else to do but close your eyes and listen to the adult easy listening radio station playing. (Why do dentist offices always play adult easy listening? Easily identifiable and hummable songs seem to unite people, especially a people who are uneasy at the sound of a dentist's drill.) Anyways, the DJ (you have got to love DJ's who play adult easy listening and are excited about the last song they played) was relaying important and relevant information to the masses, like this story about Kim and the World's Top Five Cities with the Most Attractive Singles. (If you just read that and now you think you need to know what they are so you can a) move there because you are among those most attractive people or b) move there because you need to find an attractive partner, I'm going to tell you that I don't know what else to say to you besides hello, shallow. And also, welcome to the club.) I think Rio de Janeiro and Miami were on the list, leading me to believe that blonde isn't really what men want after all. (I know, like whaaaaaaat? But take some solace in knowing that you can go back to your normal hair color now. Or bite the bullet and go dark.)

If you are a man and you think that this post does not apply to you because obviously you do not dye your hair blonde or dark brown, keep reading. Insecurity does not discriminate.

One of the top five insecurities for a woman is beauty. (Shocker.)

Here is something that women do not need from men: comments. I'll explain.

It's fine if you would like to comment on your partner's appearance. For example: you look cute in that hat! or that dress looks really nice on you.  You look like a fat pig is unacceptable. NEWS FLASH: commenting on other women is not fine. For example: SHE looks like a fat pig or she looks like she could use a cheeseburger. This only emphasizes the fact that you are looking around and noticing other women. We know you do it. We do not need your commentary.

Here is something men do not need from women: comments. I'll explain.

It's fine if you would like to occasionally ask your partner's opinion on your makeup or your hair or your outfit. He probably would not notice or think about it otherwise, unless it was totally hideous, and even then, I've found men to be fairly unobservant. He does not need to be your confidence builder every time you get dressed. Do I look fat in this and does this look okay are prime examples. NEWS FLASH: your man does not need to be asked is she prettier/skinnier/bigger/whatever than me. Ever. It's a recipe for disaster and so don't do it.

It would be easy to say "just be happy with yourself" and then go back to cleaning the kitchen, except that there are fruit flies in the kitchen and going back in there annoys me, so I'm staying away.

See, I have this other problem that has nothing to do with fruit flies or cleaning, and it's called "insecurity". I've met people who hide their insecurities well, and I've met people who don't, but I've never met a person who doesn't deal with some sort of insecurity in their life. I personally don't have a lot of confidence in myself or my abilities, although growth and faith are slowly helping me understand that life isn't about abilities, anyway. And I compare. (We all do it.)

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I tend to get stuck on beauty, among other things. I compare a lot. Usually I compare what someone else has to what I do not have. (Like a tan. It's a losing battle.) And in the midst of comparing, my joy goes waaaaaaay down, and my anxiety goes waaaaaay up. See, I don't fit the mold. And I'm only getting older, so the mold is getting further away from me. I could choose to do what Time magazine says we will all do at some point (I'd like to know who this "all" is, honestly) and find a good plastic surgeon who will help me erase time and lines and freckles and imperfections and thin lips and saggy parts, but it all comes with a price. And sometimes the price isn't just in the form of a Benjamin (or two or twenty). It's emotional. Because through all the work and the striving, does perfection ever really come?

I also have a problem with catalogs and magazines. It's called "I'm comparing and I can't stop".

I glanced at the catalog, then back to my own legs, imperfect and flawed. Back and forth. Abs may have been somewhere in the comparison story, too. I may have taken a picture of the catalog and sent it to my friend, and I may have added a text that said something like it's not fair...beautiful people, perfect people...why do they get it all and I got...well, I got me? I knew I shouldn't have even cracked it open, knowing my tendency for comparison and then feeling incredibly inadequate and let down. But the cover said SALE and I thought...what did I think? For someone like me, from the mailbox directly to the recycle bin (not the trash, never to the trash--RRR) should be the path of most of the junk that comes my way. Because when I'm looking at a magazine and comparing, I'm taking my eyes off of Him, which lets all those feeling of inadequacy and flawed come in. I hate those feelings. But we can recognize where our eyes are looking and then make the decision to turn away and back to Him.

To me, it's not enough to just try to convince yourself that you are just as beautiful as the next beautiful woman. Or as smart as the next smart guy. The world has a very cruel way of pointing out inequality and then making sure we know about it. And you just end up comparing yourself over and over again, and it's all in vain. It's not about being able to convince. It's about keeping your eyes locked on Him, knowing that He is enough. Enough for everything. Enough for beauty. Enough for money. Enough for wisdom. Enough for knowledge. Just enough. Because when you recognize that He is your Enough, it doesn't matter how beautiful the woman next door is, or how smart someone else is, or how much money the guy in the next office makes, or how beautiful every single house on Houzz appears. He supplies your confidence. He breaks down your insecurity. He becomes the lens through which you see the world.

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, 
Whose confidence is in Him.
{jeremiah 49:31}

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