My 12-passenger van stuck out like a giant zit on the end of your nose.
I really didn’t care. A gift from my parents for my birthday, I was here to collect on a massage and facial while my brood hung out with Nana and Papa.
My parents live near a swanky community outside of Houston. It has lovely shops, and little cafés, and fancy salons like the one I had just pulled up to with my “lottery winnings.”
And then she arrived.
She whipped her little red convertible sports car in next to my ridiculously enormous van.
Lucky for me, we were headed into the same boutique.
She was tiny.
A foot shorter than me, 100-pounds lighter than me, with thick, long auburn hair draped to her impossibly tiny waist.
I tried to focus on not tripping and tumbling – if I fell on her… I would kill her.
I held the door open for her. The front of her petite t-shirt had the words scrolled across the front: MY HUSBAND LOVES MY PILATES COACH.
I felt this was a fair and accurate statement. Her perfectly firm frame was accented by black yoga pants that I suspected were a size negative zero. Catching a first glance at her porcelain face I was able to deduct she had no pores. She checked into to her treatments and I checked into mine. Then, I spent my gift certificate, wishing I was Auburn Pilates Goddess instead of me.
Too tall, too lumpy, too busty, too fat, and altogether too much of me had been adequately accented by too little of her.
I pitied my masseuse, having to deal with my Nordic calves and thighs. I lamented my lunch choices, every single second glass of wine, and my adoration for cheeses with aforementioned wine.
My massage was spent in mental anguish, the facial was no better.
I limped my pathetic-ness to the checkout and, as luck would have it, I was behind Auburn Pilates Goddess at the appointment counter. She was clicking perfectly French-manicured nails on her iPhone calendar. Her end of the conversation was impressive.
“No, I have the Gala that night I need hair and make-up right after I get done with Pilates.”
“Yes, that’s the week after we get back from Hawaii. I’ll need a full treatment so I don’t freckle, I can come in right after Pilates.”
“Yes, but not until after Pilates.”
One could be lead to assume her life revolved around Pilates… hopefully, she would say it one more time…
“Yes, I can do that… right after Pilates.”
She finally was on her way and I listened politely to the sales pitch on products that cost as much as a week’s worth of groceries and then I sulked to my van.
Auburn Pilates Goddess was sitting in her car, I assumed waiting to look at me and glory in her perfection one last time before she headed to… Pilates.
I was wrong. I could hear her muffled sobs and hollers from outside the car. She was on the phone in a heated discussion. I tried not to look as I climbed into my van. As I backed out I saw her throw the phone into the passenger seat and lay her head on the steering wheel and sob.
Her tiny shoulders heaved.
And I felt sad. But I didn’t feel sad for the same reasons.
I was still feeling lumpy, frumpy, and gross… but I wasn’t shattered at the moment.
I wasn’t moved to tears. I wasn’t enveloped in heartbroken sobs that prevented me from moving on with my day.
I said a little prayer for her, but nothing too heartfelt. That might seem harsh but I was still jealous of her. Ridiculous? Maybe, but there is no point in lying this far into the game.
The truth is, feeling less than and focusing on the greener grass on the other side of the fence has held me hostage for as long as I can remember. What would it be like to not compare myself to everyone other person on the planet? What freedom could I find in not trying measure myself against what looks like perfection, constantly?
The busy work of comparison has robbed me of valuable time.
And there are books, blogs, and articles about loving myself as I am. I’ve read them. It hasn’t worked. I know few women who are completely free from the art of comparison. The opportunities to look better, feel better, and live better drown out the reality that it already is better.
Alas, I am not healed of my desire to have a tiny hiney or time for Pilates and full body scrub. But I am slowly coming to the declaration – I am lacking nothing.
Nothing has been lost that cannot be found.
Nothing has been destroyed that cannot be restored.
And nothing can separate me from the One who knows the desires of my heart and what is beneficial to my life. Where sin focus once reigned and jealousy and coveting once festered, I am now renewing my mind with things from above.
For whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8, NIV).
The more I have done this the more primary it has become.
Somethings are just not meant for me. Living in the vicious cycle of comparison gains me nothing. Living in a Jesus focused cycle gains me everything.
So, I have no formula to make my 5 foot 9 inch, busty, big haired, big toothed, big footed self into a pixie-like form who exceeds reasonable Pilates achievements. But Auburn Pilates Goddess and I have this in common: We are adored by a good Father who wants good things for us. He will never leave or forsake us.
Nothing can separate us from that love.
Not even the size of our yoga pants.
1 Corinthians 10:23 Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
And have you heard??? My sister and I have a podcast called the easy wife!!! We talk all things Grace and Life… check us out by following the link below!!!
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