Last week I took a trip to hell, also known as swimsuit shopping. Not only do you have to see what your half naked body looks like wrapped in variously fitting and often times unflattering spandex, but you get to do it in a room designed by a sadist. Who thought fluorescent lighting in dressing rooms was a good a idea?
But I was determined to not let it ruin me.
First of all, I felt I would greatly benefit from having this girl with me:
And then I thought maybe I should just BE this girl.
I decided that whatever thoughts came to mind about what I was seeing in the mirror, I would focus on what I love. Then again, love can sometimes feel like a stretch. But grateful? I can definitely be grateful for what I have.
I am thankful that I have a whole body to dress.
I am thankful that I can stand up and shop on my own, without help.
I am thankful I live in a place where women are free to wear what they want, because I know of the oppression so many live under.
I am thankful that this body has housed my soul, been its barometer reminding me when I need to eat, sleep, breathe, for over 40 years.
I am thankful for my stretch marks because they mean I have been blessed to carry two babies.
I am thankful that the shape of my body means I have never gone hungry, when so many do.
I am thankful for a husband who praises my body, when I know that there are women who are demeaned because of theirs.
I am thankful that I have the opportunity to rest and refresh myself, giving rise to the need for this suit.
I am thankful that I have money to buy a suit since I pulled a Gina and forgot to bring any of the three I already own (and thank God for 60% off sales).
And on and on.
Gratitude can surround our hearts like a shield, protecting us from that which would tear us down. As we gather the pieces of what we can celebrate, our eyes are turned off what we lack and onto how we are blessed.
I survived my swimsuit shopping. Actually, I more than survived. Gratitude kept my head above the water, like a lifesaver made from grace. It keeps us afloat in the deepest waters.