I always hate when I cannot write a blog entry every day. Life gets busy sometimes and Gracen doesn't nap. Put those two things together and that spells no free time on the computer for me.
In Chapter 6 of my study, Beth gives the 7th root of insecurity...Culture. This is a big one for me. It goes back to my issues with weight and body image. Beth points out that all the other roots of insecurity mentioned in my previous post could have easily plagued our great, great, great grandmothers, but culture is new to our generation. Today, we get the "pleasure" of comparing ourselves to thousands of women...on the cover of magazines, on our huge HD television sets, on the Internet, in the workforce, at school functions, at our children's sporting events, in the pediatrician's office, in the car pick-up line at school, etc. To put it mildly, women are one another's worst enemy. We pick each other apart and for what reason?
I can give you an example of this from last week. Gracen had her well visit at the pediatrician's office. We had to leave the house at 8:00 to make the early morning appointment, not smart scheduling on my part. It was cold outside and I told Gene that I was just going to take Gracen to the doctor in her footy pajamas. He looked at me as if to say, "OK...what's the big deal?" The more I thought about it though, I just couldn't do it. As it got closer and closer to the time that I would need to leave the house, what she was wearing bothered me more and more. I started thinking about all the other moms in that large waiting room. Every time I go to the office, all the little girls are wearing adorable little outfits, with matching bows in their hair, and monogrammed diaper bags. I caved to the pressure and went to Gracen's room and dressed her in little brown corduroy pants with precious little ruffles on the bottom, a pink shirt, and a white sweater with pink and brown polka dots, with a matching bow of course. Gene just laughed when I came out of her room. He said, "You just couldn't do it, could you?" I certainly wasn't dressing her for the doctor because I have to strip Gracen down to her diaper as soon as we get there. Plain and simple, I dressed Gracen because of other women, women that I probably wouldn't see again in my lifetime.
If I lived a century ago, this pressure would be gone.
I was talking to Gene about this during the week, and I told him that I would have enjoyed living in Laura Ingalls's day. He was surprised by this, reminding me of all the modern conveniences that I enjoy today. I told him I wouldn't miss the washing machine because I wouldn't have known any better. Wouldn't it be nice to live in slower times, with just your family? I can imagine just the four of us enjoying the rolling countryside with my extended family a few miles to the east and Gene's extended family a few miles to the west and the local town 5 miles away. We might load up in the covered wagon every couple of weeks and make a trip to town or visit family. Gene would be captured by my beauty because I would be the only woman around for miles. Sounds nice to me. As I was talking about this, Gene quickly commented that I would be comparing my petticoats to those of Mrs. Olsen when we headed into town. I guess he is right. Security has to come within ourselves.
Speaking of insecurity, last Saturday afternoon I was tired because I was up until midnight with the college girls the night before. I tried to take a nap while Reagan and Gracen were asleep, but I was restless. I ended up mindlessly flipping the channels and I came across an episode of the Housewives of Orange County. This is not a show I watch anymore and I haven't seen an episode in a long time, but after reading Beth's chapter on insecurity and our culture, I was drawn to the episode.
This show is incredibly popular, either because of all the drama or because so many women covet what they have. Yes, they have an incredible amount of money but these ladies are prime examples that money and looks clearly do not add up to "Security". These housewives are together all the time, but I don't think they can stand each other. They are always talking about each other, trying to one up each other, comparing themselves to each other, and hurting one another. With friends like that who needs enemies, right? Each of these women are beautiful from head to toe, but they are not comfortable in their own skin. They aren't even in their own skin due to the numerous plastic surgies that they have endured, not to mention the constant "procedures" that they have done, like Botox, to keep themselves presentable. Don't you know that gets exhausting. Their marriages are falling apart or already have fallen apart. Tamra is miserable and is getting ready to divorce her husband. Lynn separated from her husband because he was lying to her about the money and their house went into forclosure. She confessed that they have always lived above their means....the American way, right? Vicky's marriage has been a mess. Jeana is already divorced. Gretchen bounces around from rich guy to rich guy. You get the idea. That doesn't sound like happiness to me.
Insecurity affects all of us, whether you are a plain ordinary mom like me, a corporate woman on Wall Street, or a millionaire in Orange County.
Beth gave a few tools to help me overcome my feelings of self-loathing.
1. Recognize when we're overloading ourselves on media hype and back off when we sense it tripping our insecurity switch. (ex. shows like Housewives of Orange County...If that show makes you desperately desire material things and looking at those women makes you feel ugly, then stop watching it.)
2. We need to expose ourselves to materials that edifies the human soul rather than erodes it. (ex. the Bible)
3. We need to start looking for ways that we set ourselves up for failure. (ex. If you despise your "chest" size, you may not want to have lunch at Hooters....not that I recommend that location anyway. And if their is a person in your life that constantly makes you feel bad about yourself, don't hang out with them.)
*bold print taken from Beth's book
I have got to understand that God loves me with a everlasting love. He created me just as He wanted me to be. I am His masterpiece...an original in His eyes. I am worthy just as I am.
I can type those words, but I need to say them until they become a very real part of who I am.
Psalm 139:13-17 "You made all the delicate inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex. Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered."