If you’ve been on Facebook at all in the last week you’ve surely seen the aging challenge. If the caption was copy/pasted it would say:
The “How Hard Did Aging Hit You,” Challenge. Take your 1st profile pic and your current profile pic and brace yourself.
Then the participant would post two photos usually with a ten-year or more gap. This is a cute little activity and I have loved seeing how all my friend’s lives have changed and how they all look great then and now. If I am really being vulnerable though I would admit that I have recently really struggled with the fact that I am aging and I hate it. Then I hate that I hate it.
Recently I had a high school friend leave a comment one of my pics with the cliche “You haven’t changed a bit”. To which I left a lengthy reply refuting her claim and adding that regardless of how much I have aged I am trying to embrace the journey and be a role model to my daughters. Note to self: if your response to a compliment is too long to be a tweet then you are probably defensive and need to reel it in a bit.
I’ve gone through every insecurity about looks and body image that there is with the most recent culprit being wrinkles. I’ve been aware that my body and skin were changing but it was never that big of a deal until one day I looked in the mirror and BAM! All I could see was my facial expressions that were permanent. Before the laugh lines were visible when I laughed and the frown lines when I frowned but now they were just there no matter what face I made. This didn’t happen suddenly, but I did notice it suddenly and then I couldn’t unsee it. Not only that, it was all I saw and it started consuming my thoughts. That’s how I knew this was a spiritual issue. I know that when dark obsessive thoughts start circulating it’s not about the circumstance. This insecurity fell into that category. I prayed about it and opened up to my best friend, but I still felt like I need more help in tackling this issue. Some of you might think being 36 and worrying about wrinkles isn’t a big deal. Just wait until you are in your 50s you might say, and you’re right. Except this wasn’t about wrinkles. This was about the enemy trying to distract me from my purpose by giving me a false identity. I felt so trapped because I am not a superficial person. I know in my heart what matters but there was a season where I felt like I couldn’t beat this thing. I looked into Christian books on the topic and came across a book called “Enough: Silencing the Lies That Steal Your Confidence” by Sharon Jaynes.
I decided to read it and WOW. It was exactly what I needed. A lot of it was stuff I probably knew already but I needed a refresher.
The key throughout the book was following three steps when dealing with lies that are from satan.
1. Recognize the lie
2. Reject the lie
3. Replace the lie.
This has been so instrumental in getting freedom in this area. Another thing she talks about when doing this practice is saying “In Jesus Name” at the end of your thoughts. It’s pretty obvious when you do that if what you are saying is truth or a lie. For example, ‘I am worthless in Jesus name’ doesn’t connect at all! However, ‘I am a conqueror in Jesus name’ totally does! Saying ‘I want to give up in Jesus name’ is a negative, but ‘greater is he living in me than he that is in the world in Jesus name’ is empowering! I really loved this little tactic, although on a funny side note, I did find one loophole when I thought Maybe someday I’ll be able to afford botox and added in Jesus name at the end. It made me laugh out loud. At least working through these lies over the past month gave me enough sense to know that botox is not my problem or solution.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to look nice, but there is a difference in using beauty products because you care about how you look versus using them because you hate how you look. I have heard it described as the difference between painting something you imagined on canvas compared to plastering a hole in a wall and painting over it to get your deposit back. What a great analogy for women interested in clothes, hair, and makeup. Are you doing it because it’s fun way to express yourself or because you feel pressure from society?
My husband has been a wonderful encouragement to me. He’s not into fake. When I have brought up the topic of any kind of false lashes or tans he rolls his eyes and says he doesn’t like that stuff. I told him that he must want me to go full blown hippy on him and he said “Hippie wife, happy life. Isn’t that what they say?”. Well, no. Whatever, close enough.
Almost as popular as the aging challenge on Facebook is the Marie Kondo challenge on Netflix. I read her book a while back and I have watched a couple of episodes. Kondo is a tidying guru that goes into people’s homes to help them organize and simplify their lives. She has them talk to the house and thank it for being a good home. She does the same thing with clothes. It’s pretty weird even to me. However, what if we did that with our bodies? What if I thanked my face for expressing my heart? What if I thanked my hair for covering my head, or if I thanked my stretched out body for carrying and nourishing my four children. It sounds kind of hippie, but you know what they say
Hippie Wife, happy life.