Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Beauty-full Tuesday: C. Jane

A beautiful writer, a beautiful soul, a beautiful C. Jane.
I love this lady.

Like some women . . . not all women . . . but a healthy number of women . . . or maybe an unhealthy number of women . . . I was obsessed with my weight. I measured quarter inches, weighed ounces, exercised and denied myself until there was nothing left to deny. I thought about my weight, my body, my image until it crowded out all other concerns. I knew if I were thin there would be nothing left I could ever want.

That was where I was three years ago.

Then something happened, a baby. Then another something happened, another baby. Then another, another something happened, a pregnancy which will hopefully result in baby three in the late fall.

I don't obsess anymore.

It's not like I've worked through my issues and suddenly I understand the glory of a women's body. I mean, there are moments spent day-dreaming of the time when my body stops fluctuating to accommodate gestating or milk-drinking humans and my body is mine to deny again. But those idealistic moments are fleeting because there's cheese to slice for grilled cheese sandwiches or shoes to tie or sleep to catch. I simply don't have time to think much about my body--how it looks, how it sways, how it appeals-- although sometimes my husband reminds me. You know, in that gratuitous--look at how big your chest is getting!--excited sort of way.

And when I exercise it's really for clearing my mind. It's to allow my spirit to breathe. I am sure it helps my cardiovascular system, I just don't think about it much. I love the wisdom in this: Care not for the body, neither for the life of the body. But care for the soul, and the life of the soul.*

I think the soul is the spirit plus the body. A healthy spirit will build a healthy body. But focusing alone on the body will destroy the spirit.

Mostly, I wake up, put on my house dress and work until the day is done. And when the work is done (it's never done) and the day is over I look at my body and thank it for being so accommodating. At the end of the day that is all I can ask of it. It was never meant to fulfill day dreams of perfection. It wasn't created for attraction alone. It was meant to do what I needed it to do. And it does.

As a testament to this, I often remind myself: I've never been so fulfilled--even forty pounds ago.

19 comments:

Dixie Mom said...

I meant to say....I love her quotes...but I'm serious...all women should read this.

Amanda said...

Really lovely. I wish for all women, and those growing into women, that measuring our worth came more naturally in the way of gauging ability not deficit (perceived though it might be).

As a mother of three daughters I strive for it everyday.

{amy} said...

When you realize you are done having babies, the obsession comes back with a vengeance. But then you are older and it's even harder!!

AzĂșcar said...

I'm thankful for my useful body.

HBuck said...

Thank you so much for this, I stumbled across your blog and this was just what I needed (going on four months after a new baby and not getting "my" body back as quick as I hoped). I loved the part about thanking your body for being so accomadating- so true! We should be so grateful! Thank you again-

The Writing Instinct said...

This sounds so familiar. For me having a daughter has changed so much about the way I reflect thoughts about myself. An example was when my 14 year old daughter asked me what is celullite. I responded matter-of-factly (a store of energy etc etc). She nodded her head and went on to tell me about how excited she is about the next instalment of Harry Potter. I could not have asked for a better response.

Beth said...

Having children was what helped me most with my body-image-issues. (and believe me, I had them bad) It grew in me this respect and even awe for what my body could do. It made me realize that we are not here to have the "perfect" body. What a lie that is Satan tries to tell us! I love cjane and dream of conversing with her on this topic in real life. xo

Shanon Baggett said...

Wow- that was beautiful! Thank you for writing such important and inspiring words about a very important topic.

The Harrison Crew said...

Love this. And needed it today. Thank you.

Melissa: Write it in Lipstick said...

I simply love this feature, Cjane is amazing and this was well put.

Autumn said...

The last line is what got me because I am realizing now that even when I was 30 pounds lighter, I still wasn't satisfied with it.

OnCallMom said...

This is gorgeous--thanks for writing it.

Briana said...

wow, such a great reminder. I loved the part about nurturing the soul.

beautifully written C. Jane!

Just Jaime said...

LOVE C. Jane and I love what she's said here!

Tiffany said...

Thank-you. You knew just how to write my thoughts exactly.

Geo said...

Hear, hear.

rach said...

What an amazing post...thanks for expressing in beautiful word, thought and scripture exactly what I needed to hear!

Becky said...

Beautiful. Thank you.

Bridget said...

cjane, i love this. so beautifully written.

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