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Monday, June 18, 2012

I Don't Want To Be Skinny

I don't want to be skinnier if it doesn't make me nicer.

I don't want to be good at money, pay off my mortgage, keep on top of my bills, savings, tithes, offerings, and stay within my grocery budget if I don't become more generous, less concerned about my own well being, less conscious of my stuff, and more abandoned when sharing with people.

I don't want to do everything King Dobson says if it doesn't make me more authentic with my children. More vulnerable, more honest, more accepting. More out of the box, more listening than lecturing, more available more likely to be honest with.

I don't want to have great hair if it doesn't make me more approachable. If it doesn't make me smile bigger, hear better, open my arms wider.

I wouldn't give up my cellulite, sagging belly button, spiderman veins and jiggly bits if it meant feeling compassion less acutely. If it made me quicker to judge others, if it made it easier for me to see their faults instead of their humanity. If a toned and slimmer body meant I became less understanding, more bossy, and less real, I wouldn't want it for the world.

I don't want a perfect record of church attendance if it doesn't address my tendency to judge others, to suffer from self-righteousness, to be fearful of questions, to require other people to fit into my tidy boxes and make me fear the opinions of others.

It's pretty ironic to think of what sorts of people I find difficult to love or accept. I'm not proud of this, nor do I endorse it, but I speak of it because its true for me.

It's the ones who do it all right. The ones who insist their children not making one single grey area choice. The ones who I imagine will be heavily paying the piper when that child becomes an adult roughly five seconds into the future.

The people I struggle with are the ones who have all the right answers. For themselves, for me, for their children; for mine. The ones who can easily point out what went wrong for whom where and why, and how others ought to have behaved otherwise.

Those ones who struggle with looking their own self hard in the mirror; past their skinny butts and hard earned slender thighs. Those who are too proud to really let others in. Who are too together to fail, to be seen failing, or to -God forbid- allow their children to fail. How embarrassing.

I struggle with people who never have trouble with money. With whom "Being a good steward" means caring within ten percent.

I struggle with people who never cry, never rage, never question their own motives, heart, actions but find it incredibly easy to provide the service for others.

I know that these confessions merely highlight my own inadequacies. I recognize the irony of preaching "love for all" when people chronically P-- me off. When my own sarcastic tongue can run and run and run.... and hurt. I recognize my own tendencies toward pride, judgementalism, denial, hard-heartedness. And I bet there's a million or two things that I do and think that I'm not even aware of and ought to address.

I'm going to a funeral this afternoon. I don't want to go and I'm not sure I can emotionally cope with all the agony.

There's been a lot of death, accidents, disappearing people, and kitty cats squashed on the highway this week. Way more than I ever want to hear about, because I don't want any of these things to be real.

And it has made me angry and then passionate about the way I want to live my life, however short it may be. I don't want so much to be right as I want to be in relationship. I don't want to clutter up my precious, too short personal time on people who want to rant about others, gossip, criticize, and fake it. I want people in my life who challenge me to think bigger, love more brazenly, care more deeply, respect others, treat waiters and cashiers with kindness, share with their neighbors, give more stuff away, eat more chips, laugh more, be willing to question everything. Even themselves.

I want to love all those annoying people too, but its a delicate balance to figure out how to be kind and accepting without being sucked into a holier than thou/ you people suck vortex.

So, if you see me around, and notice that maybe I'm going grey and my ass has gotten wider, maybe it will make you think. And then maybe I'll invite you in for a coffee and a homemade muffin and we can grew wiser, greyer, and bigger in many ways.



Brenda Funk said...

Oh Joyce! You said it for me too! Don't know how some people seem to come through life intact in their black and white boxes -- makes me wish ill on them, that something would shake them out of their black and white boxes and make them question everything they know. And yet -- even when I see this happen, some still keep their blinders on, continuing on unshaken.
Life is much more complicated and painful when you allow it to grow and change you, but I wouldn't trade it. Even when you get to the place that you know almost nothing for sure anymore.
Thanks Joyce -- for being willing to risk, for being honest, for living your life truly. And for sharing it with us!

Mary KG said...

I so get this and love these words and love you.

Karla said...

Well you know where I stand.

I especially like the "eat more chips" part.
I'm glad that your grey colored broken down box with holes and tears in it has room for me to sit down awhile with you and just let it all hang out.

Save me my spot. I'm on my way.


Schwester Laura said...

Argh! Posted (I thought) a comment and it went somewhere else! Anyway. Great words Joyce. I love you. Thanks for the words that so often bring clarity to the half formed thoughts and wonderings in my mind. My first comment sounded way better, in my opinion, but I cant remember what it was :)

Anonymous said...

Yep...that pretty much covers it Joyce....I'm with ya....L-lew

Anonymous said...


Michelle said...

Love you, Joyce. Love your heart. I'd love to grow older, wiser, greyer (and bigger) together with you.

Judy said...

I'm leaving this open on my computer all day long. It will take several readings for it to sink into me deeply. But it needs to. Thank you for writing this. You didn't know it, but you wrote it just for me.

Wendy said...

You always get to the heart of of it all Joyce - you do it so very well. It would be lovely to have a friend like you close by and have a nag with over a cuppa.

bygeorge! said...

let's dance to the light of the moon...
and laugh and eat and enlighten... and challenge our thinking...
you know the routine!