Girl on a swing.
Sometimes I look at the image of the woman swinging on my site. I wonder about her. Swinging through life in her underwear. I wonder how she feels about herself. I wonder if she thinks she is solely defined by her body and her sexuality. I wonder if she feels trapped, I wonder if she feels cold.
I often wonder about other women too. Mostly because I know that what you see on the surface often is very different from what lies underneath. I know this because I know how to hide and how we hide. How to hide behind fancy clothes and expensive handbags, behind unnecessary layers of flesh, how we hide behind meaningless sexual encounters, behind the supposed honor of a husband, behind ivy league degrees and corporate positions known by their initials, behind other women’s hair sewn onto ours, behind layers of minerals or chemicals that brighten eyes that are otherwise dull with pain, redden cheeks that are pale with anxiety and gloss lips that are bitten with frustration. Looking at our reflections on the society pages and hoping that every one falls for the sparkling image looking ultra chic in the latest True Love magazine because we think if they saw who we really are they would turn away in disgust.
I know a woman who was trapped by her promiscuity. She bought into the idea that she wasn’t much more than her tits and ass when she was younger and by the time she knew better, she had been through so many men, she felt she was so used that she could no longer live any other life.
As for me, there are things I struggle with as with all of us and sometimes the greatest barrier to overcoming is not the issue itself but seeing myself as someone without that issue. I’ve been carrying it around so long; it threatens to become part of my persona.
Do you have something you have been carrying around?
Perhaps it is something that you feel would bring shame?
First of all, know this. There is nothing you could do that would separate you from the love of God. Nothing. Even if your father can turn his back on you, your Creator will not.
My daughter and I are potty training. I say the both of us because she is learning how to do number 1 and number 2 like an adult and I am learning how not to go over the edge during the process. Now she has finally gotten to the point where she pretty much gets it and has very few accidents. Hallelujah! Now sometimes when she has an accident, she feels really bad and looks at me like Mummy, I messed up. Now there are times when for whatever reason, it doesn’t seem like an accident, she just chose to go on and mess up. Either way whether na accident or not, I still clean her up. Sometimes it’s after giving her a pep talk, sometimes it after telling her I am not happy with choosing not to go, in a my friend somewhat threatening tone. (Sue me, all you positive reinforcement only people, my child na naija!) But after it all, I always clean her up and I always love her. Never stop. No matter how bad it stinks!
That’s how God is with us.
We don’t have to get stuck in a place that we know we don’t want to be in, simply because we messed up by choice or by accident. We don’t have to carry around a shitty load just because we feel bad. He will clean us up. Believe. He may have a few words for us, but he’s always there with the redemption handiwipe.
You may think my mess is beyond handiwipe level. I want you to know that our God is well prepared. He also has industrial strength wipes. And He’ll use as many as it takes.
Once you recognize that the path you are on is detrimental to your physical, spiritual, emotional wellbeing and indeed your soul. Get off it. Once you realize you are literally sitting in a mess. Don’t concern yourself with the fact that the other kids will laugh or point when you walk by on your way to tell Him that you messed up. Trust they have all shat at one time or another. I don’t know why I feel that I have to write this, but it’s real. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what your past has been like. The minute you decide to leave that mess behind, know that He will no longer judge you. He loves you. He loves me and every day I am awed when I contemplate just how much.
So if you are swinging through life in your underwear, cold, because you feel like you have been painted (or drawn) into a corner and can’t see a way out of it. Stop shivering in shame. Get off and go and talk to your Creator, our God, and call me because I have a sweater and some pants for you!