Perceptions

Matthew 6:30
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?

As usual, here in the South West, the tourists have gone, the children are back at school and the Indian summer begins. We were visited by some northern folk this week who have been saying how lucky they were with the weather. I think not. This week is always sunny. Odd but true. We went out for tea which is a rare treat and sat outside by the harbour. All very lovely and I enjoyed my meal very much. It was only after it arrived that I realised that I had ordered exactly the same meal (chicken in cream sauce) that I had eaten for tea the day before. I am so predictable.

FOW2 has started 6th form this week and has had to go back to homework so that means less chance of walking into the house at 5pm to find her watching some ridiculous programme on channel Zog or something. For the uninitiated, there is usually a woman interviewing some poor girl or stalking that woman from Steps about either their weight/looks/talent (or lack of it) or reduced family circumstances. There then follows 40 minutes in which a so called “expert” signs her up for plastic surgery or a diet of cauliflower and tissues soaked in orange juice. After six weeks of this when the victim is too woozy to complain, they usually get some fashionista  in, who has the air of someone who cannot believe that they are getting away with this. This expert then dresses them up in clothes that would make your cat laugh, tells them that they are beautiful and launches the poor girl out into an unsuspecting world. No wonder our perceptions of ourselves are all over the place.
This week HOH and I had to go to hospital for me to be re-measured for a new prosthesis. (Or Boob in a Box as we like to call it.) Since my skirmish with breast cancer all those years ago I have a kind of pathological distaste for being messed around with physically, especially by people I hardly know. No touchy unless I say so is my motto. Because of this, I have put off re-measuring for far too long and the aforementioned false booble is now looking very much worse for wear. We turned up to hospital. HOH is always my wing-man on these trips. He takes no nonsense – especially from bossy medical people. (Probably because it takes one to know one) So I went in for the fitting and was introduced to a very nice lady called Mandy who asked to have a look at my rubber booble. There was a moments embarrassment as I tried to surreptitiously remove a bit of sticking plaster that I was using to cover up a bit of it that had split but she pretended not to notice so that was ok. Unfortunately, as it was so old, we couldn’t see what size it was. before you go for a fitting you are supposed to go and get your bra size professionally decided on at M&S or somewhere. Well that was never going to happen (see reasoning above) so I just read out my bra size from my own bra. The size for this bra came from my own very loose calculations which assumed that I had put on quite a bit of weight and was veering towards hefferdom. Mandy frowned a bit and did a bit of complicated measuring. then produced a bra and prosthesis for me. It fitted perfectly and lo and behold when I turned sideways – I had a rack! Mandy gently broke it to me that (a) my back size is four inches smaller than I had given her and (b) My boob size is 3 sizes bigger! It’s a win-win!

So you are wondering, after all this unpleasantness why I am sharing this with you. It’s because once again I find out that I always fall into the same trap.Too many times I assume the worst about myself – not just physically as here but spiritually and as a person. If in doubt, it is sometimes so easy to look at ourselves and veer towards the negative and shrink into ourselves. I am aware of how imperfect I am before God but he looks at me (and you mate) and points at us and says “Ooh she’s lovely she is. Lovely enough to rescue and love and encourage and do great things with.” We simply have to get hold of this and get confident enough to harvest fields, change worlds, challenge injustice and throw our shoulders back admiring our lovely contours.

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10 Comments

  1. September 9, 2012 / 7:35 pm

    Thankyou Lesley, this was "Brave" [I usually hesitate to use the word in relation to this area of discussion, much like disability. I feel more in terms of "Needs must etc."]. However, I have a friend who has only recently had surgery. She came through it famously but now has a pathological distaste for how she looks, whether by her self with a mirror or fully dressed in private or public. She feels that everybody knows and is judging her "As Wanting". Now that's obviously not true but as a man how can I say to her that she shouldn't worry or think like this. She is due to undergo "Surgical Remodelling" [her own words for it] rather than going the prosthesis route. It has been postponed 3 times which hasn't helped her psychologically. I have been at a loss as to what to say. Other than a few meaningless platitudes I've not said anything. However, this article has really helped to give me some insight and I thank you for that Lesley, hence my use of the adjective I think I can now say something more meaningful than previously I have been able to. Thank you again.

    • September 11, 2012 / 8:30 am

      If you want her to get in touch with me direct – you know where to find me.

    • Kathryn
      September 14, 2012 / 11:48 am

      since I had breast cancer and a reconstruction I only wear bright colours and tight(ish) tshirts, never baggy. The world and its watchers can get stuffed, I thought – and do you know, the only comments I got were along the lines of "have you been exercising, you're looking lovely and trim" etc. I know I'm wonky with no cleavage, but no-one else seems to notice.

  2. September 9, 2012 / 8:45 pm

    If only we COULD see ourselves as God sees us..could you imagine?
    Jane x

    • September 11, 2012 / 8:30 am

      Jane – I think that would cause a revolution really I do x

  3. Anonymous
    September 10, 2012 / 6:32 am

    Agree with David 100% here.I think "brave"is certainly warranted in this instance.We all worry how we appear to others, but at the end of the day it is what is in our hearts and how we treat those around us that really matters.

    • September 11, 2012 / 8:34 am

      Have to say, have never suffered with an overdose of bravery but thanks anyway. Couldn't agree more about inside meaning more than the outside

  4. September 10, 2012 / 12:34 pm

    :0) Love this post. Also went bra-shopping last week – must be the time of year! Have also discovered that more space at the front and less at the back can be A Good Thing. And makes me stand up straighter. Well done for tackling something that felt private but needed doing! x

    • September 11, 2012 / 8:36 am

      We talked about it a lot before posting but I have always felt that it should not be a shame thing so this was a case of putting my money where my mouth is as it were. 🙂

  5. September 10, 2012 / 9:23 pm

    You made me cry. Beautiful revelation. Thank you for sharing xx

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