Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fried, Scrambled, Poached

Anyone who has seen the movie "Runaway Bride" knows that Julia Roberts is playing a character who does not know herself very well.  It's to the point that she doesn't even know how she likes her eggs cooked because she always defers to the man of the moment and eats eggs how he likes them.  She claims it is her favorite!

The character also bounces from football to rock climbing to auto repair in her chase to be what she "thinks" her guy wants.

Excuse me, (and this is mostly for the ladies out there since we are the people-pleasers), but this is not acceptable.

I am not pointing fingers.  This has been my problem practically my entire life.  I wanted to avoid conflict.  I wanted things to go smoothly.  I thought being agreeable meant we got along in our marriage.  I didn't like to be "in trouble".  So I went along.

Oh, I planned there would be a day when I took care of myself.  One day, when the kids were grown, I would look into it.  I would lose weight, exercise, read, have friends.....when the kids grew up I would have time for that.

So over the course of 20 yrs plus, I lost myself.  Who am I?  What do I like? What do I want to do with my time?  What's me?!

It occurs to me that when we were little girls playing dressup, we thought we could be anybody.  There was no hesitation to declare ourselves Queen and fight for the prettiest outfit in the dressup box.  My daughter particularly fancied a pink and white feather boa and pranced around the neighborhood like Queen of Boise Street.

Wouldn't it be great to feel so positive about ourselves once again?  And so deserving too!  And the visions we had for ourselves were unlimited.  If I wanted to be a great roller skater, all it took was a few swoops around our basement on skates to declare it.  If I wanted to be a teacher, in just a few adjustments of the play furniture and one change of outfit from the dressup box and Ta-Da!  Or if I wanted to be a loving mother just a few turns again of the play furniture and the addition of a crib and baby doll and I was cooing with the best of them!

Where did that confidence go? 

I have looked around and for a long time blamed anyone else but me.  Mostly, because it was convenient. 

But girls, alas, we are adults now.  And the responsibility to feel good about ourselves lies within.

I admit that it isn't as simple as knowing how you like your eggs cooked.  And you are not alone to say you don't know where to start.  And may I add that we have somehow come to think that taking care of ourselves is selfish.  I beg to differ.  It is selfish NOT to take care of what is God-given in you.

So take a deep breath.  Take a long look.  Make a list of wishes, dreams, hopes, that have yet to come true.  DO NOT PUT A LIMIT ON THIS.  Anything is possible....with God!  Make other lady friends to share and confide your journey.  Read, read, read starting with the Word and listen to your friends who recommend a great book.  I personally have a few faves if you need some ideas.  Write about your feelings.  It doesn't have to be public.  But I have found this blog to be the best source of strength as I unwind what I have been holding inside for so long.

If this sounds too methodical for you, or even overwhelming, then just start simply.  Take care of the physical you by doing a face wash before bed, getting a pedicure, take a short road trip (30 minutes works).  Go to church, take a walk, write cards to others in need.

Be your own best friend.  Love yourself.  Treat yourself kindly.

At the very least, find out how you like your eggs cooked.

At the end of Runaway Bride, when all of the relationships have failed, and Julia is left alone, she makes great discoveries.  She takes time to prepare eggs all the different ways and learns what she likes.  She takes a creative lamp she designed and parlays it into a business.  And she realizes the man she swore she didn't even like is the one!

God is your strength, your high power.  With Him, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.  Only believe....and get started!