Soulful Plastic Surgery

Last week, I enjoyed hiking in one of the most amazing places on earth with a dear friend. As we walked and talked, our feet trampled through paths of dirt and mud, puddles and sand, rocks and brush. Our conversation carried themes of hope and despair, lack and encouragement, fear and faith.

In the midst of these words, the topic of happiness (or at least contentedness) with ourselves surfaced. We discussed how, even when we approach a dead body at a viewing or wake, the comments we hear discuss the appearance of the individual (“Doesn’t she look good?” or “He looks so natural.”) more than the work of their lives.

We walked on, and this thought came: “We might be better off to perform plastic surgery on our spirits.”

Of course, that type of change could never occur under a trained physician’s hand holding a scalpel or with the careful eye of an anesthesiologist. Our spirits need to be fed, nourished, strengthened, and loved–and we do that work ourselves.

We begin again to love ourselves, to disconnect from harmful media while connecting to grounding influences such as art, music, and nature. We exercise, balance our chakras, and breathe. We speak loving words to ourselves and others. We spend our moments with those who nourish us and those we nourish in return.

I’ve been blessed to do a number of those things this past week, and my spirit feels new. I’m not crumbling under the heavy weight of others’ (or my own) unrealistic expectations. My spirit is transformed, and I have more to give.

And, I dare say that I feel more beautiful–without a tuck, gummy bear implants, or anesthesia (which scares me, FYI). I am a happier me, and I like who I am.

My spirit is new. And I am still me–only better.

I’m on top of the world.

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🙂

Images of Who We Really Are

Have you heard Colbie Caillat’s new song? Her video is a collection of powerful images of women, with and without faces covered, hair styled (complete with weave or wig), and otherwise “made up” in such a way to form them to society’s definition of beauty. Here is the link, in case you missed it (or wanted to watch it again):

I can’t watch it without crying. It hurts that we spend so much time trying to please other people…that we don’t feel okay with ourselves enough to let others see us the way we are.

So we make something up…we make ourselves up…and we try to become something we aren’t.

What would have to happen for us to begin again? For us to like ourselves the way we are, when we wake up, without hair done, nails done, makeup covering the blemishes that make us who we are?

When did the trend begin that we couldn’t just be individuals? When did we decide that we have to hide behind layers of “foundation” and eye makeup, lip gloss and blush? Are we feeding a bigger problem when we give in to the urge to cover our flaws? Are we putting up our imaginary walls to distance ourselves from others each morning when we create a barrier between us and others with makeup, clothing, and other superficial barriers? Why aren’t we okay being imperfect?

(We are all imperfect.)

When will I decide that I like me? When will you decide that you like you?

Letter to My Thirteen-Year-Old Self

Dear Thirteen-year-old Me,

Round out your shoulders. Straighten your back. Go for a run. You life is long ahead of you, and you need all the air you can breathe and all the momentum you can gain.

Stand tall in your shoes. Years from now, a twenty-something musician/salesman in the Apple store will make a tall joke while you are standing in platforms next to your gorgeous husband on your anniversary. You are beautiful. Own it.

You will learn to read faster. Keep trying. The dyslexia you fight with now will be overcome through diligent effort and practice. You can do it. Keep reading.

Study math, too…with a sprinkle of history. When your kiddos are your age, you will need to help them with homework. You may not be willing to study for yourself; still, study for them.

Feed your body with healthy foods–not just Cheez Doodles and chocolate. You really are what you eat.

While you think about feeding your body, remember to feed your spirit. A toddler running around won’t wait for you to find a chapter and verse of scripture to back you up one day. You need to have the word of God written in your heart…always.

Be a good friend. You never know when you might share the only smile a person sees in a day…or a week…or even longer. Whatever friendship you extend will come back to you. I promise.

God loves you for who you are…past, present, and future. Ask for help when you need it. He is there. He will send others who love you to help.

Speak kind words. Anyone can complain. Live higher than that. Look for the good in others–and in yourself, as well.

You are incredible! You will have amazing moments in life filled with joy and pain, laughter and tears, triumph and defeat. Embrace all of it, and you will be better for the living.

Love your body wherever it is on your journey. Your body will take many forms, but love your body through each stage. It houses your spirit and gives you power. Don’t fall prey to the media’s cruel deceptions. Your body is a creation of wonder.

Just keep going. You will be tempted to quit, to give up, to run away from everything. Don’t you dare do it. You have work and writing to do, moments of mothering and friendship to share. You will make it through whatever comes your way, and you will look back years from now and be amazed at what you have accomplished.

Keep dreaming. Your dreams will fuel your passion, goals, and actions. They will bring you energy to continue when life is hard. You really can (& will) do it!!!!

You are stronger than you ever dreamed you could be. Live. Love. Worry less. Feel more. Enjoy being who you are.

With love,

Your much older (and a little bit wiser) You
Karin
🙂