You’re Okay, I’m All Messed Up!

I have a friend with what, I think, is low self-esteem. She listens to the wrong people. I tried to get her to listen to my voice and not the negative ones. She’s great! An attractive professional who is also a dedicated mother, she perfectly balances all areas of her life.

I may have to rethink my opinion. We’re cities apart and communicate via e-mail or phone. I need to take a good look at her. Why? She has ugly elbows. I want to see that one for myself.

She said they’re pointy, and just kind of hang there. She’s afraid everyone is staring and has become very aware of how she stands. Cover up those offensive areas! I, of course, had to ask the obvious question. Why would anyone look at their elbows? I’m not sure I even realize they’re there unless I bend my arm. I take for granted they’ll do what I want. The only time they make themselves readily known is when I bang one and hit the funny bone. By the way…that hurts. Who decided to call it the funny bone? We’ll save that discussion for another day.

We have so much to worry about nowadays, why would she choose to worry about her elbows? I avoid looking at mine, because they’re too close to my rear end, and I really don’t want to look at that. My petite friend with the good body doesn’t have that problem, so she actively searches for stuff to criticize. God forbid she discovers her ear lobes. Talk about ugly! That’s why so many of us wear big earrings.

I used to be self-conscious about my teeth. My two front teeth overlap, and when I was a child we couldn’t afford braces, so I learned to live with them. In grade school, I was catcher in a softball game. The batter swung the bat, released it, and sure enough—it flew straight into my mouth. I ran back into the school, blood running down my face, thinking, “Good, now my teeth will be straight!” Didn’t work. A good friend of mine years ago said they gave me personality. Made me unique. Another indication of my individuality. I still don’t like them, but now I can’t envision myself without crooked teeth.

Isn’t it a shame that we judge our self-esteem by what others might think of us? Like someone being turned off by crooked front teeth or funny-looking elbows. Wouldn’t life be better if we judged ourselves on our worth as a human being and not how we look?

It’s hard not to be harsh on ourselves. Runway models, actresses, and beauty pageants dictate the very definition of perfection. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” has been exchanged for “Beauty is achieved through surgery.” We get liposuction on our thighs, makeup permanently tattooed on, a facelift to erase character lines, and end with a tummy tuck.  We are beach ready!  I have a better idea. Don’t go to the beach.

I watched the latest fashions on CNN, and I was enthralled. I’m not even going to address the hideous outfits and who would actually wear them. I was focusing on the models. Where do they find people that skinny, and how do they maintain their waiflike figure? Give me a good chicken-fried steak any day. Thankfully, Ed likes his women like his dinner—meaty.

One of my personal heroines is Mother Theresa. Bless her soul, I don’t think anyone ever looked at her and commented on her appearance. They talked about her heart, her spirit, and her undying energy. She didn’t appear to care about her weight, her appearance, or her elbows. She cared about her soul. Another lesson we could learn from her.

Businesses make fortunes trying to make us better than we are. You can buy makeup at any location from your front door to the nearest convenience store. Drug companies have concocted a thousand varieties of diet pills. We exercise in groups at expensive salons or in the comfort of our home on equipment we buy from TV ads. If you pay close attention to the ads, they don’t talk about the health benefits—they mention how we, too, can look like their stick-figure model on the treadmill. She doesn’t even break a sweat or wrinkle her ridiculously skimpy little outfit. When I exercise, Ed puts 911 on standby. I scare him.

We worry too much about how we look. I say that a lot, but when I have my picture taken, I tell the photographer to make me look like Loni Anderson. One time, the photographer said I was prettier than Loni. He lied, but it made my day. At times, I guess my self-esteem is dependent upon other people, too.

I’m mad at my friend. Just when I thought I had a handle on this “how I look” thing, she’s come up with another problem area. So far, I’ve managed to cover up my ugly feet with shoes, I wear loose clothes guaranteed to hide flaws, and I pull out gray hairs. I’m hesitant to color it because I’m afraid it will turn orange. It’s always been factory issue, but now it has grey sprinkled throughout. The hubby knows if they ever need DNA…check the floorboard of my car. That’s where I throw those offensive hairs. As I get older, I refrain from searching for gray if I’m waiting in the car. I’d be bald.

The elbows are another story. I’m a short sleeve person since it’s normally about 300 degrees outside. I’m not sure how I’ll solve that little problem. But hey, if it’s good enough for God, it should be good enough for me. Right? Right. Let’s make a deal. Don’t look at my elbows and I won’t look at yours.

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7 thoughts on “You’re Okay, I’m All Messed Up!”

  1. Just really laughed at myself tonight . My vanity is fruitless. It doesn’t really matter what happens as long as I can say,”yep all is well with my life and those I love” Just need to be a tool for goodness. I will sleep well tonight with thoughts of a better than today day tomorrow!
    Yep need to read the last line slowly.

  2. I have a difficult time because I will often judge my insides to other people’s outsides. Everyone is fighting their own battles, even if it is a crooked tooth, or bad elbows! Sometimes that’s hard for me to remember! Thank you for reminding me God loves me… warts and all!

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