My husband brought his digital movie camera on the trip and made DVDs for each family. We decided to watch the movie all together reliving the joy we experienced as a group.
But something I saw on the video shocked me. I saw myself.
There I was – twenty pounds heavier than last year. Every time I was in a shot I thought the quarter size “brown spot” on the side of my face grew as large as a watermelon. And watching my non-verbals – how awful I looked as I nodded, listening to the travel guide. I wanted to shout to that strange woman on the screen: “Your mouth is wide open, Jeanie, close it. You look so stupid.”
My stomach tightened into a ball of embarrassment. But nobody else said a thing. Didn’t they notice how ugly I was in the movie? Maybe they were just being nice.
Then to make thing worse, Monday morning I sent out a devotional to my writer friends. I love sharing these sacred insights with this wonderful group and thought I created a unique story told from the perspective of Noah’s’ wife. I wrote, edited and reread the one page story 5-6 times, then sent it sailing through cyber space.
Only it had a glaring mistake. Instead of having Noah’s wife shuddered when seeing the slimy snakes, I misspelled snakes. She shuddered when seeing slimy snacks.
Yes I laughed – you have to be able to laugh at yourself. Yet deep inside, I was once again disappointed in myself.
What do you do when confronted with reality about yourself? What lesson is God trying to show me?
I find it interesting to “watch” this reaction inside of myself – like I am too good to let others know I am not perfect? I can’t let down the mask and just be myself? Just accept myself? These are all things I will be adding to my journal and prayers to ponder over the next few weeks.
Too often we ignore these negative feelings instead of lifting them up into God’s hand. He will show us lessons in all the emotions of life if we just listen to his wisdom. We just need to trust him.
Joyce Rupp is one of my favorite spiritual writers. The following prayer touches my heart after these self revealing experiences this week:
Searching for Oneself
Good Shepherd, who finds the lost one, the “me” I have known has disappeared.
Will I ever recover the person I have been? Will I ever find and feel good about myself again? Will I discover who I am and who I am becoming?
Protect me in this great vulnerability. Assure me that I will come home to myself, even though ‘my self” may be different.
Silence my impatience. Calm my worry, Restore my joy. Solace my distress. Help me to befriend my new self with tender hope and welcoming love.
(Joyce Rupp in Out of the Ordinary)
Have you ever experienced “seeing yourself in the raw” like this? What lessons did you learn?