Accepting me just as I am is a more difficult proposition than it sounds. I understand intellectually that I am made in the image of God, and therefore perfect just the way that I am, but with the inundation from media of images concerning what they portray as perfection, it’s hard to believe in my heart that I stack up.
As a very dear friend of mine often reminded me, God looks at people’s insides, not the outside. God sees the kind of person we are, the actions we take, the love we express, the kindness in our heart, not the firmness of our muscles, the ripple of our abs or the minimization of body fat percentage. Now don’t get me wrong, I work very hard at the latter of those propositions: six days a week working out, trying to make better decisions when I eat and avoiding as much as possible those things that are detrimental to my well-being. But the balance required to maintain a healthy body image, while not obsessing over it (tough to do for an addictive personality like mine) and holding the image of being just fine in God’s eyes as he views my insides (of which I do a lot of work as well) is not easy to maintain.
Admittedly I have it pretty good. I have been blessed with tremendous health, a great family (both genetic and chosen), a great spiritual family on which I can rely, and comforts to make my daily living pretty extraordinary. But the temptation to take it all for granted sneaks up on me like a modern horror flick of which I do not watch due to nightmares. The reality of addiction and watching people who still struggle with it actively is enough of a nightmare for me; I don’t need the outside influence of a movie to do that. And when the temptation of being ungrateful starts to surface, I have a plethora of friends to expose that poor attitude to, and get instant perspective. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
Just for today I will be grateful that I am working to improve my insides as well as my outside, continually accepting the perfection of God from which I was created.