One of the biggest misconceptions about anorexia and eating disorders, is that the girls (or boys) are incredibly vain. That they’re stuck on themselves, obsessed with their looks, and fatally preoccupied with beauty.
That could not be farther from the truth.
Sure, maybe the onset of the disease started with a desire to be pretty but by the “end” of the disease, the mirror became my worst enemy. Literally, abhorring my reflection. All I could see was my guilt, shame, and self-hatred projected onto the lifeless, gaunt shell of my former self.
And truth be told, this is something that still haunts me today.
(Sidenote: this post is not depressing, I’m just setting the stage, stay with me!)
I’ve written about THAT journey, here. But tonight, I want to reflect on a revelation I had today.
And today, the topic was seeing Jesus in others.
Yep, I’m going there. Before you roll your eyes, I want you to know that I have been there, where I just wanted to throw something when my mom would try to talk to me about Jesus during my disease. But now, in hindsight, I can see that that repulsion was just ED ruthlessly trying to protect the eating disorder. So I invite you to just read to the end, this isn’t preachy – I promise.
You may recall the story about “the least of these.” But just as a super quick refresher, it’s from Matthew 25, and the gist is that Jesus is talking to the people about how they’ve lived their lives. And He asks them if, when He was hungry/thirsty/homeless/without clothes, if they gave Him food/drink/a place to stay/clothes to wear, etc. etc. etc. And the people were like, “When did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or without clothes?” And Jesus says, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me.”
Newsflash: Jesus just told us that the way we treat others is the way we treat Him. That He is living inside of each and every one of us.
I grew up in a Christian home. And since I can remember, I was always taught to look for the good in other people. I’m not going to exaggerate and say that it’s second nature, because, let’s be real: I can go all Regina George on people in about .2 seconds…
…but I’ve always at least tried to find the good. Why? Because Jesus is living inside of each and every one of us. We were made by Him, and we reflect Him.
Psalm 139: For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works.
I was babysitting the other day, and I was thinking about this fact as I was watching the two kids play. I was looking at them with love, looking for traits of our Maker in them. The little boy has a tenderness in the way he looks after his sister, and she just wants to cuddle with me and be loved. Those are reflections.
And I realized, as I was kind of smiling, looking at them, that this is how I should look at myself.
This is how I should approach the mirror.
Instead of scrutinizing my form, or fretting over this or that, I should approach my reflection as just that: a reflection of God.
That is what I’m going to work on. That is how I will win the battle with the mirror.
Because at the end of the day, I am more than just a face. More than just a body. I am a whole person. I am a spirit. I am a soul. I am a young woman that reflects He who made me, and delights in me, and loves me, no matter what. And the same goes for you, too. No matter what.
I invite you to just think about that.
And maybe if the whole “God-thing” isn’t your thing, that’s okay too. Thank you for reading:) I hope that perhaps something resonated with your heart in these words.
That’s all for tonight, loves.
May you find the good. In yourself.