Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Shopping and Psalm 139

Psalm 139, verses 13-16 says: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Recently, I read a compelling book called Cravings:  A Catholic Wrestles with Food, Self-Image, and God.  I've had the intention for weeks to really take some of the ideas in this book to heart, to work through some of the meditation questions, and to (hopefully) move forward from this place of being "stuck" that I've been in for so long.  But something is stopping me.  Reading the first chapter of the book was so difficult for me.  My sister also reported the same reaction -- tears.  Reading this Psalm is so difficult if you take it seriously. 

If you hate the way your body looks, try remembering and believing "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made" after even a short time spent clothes shopping, as I did this afternoon.  Standing in a dressing room trying clothes on is an exercise in self-flagellation, self-hatred, and self-doubt, no matter how much I try to pretend that it's not.  I have never liked clothes shopping, even as a thin young thing.  I find it really disconcerting to try clothing on and find that it looks nothing like I think it should when it's actually on me. 

In the end, I selected the really pretty dress pictured here because I have a similar one and I know what the dress looks like on me.  After trying on something that I mistakenly thought would look nice and thinking, "How can he say he loves THIS?" (sorry, husband), I ended up buying the dress, camisole, and sweater without trying them on.  I just couldn't stand to find out that they look so much better on a hanger than they do on me.  Tonight, I'll pack them in my suitcase, untried on, and pack a "backup" outfit too.  And, all the way to Florida, I'll read Psalm 139 and try not to scoff in my heart. 

Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am a sinner.

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