TITLE: Becoming Comfortable in My Own Skin
By Edwina Cowgill
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Becoming Comfortable in My Own Skin
I started reading “The Shack” this morning. This book is all the rage right now and is number one on the NY Times best seller list.
In the forward of the book the author, William P. Young, is describing the main character, Mack. Mr. Young says that Mack “has become one of those people who are totally at home in their own skin.”
This was a “light bulb” moment for me. We are always reading in some magazine or self-help book that we have to like, even love, ourselves i.e. we must accept who we are and be comfortable in our skin – right now – before we can move ahead with our lives. Jesus said it this way, “Love your neighbors as yourself.” If we don’t love ourselves the way God intended us to do, we cannot love, much less help, our neighbors.
I have been dissatisfied and restless off and on (mostly on) for years. I believe the dissatisfaction and restlessness is at least one of the reasons I am depressed all the time. I have tried different diets, different exercise programs, read all kinds of Christian self-help articles and books, taken up new hobbies, changed jobs…..the list could go on and on. I might be okay for a while, but the dissatisfaction and restlessness always returns. This morning, the realization hit me like cold water being thrown in my face. All the dissatisfaction and restlessness is because I don’t love myself, I don’t even like myself and I am definitely not at home in my own skin.
I know that God loves me, that He created me in His own image, and that He thinks I’m beautiful. I know this in my head and occasionally my heart recognizes His love. But I need for my heart to experience and accept His love all the time.
I need to understand that if I never exercise again, if I never lose another ounce, that I can accept myself exactly as I am today and be at home in my own skin. But I also should not use this new understanding as an excuse to not eat healthy, to not exercise or take care of myself. I will need to be vigilant in my thinking and in my actions. For now, I feel at peace because I believe that realizing I am not comfortable in my own skin has shown me the main cause of my dissatisfaction and restlessness.
Father God, I thank You for this revelation. I ask You in the name of Jesus to help me to accept and love myself just as I am right now, but to not allow this acceptance to cause me to become complacent. Help me to see myself as You see me. Give me the desire to eat healthy and to exercise so that I can bring You glory and be a temple worthy of Your presence. I ask these things in Your name and for Your honor and glory. Amen and amen.
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