Spiritual Sunday

Running From Your Distorted Image

See when you grow up with verbal, emotional, and physical abuse. It’s so easy to wake up to a distorted mirror everyday. Wishing and comparing yourself to others. Wishing you were someone else with hopes that maybe they do not struggle the way you did. 

     You never seem understand to why revealing your true self will ever be acceptable? When you replay the distortion images in your head that you are fat, ugly, unlovable, stupid, a bitch, and nappy headed.  

     Sometimes you are not aware where those images come from, but when good opportunities show up. The images began to pop up again. You began to self- sabotage yourself from things God wants you to have. 

    You began to believe those names that have latched to your image due to trauma. You believe who others say you are because you love them and for some reason value their opinions. You are then faced looking in the mirror constantly staring at a distorted image of yourself. 

    I was born into a broken family, where we look good on the outside. If you come close, you will begin to understand that perfection is definitely an illusion. We judge others by their flaws and actions, but we never seem to understand that a sin is a sin. Our foul mouths that curse and swear bad on others is just as equal. 

    I come from a family, where being a perfectionist is key because we cannot stand to hear another insulting remark about ourselves from others. 

    Constructive criticism looks like demeaning criticism, where we cannot handle exactly what we dish out. 

We end up developing a perfectionist persona as a defensive mechanism. 

    I come from a family where, we cannot take anymore of the verbal and emotional abuse each generation tends to pass down to each other. We began to tell ourselves a lie that “we don’t do anything wrong”;which gives us every right to judge others for their mistakes . This also stunts our growth as individuals and spiritually. 

    I come from a broken family, where we see other people’s crowns crooked, and we run to tell others how we fixed it. We definitely find humor in laughing at others physical flaws as if everyone should live up to our distorted perspective of self. 

    We are individuals with many talents and skills, but our brokenness stops us from getting so far in life. I was born into a family, where being called ugly on a daily basis was considered a sense of endearment. As a child, I would question it but I had no choice then to respond to it. 

As adult, I began to shield my own brokenness with pride. Pride was used to admit to myself and others that I was “okay”. In the black community, it is normal for us to walk around with pride. In fact, it is one our cultural norms that I never truly understood. So, I decided to adapt to it instead of rejecting that concept. I never truly understood why I had to act like I was ok when I wasn’t. 

   When you began to discover that the behavior you despise so much ends up becoming the vices you have to fight as adult. You began to discover that running away from your distorted mirror with hopes it would just vanish is not quite possible. 

 It was time to face that mirror and speak life to it!  The distorted mirror was killing my true self and blessings God thought I deserved. I had to ask myself several times whether or not it was time to face the image I had grown so accustomed too? While in my mental recovery process, I was driving home from work when I seen a woman running. I remember speak to myself that I needed to begin doing the same. The image of the women at a distance looked young and athletic. 

   The woman had on Nike athletic gear while running. I would say she was ready. She got closer towards my direction I began to discover that the lady was really malnourished and older. Her face was sunken in and I could see the bone structure of her legs. 

   I remember saying to myself, “ Wow, she doesn’t know how beautiful she truly is.” I began to develop a sense empathy for the lady running because I know how it is when your running from your distorted image. In that moment I felt God speaking to me personally.  

I could hear him say, “ No matter how much others told her she was fine the way she is; she always believed the negative images that were trapped in her head.”

    I knew he was talking to me, which was why I could understand that lady.  Who knows how many times she heard from others that she looked fine. She didn’t believe because she knew she needed to try harder to reach perfection.  

   It is only to find out that perfection is not real. I mean we are humans, so why was I working so hard still to be what I felt I let go.  I discovered already I had a perfectionist problem but I didn’t let go of the distorted mirror attached to it. It wasn’t like I was intentionally holding on to it, but it had become so embedded in me for so long I didn’t recognize that it still apart of me. 

Joshua 1:9 CEV, “ I’ve commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.”

This scripture spoke to me because it allowed me to become vulnerable to God in the process of destroying this distorted mirror. I knew I was Queen within, but it was time for my image to match what my Spirit believed. 

I began to remember a quote by TD Jakes that stated, “ You cannot heal in a place, where you got sick at.”

I remember I went through this process before and got stuck. 

The process got so uncomfortable I didn’t know that being uncomfortable meant growth. Back in undergrad, I ended up moving back home to have a level of comfort. My level of comfort wasn’t actual comfort but it more of what I was familiar with. 

    Being at home longer than expected allowed me to relearn what I was trying to unlearn. I knew it wasn’t right but it made me feel good. That’s was a time when I relied heavily on my feelings. Comfortable lead me to go back to my old ways and lean away from God. 

   In this moment, I didn’t want to be away from God at all. I knew it was time to handle things he needed me to do. It was time for me to reach wholeness. I am not allowing anyone including myself to distract or sabotage what God wanted me to have. I have been in the wilderness for too long. Wilderness is a metaphor for the recovery process. 

In Philippians 4:8 CEV,” Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise. You know the teachings I gave you, and you know what you heard me say and saw me do. So follow my example. And God, who gives peace, will be with you.”

I’m fighting my battles with meditation and prayer. Meditation helps me to listen to God’s direction with stillness from the spirit. It also allows me to listen more to my true self and deepen the connection. 

  Prayer is a dialogue that God and I have to create a relationship filled with faith and trust that he will fight my battles much better than I can.

In 2 Corinthians 3:17 CEV, “ The Lord and the Spirit are one and the same, and the Lord’s Spirit sets us free.”

Be encouraged today and began to destroy the image that controls your beliefs and thoughts. We belong to the kingdom of God and if he can see your worth. You have to teach yourself how to began to see your own. A distorted image is not apart God’s plan for your life. You are more than a conquer, its time to take your image back!

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