I Don’t Think I’m Sexy (What Does It Mean to Be Content?)
The other night as we were preparing dinner, my husband asked me:
“Do you think you’re sexy?”
Uh, no. I quickly answered. No need to think about that one.
“Why? You’re in great physical condition. You’re not overweight. Nobody thinks you look like you’re 40. Why isn’t that sexy?”
Uh…I don’t know.
I stand in front of the mirror and look at myself, and I wonder…why aren’t I good enough? Why isn’t a size 4, and working out 3 to 4 times a week, good enough?
Would it be good enough if I were a size 2? I used to be a size 2. Was I sexy then? Nope. Not sexy then.
Was I sexy when I was anorexic and starving, frantically grasping for control of something in the midst of a family catastrophe? No, definitely not then, either.
Why am I not sexy? Why can’t I look in the mirror and see what my husband sees?
One rainy morning not so long ago, I sat on our bed with the boys, each of us to a book, and we read, together, snuggled under blankets and watching the rain fall. It was awesome.
Later that day, I overreacted when my son accidentally hurt the dog. It was an accident. He wasn’t trying to hurt him, yet I crushed his little spirit with my harsh words.
All I see when I look in the mirror are the times I yelled. The pounds I wish I didn’t carry. The poochy, soft skin of my belly that is my mark of motherhood.
One weekend, my husband sent me off on a Saturday morning to write. He held down the fort at home, making breakfast for two crazy, rowdy boys, and then cleaned up the whole kitchen, both from that morning and the night before.
When I returned home a few hours later, the lawns had both been mowed and the kids were playing quietly in their rooms.
“Did you walk the dog?” I asked. We have a border collie mix. He’s a spaz when he doesn’t get exercise.
He hadn’t. I exploded.
The one thing he didn’t do, and I lasered in on that one thing, ignoring all the other wonderful things he had done.
1. mentally or emotionally satisfied with things as they are
2. assenting to or willing to accept circumstances, a proposed courseof action, etc
3. ( tr ) to make (oneself or another person) content or satisfied: tocontent oneself with property
4. peace of mind; mental or emotional satisfaction
I recently drove the Pacific Coast Highway from Oxnard to Malibu. Once you are outside the city limits, there’s a long stretch of two-lane highway that is nothing but barren cliffs on one side, and glorious blue ocean on the other. If you were looking only at the cliff side of the road, you’d see nothing but arid desert landscape, sand and loose rocks. It’s desolate. Hopeless. Devoid of life.
But turn your head just 180 degrees, and you are staring out at the blue Pacific, the Channel islands in the distance. It is one of the most picturesque roads in the entire country.
You could almost miss all that beauty, though, if you weren’t looking in the right direction.
I think life is a bit like that. We keep our gaze, our focus, just slightly off from where it should be, and we’ll miss the entire view. There is beauty here, right where we’re at, but if we’re looking the other way, we’ll miss out.
Gabe tells me time and again, sexy isn’t anything about appearance, it’s really a state of mind. Life, and contentment, and sexy…it’s all just a state of mind. Maybe you started reading this post because you saw the word “sexy” in the title, and if you did, then it worked. But i hope you come back and continue reading.
I’m not done with this discussion. I’ve struggled with being out-of-focus with this too long. But I want to begin a dialogue, begin examining what it means to live in a state of emotional satisfaction, living with peace of mind.
Do you struggle with contentment?
In what areas?
How do you manage your discontent?
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