I watch This is Us. If you don’t, your missing up on some good drama. A tug at your heart every week, sometimes for unexpected reasons. There are elements of the show, in each of the characters, I relate to. This week I was left thinking about one of the scenes that really spoke to me. So this is your spoiler alert, I’m going to talk about it.
Kate, one of the main characters, is morbidly obese and one of the storylines is around her struggle and wanting to lose weight. The story is told is current day and in flashbacks. This week they showed Kate in a flashback at about 16/17 years old. She was shopping for a prom dress and had the number 7 written on her wrist. As she recalled this story, you saw her grab a variety sizes and when she tried the 7 on, it fit perfectly. But she had struggled with weight her whole life. And having a piece of clothing she really wanted fit was an experience she didn’t know how to have. Instead, she tried on a size 3 dress that was far to small, and the sensation of it not fitting, of having to struggle, was one she could relate to. She left that dressing room presumably disgusted with herself, no dress in hand.
It made me wonder how often that happens, whether it be about weight, or about some other piece of ourselves that we work diligently to change, but when it does, we don’t feel equipped, or prepared, to give up our old reality, old definitions of ourselves, and step into our new way of being. I know I’ve struggled with weight and body image a long time and for me to be in a space where I’m friends with myself, with my body, seems to be fleeting. I may not like it, but I’m a lot more comfortable in the space of not liking myself, of how I look.
And I don’t like that I do that, that I stay in that negative image space. I’ve been working long and hard to make progress on it, and I think I’m making strides. From not being fixated about a number on the scale (which I no longer own,) to ignoring the number on my pants.
How do we stay there? How do we embrace the new space we want to be in when our old space…old worn out space…is so comfy, so cozy, so inviting. The new space might feel intimidating. You don’t have all of your ways of operating figured out in this new space. It’s not as comfortable. Here’s what I’d tell you. That’s not a bad thing. It takes risk. It take realizing that you may have been created “for such a time as this,” (Esther 4:14). What aspect of your life, what calling, what purpose, are you holding back from out of fear, out of leaving the shore…leaving the cozy. If you want to make strides toward being authentic, to being the best you, it takes being brave. I, for one, think we can do it. I’m in your corner and can’t wait to see where it leads us.