It seems that I experience a sort of brain bonk from the miles we've been hiking to prepare for the Grand Canyon. So by Sunday, I felt good physically, but when I'd sit down to write, my brain would just sit there, too.
The lights are on, but no one home.
We needed those training days, and now that they are under our belt, it's just a matter of maintaining our fitness and getting all our gear in order. It is very exciting, and I sincerely appreciate you, my awesome cheerleaders.
Since I wasn't writing, I didn't get a chance to address something that came up a few weeks ago, that I think is important. It was in the news that a playboy model was caught posting a picture online of a woman (naked) in the locker room of LA Fitness, with the caption, "If I can't unsee this you can't either."
Many of you told me that's your worst fear, right there.
I get it. I really do. A lot of us have a similar fear of holding people back, and so we don't go walk, run, ride or hike with them. I went on a group hike once out in Utah, and two of us were slower than the rest of the group. One woman had issues with her shoes, and I had a hard time keeping up on the hills. After the hike was over, one of the women that had wanted to go faster laid into us.
You ruined my experience. You were too slow. You didn't prepare right. You shouldn't be here. How dare you.
In the middle of her words, I stood up and walked away. I tried to process what was happening, but I couldn't because here it was. That big old fear coming true.
I have been telling you all for a very long time that people don't care what your pace is, they just want to be with you. And I have been telling you for years that people don't care what your body looks like, they just love you.
But I need to rephrase that, because there actually ARE broken people who will tell you you're too slow, and that their finish time matters more than you, your heart and soul, or being with you.
And there ARE broken people who will snap a picture of a woman in the locker rock of a gym, who is there trying to take care of herself, and make fun of her.
I'm sorry, but there are. It is a broken world and we are the walking wounded.
But listen. We can't let these statements matter. Of all the evidence that we are given about our beauty, our worthiness, and our acceptance, we can't let a few damaged people ruin our self love with evidence to the contrary. We can't let them have any say about our worth.
I am absolutely certain that the woman who berated me has deep struggles with her own worth, and was just projecting them onto me.
I am just as certain that the playboy model could only have brokenness, not love, at the core of her being to do such a thing and project it onto the woman in the locker room.
People rooted in love, see love.
People rooted in not good enough, see not good enough.
I pray that they both find the healing that will restore them to love.
In the meantime, I don't receive anything they say or do! Nope, no way. I am not held to the standard of perfection. EVER. I am a work in progress, who is doing my best. The thing about abuse is, we have this tendency to continue the criticism, long after the abuser is gone. But our job is to lay down the baton, and put an end to the criticism.
As Oprah would say, here's what I know.
People who care about me don't care about the hike nearly as much as they care about our relationship.
People who take photos in locker rooms have not yet learned that humans matter, not bodies.
It takes discernment to decide whose opinion of us matters. It is not the critic who counts. It is not the abusers that matter. The answer is always love.