There is a song I’ve listened to frequently in the past few weeks with one line that stands out: “I’m working to separate war from beauty.” How good to weed out the bad and say goodbye to it, while hanging on to the beauty that remains. That’s what those words say to me.
A perfect image is a mother holding her sick child. In that moment, the mother is probably exhausted, the child miserable. But looking back on a photo of that moment, you won’t see those things, you will see love. The exhaustion and the misery fade, while the love remains.
I believe that it is possible to share with others the difficult moments in our lives without complaining, and to do so in a way that spreads grace rather than ugliness. Even in our darkest times there is beauty, though often it isn’t evident until we are beyond the situation, looking back.
Yesterday, my intent in writing about the struggle I typically face with depression as the seasons change, was to express gratitude for the way I was handed the perfect situation to help me pull myself together, rather than letting myself succumb to the negative feelings I was experiencing.
However, in looking back, I regret that I shared the thoughts I had upon looking at myself in the mirror. Some thoughts are better left inside my head. Those are not words that I would want my children to read, nor another mom facing struggles with her own body image during pregnancy. I think my thoughts that day reflected the way I have felt lately. I have struggled with respiratory illness for nearly two months now and it is wearing on me. In the past couple of weeks I have started to experience such lower back and tailbone issues related to this pregnancy that I can’t walk around for long at all before I have to sit down from the pain for the rest of the day. This is typical for me with every pregnancy, and always cured by giving birth so I don’t pursue treatment during pregnancy. I am typically very active (hyper might be the better word,) and the loss of activity is always hard for me to accept. I blame it on my weakened stomach muscles (I have a diastasis) and the fact that I carry my babies so low. I am often tempted to forget the purpose of my big stomach and it’s precious occupant, and focus only on the pain, (and the fact that they don’t seem to make flattering maternity clothes for my body type!)
Truly, I am grateful to my body for what it does in bringing me the gift of children, more grateful than I can express.
And I will be especially grateful if the black dress I ordered today fits me when it arrives. I’ll let you know.
Thanks for all the sweet words and emails today. I am hoping to carve the time tomorrow to reply to all of you!