For as long as I can remember, the media has been selling a perspective to me.
The perspective the media sells says I’m flawed. I need to look better. I need to be thinner. I need to hide my imperfections. I need to pretend they don’t exist. I need to pretend I’m something else: maybe taller, lighter, brighter, wealthier, more educated, more interesting. I have to look they way they say I should look. I have to wear what they are selling. If I can’t wear it, I have to try and change myself so that I can.
And if I buy what they are selling, I can’t do all of this. It’s impossible. So there have been times in my life when I have been trapped.
Have you ever been trapped by what they are selling?
How many shoulds do you have?
I can’t go to the beach because I don’t look they way I should in my bathing suit.
I don’t want to go out because I should look better than I do right now.
I will not graciously accept your compliment because I know what I should look like, and I don’t believe you.
I can’t enjoy the day until I have my makeup on, my hair just right, my clothes covering anything that isn’t as small as it should be.
I won’t be photographed because I don’t like how I look, I believe I should look better than I do.
Don’t mistake me. I am not a helpless victim to what the media sells. I chose to buy it. There is no gun pointed at my head. There is no one forcing me to believe what I see/read/hear.
So I’m taking it back. I’m returning what I bought. I’m rejecting what the media sells. I am alive in this body only once. And I only get one chance at this day. I will not spend my precious time pointlessly longing for what the media sells. I’d like to go out there and live instead.
I will take my kids to the beach. I will not care what evidence there is from my pregnancies. I would rather make memories with my children than sit at home wishing I could look like someone else.
I will thank anyone who compliments me. I will embrace and accept their kind words instead of questioning their sincerity.
My face, hair, body, color, shape are MINE. They are who I am. Deep down, I know I don’t want to be someone else. I would not trade my life for anything, so I need to stop trying to be what I am not. I will make health and contentment a priority and stop trying to make my body look like it was designed by photoshop.
I am doing away with all of those shoulds and I am embracing the right here and right now.
For those who don’t know me, I am a runner. Since I started For The Love Of The Run, I learned so much about myself. I am strong. Driven. Flawed. Sometimes I’m confused. Uncertain. Afraid. Once I stopped trying to look like an airbrushed magazine page, I started to find out who I am and what I truly love. I love how I feel when I obliterate “impossible”. I love pushing through a challenge and completing it triumphantly. I love trying, failing, dusting myself off and trying again and again and again. I love that my children are watching me and learning even when I don’t tell them to. I love that others see and believe that if I can do it, they can too. When I run, I love how it feels to push myself with every part of who I am. I cannot run without heart, mind, body, will, hope, fear, joy, love, strength all working as one. THAT is who I am. I will never be what the media tries to sell. It could never ever be as fulfilling as this.
Go ahead, zoom in….
And now, I cannot remember why I bought what the media was selling. But I am so happy that my life is richer since I stopped buying it. A flawless body doesn’t bring you to the finish line of a marathon. Only your heart, will, and determination can do that. Tears of joy cannot be shed when you are too busy worrying about your makeup. They can only be shed when you are not afraid to live in the here and now. I have stopped longing for what should be and I have joyfully embraced what is. When I am eager and excited and living in the moment, I forget to make time to worry about what physical flaws should be covered or hidden. I stopped buying the media’s perspective. I created a perspective that is my own. I have stopped looking in the mirror and wishing for flawlessness. Instead I see strength and I will use that strength to uplift and inspire others. I will never again lose precious time chasing something that cannot exist.
I promise that when you start building your heart, mind, spirit and body with everything you have instead of longing for what you lack, you’ll realize that you have so much. You have more than enough. So much that you will feel compelled to share it as I am sharing it with you now. Stop buying. Start building your own. You’ll soon realize that you don’t have to buy, because you already have more than you could ever imagine.