When i was about 19 yrs old, I started running a couple miles a day, and celebrating the result, I was going to buy my first dress, with my own money. I had a wedding to go to, and I was “adulting”. I didn’t own a dress. I borrowed the last one I wore, so this was a bit of an event for me. I walked into the dress shop, a little excited, which was unusual for me, since I was neither interested in fashion or shopping. The clerk greeted me, and I told her what I was looking for. As she was assessing the project in front of her, me, she said, “Well let’s see what we can do. You have shoulders like a football player.” I was crest fallen. Yes,I had inherited my father”s broad shoulders. The envy of my brothers, and apparently not a positive feature, when buying a dress. I had my mother”s big feet and my father’s linebacker shoulders…. not an ideal self image for a young woman.
This is the thing though, I really had no idea that these features were something undesirable, until somebody told me they were. So now getting a dress became about identifying as a football player…I already had been told that big feet were not ideal.
Why do we do this to ourselves and each other. My shoulders were God’s idea, not mine, they are something of my Dad’s that I will have forever. A gift, a memento of sorts.
I have so many blessings, why focus on this trait that someone, somewhere decided should be scoffed at.
A Priest once said, if you feel envious, ask God to help you see your own gifts…. hmmm…it kind of makes my big feet and broad shoulders seem like an ungrateful complaint. Like when children say they’re bored, and Mom says, “Well I guess these toys can go to Goodwill then if they bore you.” Maybe it’s just perspective I lack.