Uncertainty

One of the reasons I decided to have a blog was so that I could openly share my struggles and that of other women who I know or come across as I live my life’s journey.  One thing I always seek to do is be honest with myself and where I am in my journey.

One thing that I believe I have become very good at and I now pride myself on, is being self-aware; sometimes too self-aware.  Recently I have began to really access and examine how I’m feeling in any give moment.  I find that when I do that I am better able to take action without having an irrational reaction to my situation.  During one of my self examinations I realised how much I really struggle with NOT knowing.  I hate lack of communication from others which would greatly help with my anxiety, I hate not knowing how things are going to work out (although I’m confident they will), I simply just hate not knowing.  I bet as you’re reading this you’re thing ‘gosh woman, what a control freak.’ There is probably an element of truth in that, however, for the most part I am totally fine and happy to not be in control in the doing as long as I know what is happening. I know, weird and possibly contradictory but that’s how I feel and it makes sense to me lol.

I’m being very vulnerable here and I’m sharing something that I probably would never admit, especially as Christian and that is deep down I lack faith. I know how to act like I have it and the relevant actions I need take to make it look like I have faith, but according to my own self assessment I don’t.  The Bibles definition of faith in Hebrews 11 is true and as a Christian this is the ultimate truth of what faith is.  I’m not sure if this is the same thing or if the two are connected, but in regards to uncertainty this quote by theologian, Richard Roar perfectly articulates what I am trying to say:

“My scientist friends have come up with things like principles of uncertainty and dark holes.  They are willing to live inside imagined hypothesis and theories but many religious folks insist on answers that are always true.  We love closure, resolution and clarity while thinking we are people of faith; how very strange that the word faith has come to mean its exact opposite.”

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As I live this life, make mistakes, grow and learn, I know that I need to become confident in knowing that I don’t need to know everything right away.  More importantly I can be confident in knowing that I have someone that is with me that knows all things and in that truth I can have total faith and certainty.

Leancia 🙂 x

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Daring Greatly

I’ve done this a number of times now and I’m not going to lie and say it’s all been peaches and cream; it hasn’t always paid off. But, the times when it has have been the most liberating and rewarding for myself and others. Refuse to shrink, be your brilliant self and choose to ‘Dare Greatly.’

Thank you Brene Brown 🙂 x

daring

I am NOT beautiful: part 2

Beautiful women

I have become more aware of the triggers that heighten those feelings of not feeling beautiful and I have had to actively say and do things to counterbalance those feelings when they arise. I understand that comparison is a killer to the human soul.  I have learnt the importance of self talk and what I say about myself and what I allow others to say to me.  I find it very interesting that when you speak highly of yourself how uncomfortable people feel.  Because I have spent so many years not thinking highly of myself, I now not only think so but say so too; I have had to change my confession. Why? Because I don’t want to get my validation from anyone else or wait or rely on someone else to tell me truths that I should already know about myself.  As David did in 1 Samuel 30:6 when he ‘Encouraged himself in the Lord’. I need to be able to know and call out the greatness and strength within me when I’m feeling discouraged or not beautiful, before I seek that from anyone else. What is surprising and what I’ve noticed is that you don’t always get a positive or encouraging response from people when you do this. The reason for this, I think, is because we don’t feel like that about ourselves. Before we jump straight to the negative we need to stop, think and examine what is being said and who is saying it and consider how we can continue to help and call out those truths that people are recognising and calling out of themselves.  I make no apologies for speaking about myself how God speaks about me.

I heard a saying once that goes something like ‘beauty doesn’t need to declare it’s beautiful, it just is’. I love this statement because I use to and sometimes still catch myself feeling the need to perform or make myself be seen. Now when and if I ever feel this happening I sit down and take a seat, I don’t mean literally but it can be that too. It’s that feeling of wanting to show up, not show up in the context of being vulnerable but to show up and show off. In those moments I remind myself ‘you are beautiful you don’t need to declare it’ or ‘you are good enough you don’t need to prove it’.

I do not want to marry a man as good looking and funny as Will Smith (I love that guy lol) but is selfish, has no character, and doesn’t realise that the content and intention of my heart is more important than how I look first thing in the morning. As much as I take value in my appearance and health, my priority is first to ensure that I represent Jesus well and love others as I love myself.

Understand there is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself and making yourself look presentable, I am all for that, I am talking about making that the basis and primary focus that we first judge people and make decisions on i.e. she’ll make a good wife or he’ll make a good husband, without making getting to know them the first priority.

In closing, ladies you ARE beautiful!  In my opinion there is a difference between being pretty and beautiful. I would rather be beautiful because it not only talks about the external but truly speaks of the essence of a person.  Your beauty is not determined by the length or texture of your hair, the shape or size of your nose (or any other body part for that matter), or whether you wear Armani or Primark clothes. This is not an excuse to dress drab unless you want to of course; this is an encouragement and rite of passage to be your own kind of beautiful. Just because you do not fit into society’s norm of ‘beauty’ that does not make you any less beautiful. This blog is a message to ALL women to value, love accept who you are and know that you are worthy of love and belonging.

My confession is no longer I am NOT beautiful. My confession is ‘Body and soul, I am marvellously made’ (Psalm 139:14 – MSG). After all HE created me and he’s my Lord 🙂 xx

I am NOT beautiful

Beautiful women

Part 1

This post is going to be honest, real and possibly a little controversial.  My intention is to share my experience from my perspective. I am not arrogant enough to speak on behalf of the whole black, female cohort; this is my story.  I imagine that some people will disagree and that’s fine, my aim isn’t to get everyone to agree with me, this is simply me showing up, being vulnerable and being willing to be seen at the risk of people disagreeing and even viewing me differently. However, fear is no longer an emotion that I will choose to entertain; the fear of not been liked, fear of not getting any likes on Facebook *rolling my eyes* or fear of worrying about what people might think. My goal is simply to get us all to think about our own thoughts, ideologies and even prejudices around the topic of beauty.

The sunset, the ocean, flowers and a nice view are all visually beautiful to look at. If you ask people what ‘beauty’ looks like in the context of people you will probably get a standard response based on the external. The same premise we apply to beauty in nature we also apply to people, this premise being if it’s beautiful to look at it must be good. Well, Lucifer was beautiful to look at and most of us know how that story ends. Anyway, in my experience this has not proven to be true; just because something is beautiful to look at does not mean it is necessarily good.

Growing up I struggled with wanting to be what I deemed was ‘beautiful’ whether that be like my friends or the people that I admired on TV.  I often felt that I did not fit into the ideal of what beautiful was and I wanted to so badly.  I would change everything about myself to be anything but who I was because I didn’t think I was beautiful. As far as I was concerned what everyone else perceived and said was beautiful, was the total opposite of me.  Let me explain what this idea of beauty is that I’m referring to: The White European version of beauty. Yes, I said it, don’t shoot me.

This was my norm; this is what I saw on TV the majority of the time. White, size 0 women with long flowing hair (I’m being very extreme here to make my point, Black women with long weave also fit into this category). I do not blame the media entirely; yes, they have a role to play, but until we decide to change we can’t expect anything around us to. As Mahatma Ghandi said; ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. So, because this was all that I saw as being deemed as beautiful, I was devastated because I did not fit into that mould. I was, and still am, a 5’1 (give or take a few inches), dark skinned Black girl with natural 4b/4c hair texture. I didn’t think I was particularly pretty despite getting quite a lot of attention from boys.

As a society we focus so much on the external and very little on the character or heart of people. Beauty is subjective, so for one group of people to determine what beauty is and then force it on the entire female population is quite obnoxious. Who are you or I to say what is beautiful based on something that is as superficial as whether a woman has small nose, or whether a guy has a six pack like David Beckham?

Men, please understand the weight of what you say to your female friends and family. Taking responsibility for yourself is exactly that; YOUR responsibility. Granted you are not responsible for how we as women receive what you say.  However, you can help us by being consistent and neutral in your observations and comments about women. You cannot say in one breath that you find all women beautiful when you only publicly acknowledge the beauty of women that are stereo-typically thin, wear make-up and wear the latest designer clothes. I am not talking about personal preferences either, we all have those.

Ladies, we can help each other too. I’m just going to say this; women can sometimes be mean, both to ourselves and to other women. Growing up I was so mean to myself and the expectation I put on myself to fit into the ideal of beauty I would also put on others. Here I was wanting to be beautiful and I was judging other girls using the same measuring stick that I couldn’t live up to myself. Just because we have nice things, the latest designer clothes or we fit into society’s idea of beauty that I described earlier, it doesn’t mean we are any better or any more beautiful than the woman who has scars on her face after being in a fire or the homeless woman on the street, or the woman in Africa who’s hands are calloused because she’s been working in the hot sun. These women are just as beautiful even though they don’t fit into the typical idea of ‘White European’ beauty. The sooner we all understand that beauty comes in different colours, shapes and sizes and is so much more than the external that we place so much value in, the better.

Click here for part 2