So we’re four days into “Clothes Week”. However before I start going on about my 7 items of clothing (not that big of a deal…really) I feel like I need to wrap up food week.
I have this huge fear of being misunderstood, or taken the wrong way, and it spills over onto everything I do. So when leading a study encouraging people to get uncomfortable, and fast, I worry it’s all going to be taken the wrong way and people are not going to get the heart of of what we’re doing. Because I’m so enthusiastic about it all, I’m afraid I’m going to come across as the person who breezes through this whole thing. I was terrified Monday morning waiting for my friends to arrive. Wondering if I still had any…..however thankfully…it went better than expected! Very happy for everyone and so proud of them all!
With food week, the lessons I learned may have seemed a little obvious at first, but a week after going back to “normal”, and processing things a bit more, I’m finding this whole seven thing is about more than surviving a week without more choice of food or clothing.
When people ask how I got in during food week, there were the obvious benefits. The realizing the huge difference between our needs and wants, and realizing just how great whole foods can be, and how we really don’t “need” all that other stuff. The realizations that our cravings may be strong, but we are stronger, and they pass as soon as they come most of the time when we ignore them.
But what I really learned? I learned how much I use food as an anaesthetic.I realize how discontented I get with my life, and how I use food to make my day more colourful, to make things seem better than they are. When I took that prop away, when I removed that tool out of my survival kit, I found, that actually, there was more light in my days than I thought there was.
When I hugged my children, I felt the depth of that hug. When I said goodnight, I lingered over their beds, and didn’t rush away, I wanted to be with them. Their little requests and needs didn’t feel as infuriating as they normally did. Their stories, their long winded questions and explanation…somehow, I found joy there, not irritation.
I think food (excess) numbs me to the pains and strains of life…but it also numbs me to some of the real true pleasures…the wild flowers that are there for the picking….
So on to clothing week. I have to be honest and say that I’m really lazy, so wearing seven clothes for seven days almost feels too easy. However, the homework is a different story. Some very tough questions. Not only is the whole knowing where our clothes come from and the haunting question of how little those who’ve made them have been paid and in what circumstances do they work being a huge massive issue, I’m finding some of the other questions even harder.
Like Jen, I often found myself saying I didn’t care about clothes all that much…didn’t care what all the school mums thought as I slepped up the school path, didn’t care what all those snobby people out in town thought as I rocked up to a meal out in a 3 year old dress, or what the church thought as I lead worship in jeans and a t-shirt. Because there is a huge big part of me that…doesn’t.(or can’t really afford to) However……flip side. It does not mean that I just sail freely along. Sometimes not caring has it’s downsides. Digging deeper you will still find under my skin a need to be noticed, a need to be admired, and a need to be seen to be….unique…in a “she’s really different but she so pulls it off” way not a “she’s just weird” way.
Maybe my home schooling spared me from most of the trauma of high school and jr. high where these sorts of insecurities are born and nurtured. I didn’t get off lightly though, I was two years into Bible College when a friend said to me “you’re just so amazing because you wear whatever you want and you don’t care” Really?? Do I? I don’t care? What??? I thought I was just making the most of a strict dress code!? I wasn’t stupid, I knew I wasn’t what you could call trendy, but I didn’t think that I didn’t care, or that it was such a big deal. That compliment, although very well meaning, messed with my head. So my issues with clothes/appearance/image may not be obvious…but they’re there, and they go deep.
Right..I’m off to go eat another piece of cake before I sink any further into this one. This week’s a little depressing.