The ‘Perfect’ Lie.
Have you ever noticed in the supermarket, the way carrots are all long, strong n straight and every one is about the same size? I was shopping the other day and began to notice how these carrots just seemed really weird…then I moved onto the broccoli and the same strange thing. Same size, large green heads, perfectly shaped trees, in fact as I moved further along the aisle – all the vegetables were ALL alike. Now before you think I am some sort of vegie freak, I want to state loud and clear, I am definately a fruit gal – so I moved into the fruit aisle, where low and behold, I found exactly the same thing!!! What was going on??? These freak fruits, same colour, same shape, same size….weird…
It was especially weird for me because, I consider myself a bit of a try hard green thumb, endeavouring to grow my own fruit and veg in my very own plot. When you actually try (and I do mean try) to grow them yourself, it is rare that any of them look the same. Naturally occurring without chemicals, genetic modification etc…you consistently get a variance of size, shapes, colours, bug damage and even some that look like mishappen people…lol. In fact the taste is even different. The strawberries you grow yourself from old world seedlings, are full of sweet deliciousness (is that even a word? ) beyond what any chain store produce serves up. I never knew strawberries had much of a taste until I ate an heirloom one.
I can remember as a kid, when the fruit n vegies didn’t look like this at all. You would often find unbagged potatoes of all sizes, in fact my Mum would often specifically look for the freakish tomato with a nose or extra nobblies sticking out – just because it was a great talking point at dinner. Lol. We like a laugh in our home. What can I say, simple things.
Now, why on earth would I be noticing all this stuff about food? I never thought much about it, but then had a type of ephiphany. Too clever for my human brain to have created by itself, so I can confidently say God breathed idea/ideal!
Now if you’ll stay with me, I will endeavour to unwrap this whacky idea and hopefully it will encourage you about being you. If not, I hope another blog grabs you.
From birth we are trained to measure up to growth graphs, colour within the lines and strive for the box (which I could argue doesn’t exist). The pressure to perform, be a certain way, speak a certain language or look like everyone else. Being a former primary teacher, I have always been fascinated by a system created to educate, often as a basic bottom line, looks to clone ‘great students’ (seinfeid moment: not that there’s anything wrong with that!) The teachers themselves might see the individual and look to tap into their style, outlook or heart, but the bigger picture says “Shape up in this form, or you just won’t fit here”. We can’t change the culture for you, you must change for it. I wonder if you’ve ever felt this way. A square peg in a round hole?? I have often felt like this in life…that I just didn’t fit. Like some sort of alien in an alternative universe.
My thoughts never seemed to fit, my words have often been out of the box and my heart has often desired things that no one else seemed to talk about. I didn’t start off well, having a non status quo huge mop of curly locks, which my Nanna’s generation seemed to love (just what every teenage gal wants!) and every ‘friend’ who had wonderfully straight, one colour, styled hair-seemed to love to mock. Why?? Because it wasn’t like theirs. I stuck out like a nose on a tomato!
Heading into adulthood, I thought finally, I have arrived, fantastic! Adults will be mature, have it all together, get on with their passions and uplift eachother in how they have been created. Now I will be able to fly! I will be accepted, understood, celebrated for the culturally alternative way of my heart. Buu-bowwwww! (insert negative buzzer you hear when contestants get something wrong!) University, the world of work and motherhood. At times, a complete clash of who I was made to be and what the culture seemed to cry out for. I was never enough. I was the bent carrot with an extra head. The zucchini with the huge divit in it’s side. The one that was often forgotten about, the bottom of the box, the reject….was this as good as it got??? Really???
It was only until fairly recently that I felt a real ‘God setup’ happening. You know those times, where everyone you meet, every speaker you listen to, every song lyric – all seem to be saying the same thing. Even the register chicky at Woolworths got in on the action. “God wants me to really get this” type of time.
The message was loud and clear.
“The culture is wrong.”
“I don’t care for perfection, because I am it already.”
“I just want you to be you – that’s the ultimate for me.”
“You are striving on the inside for something that simply doesn’t exist and will not fulfill you.”
“You crave acceptance from the wrong sources and if you do happen to get it from them, it will be fleeting and empty.”
“Come to me child. I am your biggest cheerleader in life.”
“I died, so that you could shine as I created you to be.”
I heard these same lines many times over the past decade, but the BIG “moment” came when I was listening to a random speaker and a spoken line jumped out so heavily, it practically dropped me to the floor…it was this
“God doesn’t want you to be a second rate someone else, God want’s you to be a first rate yourself!”
The longer I pursue someone elses version of who I am meant to be, the more time is wasted not being who I am beautifully, naturally, wonderfully, created to be-by the one who knows me best. The one who can use me more effectively, touch the very essense of my heart to give me fulfillment beyond what anything I could create for myself….
It struck me, like a bolt of lightening, our culture can be like one huge movie set (or maybe a battlefield, depending upon the season) We all perform, strive and wear masks to some degree – all good intentions, but with the outcome – trying to be people we are not, endeavouring to impress people who are acting on the same show, striving to fit that pair of size 10 jeans when we are in actuality a 12, 14,16 insert actual size here _.
In my experience, it has been a rare thing to meet someone who is always at ease with who they have been made to be, that doesn’t try and fit the culture at times. And yet, God made us, to be different from one another. Alike in parts, but wonderfully, magnificently created to be a variety of luscious, perfectly fulfilled, brilliantly designed imperfect fruits and veg in the garden of life. If we are tapping into the wrong source ie. Desiring approval from someone – rather than God, our lives will often be lacking, taste, colour, shape, strength and form.
So, the end result (thus far) has been. I can choose to be ok with the straight carrot syndrome, or listen to the things God is telling me, about me – and be completely content with my weird tomato nose, spotty cauli or seedy strawbs skin. None valued differently in the house of God, but looking, smelling, tasting wonderfully different from one another. Let’s encourage one another to be comfortable in who we are created to be, not trying to change others into mini clones of ourselves. Encourage difference, celebrate variety and if you’re not sure, ask the one who made you to tell you all about yourself. The amazing bi-product of us all stepping into being comfy in our own skin, the culture will be changed, and when we change the culture – look out world!!!! Bless you gals. x
I would love to acknowledge and thank the inspiring ones who brought it all together – if not on this page, then in my own mind and heart. God, without you nothing would ever come together (please help me to hang on to this beautiful truth and let it inspire others), Mez Frost, Julie Jones – wonderfully used women by God on many occassions to challenge and love me to be me. And of course the vegies, I will never look at another perfect carrot the same again.