El Roi & El Shâma

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
–Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Quiet. It’s my most favorite sound.

For the past two weeks, I’ve had the most glorious sleep. Coming off a long stint of intermittent waking/running on adrenaline/living on a prayer, optimum Amanda has been running this piece and I am here for it.

But here we are in the wee hours today. Reunited with quiet.

What started as persistent snuggles from our 16lb fur-child, ended in me wrapped in a blanket on the living room couch, mulling over dinner conversation.

A friend and I visited my favorite chef’s newest restaurant venture Chaatable, and as we broke naan and sampled all the Indian veggie dishes we could fit on the table, we chatted (chaated?) about body image, joyful movement, creativity, and self-care. She & I share sentiments for the iceberg analogy, so our topics never sit on pleasantries for long.

“I’ve decided my weight is none of my business,” she said as she revealed she hadn’t minded a scale since November 2017. My heart leaped (and simultaneously wished I’d clocked this kind of time myself. Maybe someday). We toasted each other over chai tea service and celebrated our freedom from diet culture.

As the conversation shifted to stories of societal New Year diet talk solidarity and our survival strategies for coping, I felt the familiar heavy heart; the thing that burns in my soul because no one is immune.

I picked up my glass to mimic tapping a spoon on its side, looking around the restaurant and whisper-shouting, “Attention, patrons!” before stepping on my hypothetical soapbox.

Your worth is not dependent on performance.

It’s not dependent on how clean your house is or how much money you make. It’s not dependent on how many followers you have on Instagram and it’s sure not dependent on whatever number the scale feels like reflecting at any given time.

“Advertising is an over $200B a year industry. We are each exposed to over 3000 ads a day. Yet, remarkably, most of us believe we are not influenced by advertising. Ads sell a great deal more than products. They sell values, images, and concepts of success and worth, love and sexuality, popularity and normalcy. They tell us who we are and who we should be. Sometimes they sell addictions.”
–Jean Kilbourne

If there’s one thing I wish I could communicate to the world, it’s the words that have been ringing in my head for a solid year: your worth never changes. You are significant. You are dearly loved.

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In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown mentions the importance of spirituality as it integrates with healing and resilience.

“Whether we’re overcoming adversity, surviving trauma, or dealing with stress and anxiety, having a sense of purpose, meaning, and perspective in our lives allows us to develop understanding and move forward. Without purpose, meaning, and perspective, it is easy to lose hope, numb our emotions, or become overwhelmed by our circumstances.”

A mainstay through my own healing journey has been discovering two Hebrew names of God:

  • El Roi translates to The God Who Sees Me. The book of Hebrews says that He sympathizes with us. The word “sympathizes” comes from two Greek words, smy and pathos, meaning, “suffer with.”
  • Most recently, I’ve also come to learn of El Shâma: The God Who Hears Me.

In a world driven by comparison, shame, and perfectionism, it’s so easy to fall into the lies of social media that say you’re not enough.

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Instead, I’m choosing to believe this: You’re seen. You’re heard. You’re dearly loved and your priceless worth never changes.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Karen Joy Wyler says:

    He stays the same through the ages
    His love never changes
    There may be pain in the night
    But joy comes in the morning ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

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