Tearing Down the Perfect Image

Sometime last week, I realized that I needed to post this…but the thought of how much energy this would require, made me procrastinate.

But as the days have gone by and the struggle has intensified…I realized that it’s time.

Standard Disclaimer:

I am fine. I am okay. There is no need to buzz me or my mother and ask about my emotional wellbeing. I am okay šŸ™‚

————————————————————————————————–We live in a contradictory world. Fact. Obvious. Yes, yes…

We’re told to be ourselves…but moved to conform to a certain ‘norm’.

We’re told ‘nobody’s perfect’ but there are all these standards we’re meant to live up to?

Who is to blame? Society? The Media? The common scapegoats?

I think it’s also time we take a look in the mirror and realize that we have played a part too.

The media wouldn’t keep promoting something if it wasn’t receiving support.

Society…

Who do you think ‘society’ is? This random building filled with horrible people?

Maybe in some places but that is besides the point.

“the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community”

That is the Google definition of society.

We are society. We are the people with expectations of all sorts.

We set standards for other people and then shame them for breaking their backs, trying to live up to that standard.

I’ve been guilty of that. So guilty. I was *that* Christian girl. Uppity and high and mighty. Quick to forget what God’s Mercy did for me, eager to throw people’s mistakes in their face.

The long, ‘tough love’ statuses were all over my Facebook. You know the typical ones we women love to write about? Throwing all kinds of shade at struggling sisters all in the name of ‘Showing them the light’.

I’d give girls those side-eyes. You know the ‘I’m way better at this Christian game than you are’ kind of looks. I thought I’d made it. I was it.

Perfect.

There I was thinking I was embracing God’s grace…but I was so stingy with it. So stingy.

And when that all came tumbling down and life really humbled me and I realized that I was just as ‘weak’ as anyone else… my heart did change.

I dropped the ‘thous’ and ‘thys’ and adopted proper conversation.

I dropped the insensitive “Just pray about it!” and actually learned to listen.

I put aside the bragging and flexing my ‘spiritualness’ and just learned to be…Me.

I’d love to say that my life became a lot easier to handle…but that would be a lie.

That turning point was the start of me discovering who I really was.

Great, right? Mhm.

Thing is…the more I discovered myself…the more pretense I detected in the life I was living. The more things weren’t adding up.

Small example: Heels in church.

I love high heels. I do. They’re beautiful. Terribly, painful though. I’d wear them to church like a lot of my sisters do and there’s nothing wrong with that. But after a while, when my feet were killing me, I’d sit down or just endure the pain.

But I started to question that. While I was focusing on the pain my feet were experiencing…I wasn’t focusing on anything at all. No talking to God. My singing was hollow. All of it.

How on earth was that a good thing?

But I was too scared to wear flats to church in fear of being given the side-eye.

But one day, I almost sprained my ankle and I decided enough is enough. I can’t do it. I’m meant to be praising and connecting with God but there I was worrying about my appearance and what other people would say.

When I did try talking about my issue…I often hit a brick wall. People didn’t get it. And that’s okay. We’re humans, it’s expected.

Anyway, now I’m that girl who can rock up to Sunday Service in kicks and be unashamed. It means I can be genuine in my worship. I’m not saying don’t wear heels or fancy outfits. No.

But you need to make sure that you’re not trading your time with God for a time of shine. As long as nothing is getting in the way of that, that’s good.

Anyway, I’m not here to dictate what you should and shouldn’t do.

Not too long ago I had a meltdown. Pressure and stress got the better of me and I cracked. Badly.

My emotions were everywhere. My motivation was absent. Old habits creeping back into my life.

And I was mad because I was like, “Lord I can’tbe like this. People are watching me.”

Saying that out loud…I found the source of my trouble.

People-pleasing.

I was so focused on keeping my life together so people would be happy and could be inspired…I lost sight of the fact that…

My life actually isn’t altogether.

I’m a 22 year old lady whose life is changing everyday. Some changes are good. Some take a lot of adjusting.

But I’d rooted in my mind that “No, everything must be smooth. I can’t mess up. Chipo Biti cannot mess up.”

If I ever looked down or tried to tell people I wasn’t okay, I was often met with

“But you’ve got so many things going on! The blog! The magazine! You’re doing well!”

Achievements don’t warrant happiness or a put-together life.

I’m ever dependent on God’s grace and His Mercy. I fall down so many times..and He always picks me up and keeps me going.

That’s what we need to be doing for each other. Not tearing each other down everytime someone makes a mistake.

Christians, especially. We’re so quick to judge each other and beat each other down in the name of ‘tough love’.

We uphold this unrealistic perfect image that none of us are able to fulfill, and when we fall, we wonder why we get so much flack?

Is this life?

We can never fulfill this crazy perfection we’ve conjured up in our heads. A perfection that requires our work and effort.

Not at all.

It isn’t our duty to be ‘perfect’ or whatever.

It’s our duty to love. To help oneĀ other when we fall. To cheer one Ā another when we’re going through challenges.

Not throwing out insensitivity and saying ‘Thank God that isn’t me.’

I’m not perfect. I’m not some superwoman with her life together.

I cry. I make mistakes. I forget things.

But God keeps me going and He is my source. He is my strength.

It’s all Him.

I hope this helps someone.

Have a great week šŸ™‚

Legacy

So yesterday they announced that Durban won (let’s not go into logistics) the bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

Whilst everyone commented on the relevance of the Commonwealth Games and the controversy surrounding them, I was sitting in front of my laptop with my jaw on the floor.

I realized that in 2022, I’ll be 29. Twenty-Freaking-Nine. This hit me because I’d drifted into a dreamy world of ‘Forever Young’. Sometimes I still think I’m 20. And I realized that between now and 2022, my life is going to experience so many changes. Time seems to speed up drastically after 21 – or so I’ve heard.

I had so many questions. IĀ haveĀ so many questions.

On the day of these Commonwealth Games in 2022, where will I be? What will I be doing? I’m not asking in some existential-crisis kind of way. No.

I genuinely want to know.

29…Will I be married by then? Will I have kids? Will I have complimentary tickets to the games or will I be reflecting on the dreams I had at this age that never came to pass?

I’m a firm believer that I will fulfill my goals and I’m working towards them, but sometimes I do have those moments where I wonder.

In a world full of disillusioned dreamers, sometimes I do ask myself why I think I’ll be the special one who made it? My answer used to be, “Well God is on my side.” Then I met disillusioned dreaming Christians who also have/had God on their side.

Seven years from now the world will definitely not be what it is today. Will it be good? Will it be worse? What is worse? Where is rock bottom?

My country, Zimbabwe. I wonder all the time. Where will it be in Seven years? Seven years ago we had, what we thought was, the worst economic and political situation in a very long time. We thought that was rock bottom.

But in this 2015, where people are being laid off on then daily, vendors are being run off the streets, and more and more university students are becoming airtime vendors and Sadza sellers…What will the next seven years bring?

The questions keep flowing in. Several of my peers are already married/on their way there. When will the day come where I receive my first wedding invitation? Who among my group of friends will get married first?

Please don’t mistake my questions for pessimism or resignation. I am an optimist. Sometimes more than I should be. I have dreams. Some of them have already come true. Some are in the making. Some are still in my head.

I’m not one to talk about them. I believe in letting the results speak for me. Much easier way to deal with doubters.

I look forward to seeing where my life goes. It scares me, though. In nine months, my life has changed in so many ways. So when I think of seven years? *shudders*

But it was a much-needed reality check. Moment of reflection. Mirror moment? Okay.

It reminded me of why I need to keep pushing, keep going. I don’t want to leave this earth as just “somebody who tried”.

I want to be somebody who has touched lives. Not for the fame or the glory or whatever 95% of the human population (my guess) is chasing after…

There’s just something about seeing a genuine smile break out on someone’s face, especially when they’ve been down and out for so long.

There’s something about seeing someone who’d lost all hope, begin to hope and believe again…

Humans. We’re crazy. We’re destructive. We’re something else. But we’re also beautiful. We have the power to do such amazing, fulfilling things. Some are already doing that.

What are you doing?

Where are you going?

I have no idea where I’ll be in 2022, but I look forward to finding out.

How about you?