I was born a preemie just under four pounds and very small. My family is fairly short, to average size, and I expected to be like the other women in my family. I remember when I grew taller than my grandma, my mom and aunt, and realized I would probably be tall. I am, at 5’10”.
Do not misunderstand, being tall is not a curse or bad. However, for me, it was, and has been a challenge. For example, finding blouses, skirts, pants and clothing that is long enough is a quest I’m constantly on.
It seems I have always cringed at being noticed as above average height. One day I was at the grocery store and an older man stopped me and said, “My, you’re a tall drink of water, aren’t you.” I laughed, but it seemed to reinforce my mistaken viewpoint that I had something to be embarrassed about.
I have thought long and hard about why my perspective of being tall has been a downfall, instead of an attribute to be embraced.
As a teenager I hunched over terribly when I walked. As an adult, I constantly remind myself to ‘stand up straight’. Digging deep, I wondered why I do that anyway, particularly because I admire and find those who stand up straight and proud very attractive and show great confidence. I truly want to act and project poise and self-assurance.
For me, after reflection and deep pondering, I believe my self-consciousness of being tall comes from a lack of focus and understanding of who I am, my value and my worth despite any physical attributes. It is easy to talk about how important and unique we each are, but do we truly internalize it?
In reality, how blessed I am to have a body that can work, hug, feel the breathe of a breeze across my cheek, enjoy a kiss from my sweetheart, play with my grandkids, laugh with my children, serve, all the countless blessings that come from being alive.
My journey, as may be yours, is to stand tall and proud. It is our obligation to love our body and care for it as the hallowed vessel it is. Also, it is our duty to ceaselessly improve our soul: personality, talents, gifts while continually serving others with all our energy, and to be grateful for our life here on this earth.
The media or culture may scream their definition of what we are to look like; size, shape, height, features, and many other faulty and flawed opinions that are thrown at us unceasingly.
Possibly we attach our own ‘perfect picture’ which actually detracts us from seeing the beauty and exceptional individual we really are.
Whatever the case may be, we can find the exquisiteness, loveliness and magnificent person we are, and embrace it.
By being thankful for what we have, not comparing ourselves with others, and improving in ways God would have us do. Let’s love what we are, stand proud, and with grace proclaim our individual value and worth to the world and our self.
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today