Thursday, February 20, 2014

Do You See What I See?

Have you ever tried on someone else's glasses? I remember so many times when my curiosity was peaked and I would ask a friend if I could try on their new glasses. As I would pull their onto my face, my eyes would begin to strain and would blur. I would keep them on as long as I could and then I would remember my mom's warnings. She would say that wearing someone else's glasses could damage my eyes, yet I would still be curious and not take much heed to her words. 

Why do children feel this curiosity about something so basic as glasses? Part of me wonders if it has to do with wondering how others view the world. It is one very clear example as to how we each have a different perspective of our surroundings. Even today I still wonder what it would be like to try on some one's glasses. 

I have read that wearing someone else's glasses would not damage yours eyes but might cause temporary eye strain and a headache. But unlike physical glasses and lenses I believe that we have damaged our perception through using others' lenses, especially as women. Instead of the images becoming blurry they become distorted like mirrors in a circus fun house. 

When we place the lenses of modern society on we are bombarded with images that often shows women as objects. It often mutates the realistic and natural form of the female body making feet smaller, breasts bigger, waists smaller, eyes bigger, noses smaller, and lips bigger. When we view these and then look at ourselves we in no way meet the image that we are told we need to look like and our perception is so skewed that we even exaggerate the physical attributes that we do have. We no longer even see what is actually right in front of us. Are we to blame society and the advertisement agencies? While they should be held accountable for their actions we too are at fault. As women we purchase from the companies, we don't demand change, we judge others looks, and we look up things like "celebrities without makeup". How are we to teach our daughter's to not care about their appearances if we do?  

When we place the lens of other women on, we only see the very limited view of what they are willing to show. It reminds me of the political persona's that candidates present to the public. We compare ourselves to the "got it all together- do it all" persona of another woman. I create this persona all too well, but don't we all? I clean my house before I have visitors. I yell much less at my children in public than I do at my home. I put on clean clothes when going out and will at least do a basic fix on my hair, but if I am home I might wear the same sweat pants two days in a row and not touch my hair. I would never want someone to compare themselves to me and feel like they are inadequate in any way, because they are only seeing the side of me that I was willing to expose to the world. As women we need to be honest about our imperfections and we need to not compare ourselves to others. Here are just a few examples of the different perceptions we place on ourselves and others. 

If we aren't comparing ourselves to what society and others say, then what should we compare with? There are two things are are good gauges for comparison. The first being ourselves at a previous time. I often can see how  much I have grown and changed by looking back at where I have come from. The second place, and best place, would be God's word. His word shows us our great value to God, but also shows us where we need to grow.  

Our vision has been damaged and when we finally take off the lenses of the world it might take some time to reverse the damage. 

Galatians 1:10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.