26 to 26: No one is thinking about you in your bathing suit.

creative commons; jonny2love

creative commons; jonny2love

I’ll be honest. This is not a post about my bathing suit.

In fact, I’ll be doubly honest: I haven’t shaved my legs since some time in late September. I am definitely not thinking about swim suit season.

Truthfully, this has nothing to do with my bathing suit and everything to do with the fact that I live my whole life as if people are staring at me, judging eyes wide open.

We all think that people are looking at us, when really we’re just looking too hard at ourselves.

I read a book this summer, Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist. I loved it for so many reasons. I loved it because I am a person of Bread & Wine—a Believer in a Jesus that offered up broken bread and broken body; poured out wine and poured out blood. I’m also a person of bread & wine—a lover of food and table-side community. But mostly, I loved it because Shauna was bold and honest and funny and raw. She was ruthless with herself and transparent with her readers.

She shared this story about spending summers on the beach and missing out on memories and moments because she’s consumed by what people might think of her in her swim suit.

She said:

“But my friend Sara always reminds me, on one’s actually thinking about me often as I think they are. Probably my friends are not actually counting the days till summer to see if I’ve finally turned into a supermodel. Probably they’re thinking about their own lives or current events or any number of things that have nothing to do with my chins.”

I have to laugh because we all think this way. I think this way. Too often, I think that all eyes are on me.

All the critical eyes gaping open, refusing to blink lest they miss it—my failure.

“Shame whispers to us that everyone is as obsessed with our failings as we are.” –S. Niequist

The truth is that no one is paying that close of attention. No one is as critical of you as you are of yourself. It’s time that you stop projecting that onto other people. It’s time that you stop desperately clawing at approval and recognition.

Everything is not about you. The world is not spinning in motion around you, orbiting around the circumference of your fears and failures.

Trust me, no one is thinking about you in your bathing suit.

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