Believe me when I tell you, I have been as vain as they come. It used to be a daily battle, but have come so far from where I was! My vanity was an obsessive self-centeredness, an “all I can concentrate on is how I look” syndrome… good-bad-or ugly. Image obsessions are funny things however, as you aim for perfection it will always be unattainable … illusive.
This game, becomes your worst enemy because the silly rules keep changing. With each person you use to compare the stakes get higher. In one area or another, there will always be someone looking better. You may strive and work and think, “maybe now…” only to cross paths with a new and higher goal. Then comes wallowing in self pity.
On the flip side is the ugly truth… the only way to feel better about yourself is to find someone behind you in this made-up race for perfection… to compare to and inwardly gloat. For me, in the severely competitive world of ballet, it became all-encompassing; paralyzingly.
By 14 it was all about fitting a mold. If I could not get the triple piroette or land the coveted dance role… I at least wanted to look the part! I starved my way to a “better me,” and yet inside I raged and seethed with jealousy. Pretty, huh? This lasted long after I left the stage, as old habits die hard.
Thank God, He was willing to kill me over this one. Death to vanity seemed to be the theme of His lessons for years to come as He sent me a man with clearer vision. I am ecstatically joyful to say my mind was renewed in Jesus – just like He promised! I was transformed from self-obsessed to free.
I began to train my mind to turn and RUN… away and to Him when any triggers crept up. For me it was life or death. Something I said regularly was, “There is grace for me, there is grace for her.” And God has supplied the grace needed as I chose not be ruled by jealousy and empty conceit any more.
I have tasted freedom and it’s delicious!