The past year–maybe two–I have been in an interesting spiritual season. I’ve been struggling through the same chronic health problems that I’ve had for several years, but which have recently moved me from emotional tedium and annoyance into restlessness and desperation. Something has to change, I realized. If not my circumstances then me; and this, we all know, is the more difficult part. The natural movement of transformation comes from the inside out–God changes the heart, and fresh actions flow out of the new creation.
This is an excellent pattern, but I found myself asking, “Okay God, my heart has changed [I am trusting God with my illness joyously], but I am so tired–now what?” And in my desperation for something new, He began leading me in something completely backward from my expectations: to focus on my outside, so that my inside can catch up to what my heart is already doing. Essentially: to live sincerely in the vision of who I am (an act of faith–of manifesting the spiritual reality through my outer reflection).
There is a longer part of the story that I will skip over briefly: I dreamed prophetically, then realized, that when life became physically uncomfortable, I stopped being the fullness of myself. I’ve still been connected with God–maybe more than ever; I’m still involved in all sorts of things; but the way I have approached my life has been…confused. Namely, I began unknowingly hindering myself with my inner dialog, focusing on my limitations (which are there) instead of on the numerous freedoms I have in other areas. The Lord has begun to teach and remind me who He has created me to be–among the surprises, I remembered that I am an extrovert!
This is still a new and ongoing process for me. The essence is that I am focusing on making my physical appearance look as if I am healthy: taking time to do my hair, and make-up, to wear accessories, and to dress myself in colors, patterns, textures, and shapes that naturally express an outgoing and fiery movement in alignment with my natural disposition. For instance, I am tough, so I should wear fabric that is tough to remind myself and reflect that attitude. I strive on completing projects and reaching solutions swiftly, so I should dress in quick, swift, patterns that reveal this movement and essence. I am sharp, fiery, and resilient, so I should dress myself in a way that reflects my inner disposition.
I have only been doing this for about a week, yet so far I already feel like a whole different person. My blood sugar levels and other problems have remained, but they have not squashed me into a lethargic, mopey, emotional mess. Rather, I have been accomplishing more, and having more joy doing it–simply by observing and asking God to reveal the inside of me, and then dressing myself on the outside in a physical expression of those truths and traits.