As we prepare to relaunch The Loving Me As Is Women's Health and Wellness Symposium and Brunch on June 11, 2016, I thought a lot about our theme this year, which says, "HEALTH: TRANSFORMING INTO THE EXCEPTIONAL ME". I asked myself, what does it mean to Love Me As Is and how do I connect that to our theme. Well, please allow me to share with you a few of my thoughts.
I believe to transform starts with self and ends with Love (unconditional Love). Love unlocks the door to our minds and hearts. Once transformed, we will experience this thing called
unconditional love that God has for each of us. Unconditional love can and should start with you loving you. How can you love others unconditionally, if you cannot love you unconditionally with all your flaws, short comings, and imperfections. To quote my lovely sister, Gabriella Payne, "we are perfectly imperfect". I love that statement, which means I Can Love All of Me; Only I Get to Define me; I am Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. Do these terms sound familiar? They should, they are splashed all over our home page.
Another question I asked myself, are we trapped by our thoughts, making unwise decisions that ultimately manifest into unhealthy behaviors and habits designed to hinder us from being what God created us to be? Yes, perhaps. Aretha Franklin sung a song in the 1968 called “Think” and at the bridge of the song you hear her say ‘FREEDOM”. God wants us to experience FREEDOM! He desires that we live our life based on not what we see, but how He sees us. Again, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. When transformation comes, it really does change your perspective about everything, including how you see you!
Transitioning to transform is God’s way of healing us and presenting us with the choice to live a life victoriously everyday. I believe that God give us an extraordinary freedom to love my brothers and sisters unconditionally, without boundaries. This freedom will also allow you to love you as is, or unconditionally, why, because you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
I invite you to check out the Loving Me As Is poem below. It was penned by Belinda Gordon-Battle, a few minutes after she left the first Loving Me As Is event held in 2011.
Open doors, open minds, open arms, open hearts
A passage of comfort for my sisters
An opportunity to explore and invest in self
Felt like someone parted my hair and poured warm, sweet oil – divine.
A real smile and an exchange of compliments
You write, “You are so right!”
You hear, “I’m glad you are here!”
You see, “Your beauty among the sea of beauties”
You know, “There are no limits with God on your side!”
You can embrace the power and glory
You see all that I am – relaxed or natural, short or long, gray or colored, temporary or permanent
You see all that I can be -
Her majesty – graceful, beautiful - 82 years and holding.
You see all that I was -
Our princess – graceful, beautiful - 9 months and growing
Acceptance here means acceptance there.
There within your heart, within your mind and within your spirit
You created a space for old hymns to be heard
“Please, Be patient with me – God is not through with me yet.”
And new songs to be created – written on a napkin as your soul was fed.
No fear, just a strong but protective force from these supportive sisters.
Yes, we are Sisters by blood, creed, and deed.
You know we share the same Heavenly FATHER.
Felt like that warm, sweet oil perm-eated my mind and reminded me
To live HIS words “I Will Love Me AS IS”.