I apologize for my blog post yesterday, “On leggings, hair and piety.” I never intended to body-shame anyone, and I see now how readers read that in my words. I was trying to be light hearted, and I failed.
In our Purpose Statement, Women of the ELCA participants agree to “promote healing and wholeness in the church, the society, and the world.” My blog yesterday didn’t accomplish that. More, it was inconsistent with Women of the ELCA’s health initiative, Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls. I regret that deeply.
Thank you to all who responded, whether on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, email or by phone.
One positive that comes from the blog is that it sparked a lot of conversation. How can we all, including me, do better in accepting ourselves and each other for who we are?
The following would have a been a better blog post.
When you do a personality instrument like Myers-Briggs or the Enneagram, you learn that we all have preferences, ways in which we engage the world where we are most comfortable. It’s not that we can’t engage the world in a different way, it’s just that we have preferred ways.
For example, I have long envied contemplatives. I’ve assembled beautiful prayer beads to aid in my prayers. I’ve walked labyrinths. I’ve tried examen at the end of the day. I’ve explored lectio divina. The truth? My mind wanders. I construct grocery lists, pull together the to-do list for the next day. I focus on the beads or the outfit the woman next to me is wearing. As much as I want the calm and centeredness I’ve seen in contemplatives, it’s just not me. I express my piety by working my hands. I center myself at the keyboard, in knitting or quilting, in the soil.
Think of it like this: if you are right-handed and injure your right hand, you could probably get by with using your left hand for a while. Your writing might be less than legible and you might spill some soup, but you’ll get by. There’s definitely something to be said, however, for engaging the world in a way that is most comfortable for you.
Another way of stating it? Don’t try to be someone you’re not. For me, that’s a woman who expresses her faith in writing, fiber arts and the garden.
Linda Post Bushkofsky is executive director of Women of the ELCA.
Photo by Audrey Riley