Crushing News and my Thoughts on Relationships

It was only a few weeks ago that I was ready to blog about Sandra Bullock's interview with Barbara Walters prior to the Oscars. I was so moved by the way she spoke of her relationship with her husband. How she has grown and become better and stronger because, as she said, "He's got my back". And I could totally relate because that's how I feel my relationship with Rod is. I am so fully accepted by him, I have been free to be who I am. And I have grown so much in the past fourteen years.

So to hear how betrayed she has been was shocking. I just can't imagine what she is going through right now. It's like the rock she has been standing on has been yanked out from under her. Not only that, but she likely can't believe how she thought he was a rock all this time, and she will question all the good she experienced with him: was it real?

When I hear things like this, my heart aches. What went wrong? Why do men turn to mistresses and pornography and "love" affairs? Why do sexual addictions begin? Is there any hope for healing and lasting change once a pattern like this begins? How is our society contributing to this problem? What is the message to boys and men? What is it they are looking for and not getting?

When I hear things like this, I ache for women. How does a woman rebuild her life? How will she recover from this emotional wounding at the core of her being--this abandonment and betrayal of trust and intimacy? Is there any hope for healing or reconciliation in the relationship? Is there something in the way our society thinks--in the way it approaches relationships between men and women--that contributes to breakdowns in marriages? What is the message to women and girls? Are women being set up for broken marriages by how they view themselves, choose a partner, or what they expect of themselves or their mate?

These kinds of stories bring me to realize what a sacred trust I've been given, to be in a relationship where I am to know and be known in an intimate way. Where I have a responsibility to build into and protect my man's sense of strength and vulnerability. And he has the responsibility to affirm the beauty of who I am and give his strength to protect and love me. And we are each uniquely created and a gift to each other. How many times I take that gift for granted. How long I can go without truly connecting on an emotional level in the busyness of life. How easy it is to tune into some "virtual reality" or "connect" on facebook with some distant acquaintance and not pay attention to the soul of the one in my own house.

If you are recovering and trying to rebuild after a devastating divorce, I ache with you. If you are married and find yourself drifting, I encourage you to take stock and commit to being present in your relationship, being grateful for your spouse, and finding one way each day to communicate your love and respect in a fresh way. It is a challenge, but the rewards are great. And if you're not yet in a committed relationship yet, I encourage you to find ways to love and appreciate yourself. To really know yourself, and to grow in your relational skills.

This has been a rather long post, and perhaps a bit deep for such a sunny warm spring day. Thanks for sticking with me.

(Praying for you, Sandra...)


Body Image--How we Lose Sight of Ourselves and What to do About it

How many women reading this have become so focused on certain parts of your bodies,
that you have completely lost sight of your beauty?

Do you think of yourself as a:
- stubborn number on a weigh scale
- a collection of bulges, sags and dimples
- a lack of curves or too many curves
- a size

You are not the sum of your parts. You are a whole person, uniquely and amazingly designed.
Your body houses your spirit. It carries you through life. It expresses all of your emotions.
It speaks your mind. It shows your love for others. It helps you transform the world.

Just As I Am is an art project currently showing at the cre8ery in the Exchange.
It takes ordinary men and women of all shapes and sizes and shows the art in them.

Rodney had been at a loss for how to help our clients realize that they were not the only one with a certain body type. It wasn't until a friend of his challenged him with a story of his high school art class, that the idea came to him to create a gallery and book of images capturing the beauty of real people.

This many-layered project touches on much more than body image,
but it was one of the initial reasons the project came to be.

Here is what one of the participants had to say following opening night:

"I must say that I was struck nearly silent by the beautiful images hanging on those walls. Reading some of the descriptions that people wrote about themselves nearly brought me to tears in some cases. I noticed an energy in the room last night that was...what? Awe?....Reverence? Perhaps a mix of both, but it seemed almost like that hush that comes over you when you know you've entered a holy or sacred place. I believe that everyone that was there when I was there, was feeling the same things.

Rodney and Sonya, you have managed to do what should have been done a long time ago and that is to bring to light the beauty that is in every one of us. We are so bombarded with media images of thin, beautiful, "perfect" people that it's not hard to start comparing ourselves to the artificial photos we see, and soon enough we start to believe that because we don't look like them, we are ugly, fat, and not worthy of..well...anything.

I find it terribly sad that it has come to this, where we as humans have lost our ability to see our own greatness, our own beauty and our own perfection. Beauty is everywhere and your project has helped us to find that again. In the eyes of some of those photos I saw survival, healing, humour, and for some an awakening. It's like a weight has been lifted off of us. That weight of striving to be what society says is the perfect person. What we are discovering after this project, is that we are already perfect people. We are exactly what God meant us to be, in all our different sizes, colours, backgrounds and opinions. Everything about us is right where it's supposed to be, and who are we to argue that?

I feel privileged and blessed and grateful to have worked on this project with you. The changes I have seen and felt, and the emotions that your photos evoke, are something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I think if you ask any other participant, they will tell you the same. This has been life changing. You have changed our lives and for that we are all grateful. Thank you for showing us our own beauty and perfection. It was there all along.
Thank you, thank you, thank you."

With gratitude,

Laura (and Ella)

If accepting your body is something you struggle with, come out to the cre8ery at 125 adelaide st.
Admission is $10. For more info, see or the cre8ery's website.
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 12-5 pm, Monday and Thurs. 6-10 pm

(Show closes March 9th).