“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” Shannon Alder “Be bold, be brave enough to be your true self.” Queen Latifah
Meditation: Sitting in a dance competition of mostly female young dancers, I can see how the definition of beauty and the scores of female dancers are easily being determined by stereotypes. The white girls dance to music that describes them in certain ways and that they move to in ways that can be described as “cute, sexy, or innocent”… White girls have certain norms to abide by and to appear a certain way. Usually all have to be like mirrors of each other, moving like a well-oiled machine, one copying the other. Black girls have their own norms to abide by such as being “Hip Hop queens, angry, or wild”… Black girls refuse to copy each other, but doing so, they don’t look as controlled and “in sync” and sometimes get lower scores because of that… These dance competitions are culturally and individually shaping events, judging young females partly based on their athletic abilities, but are also largely based on certain cultural norms of what a “white woman” and what a “black woman” is supposed to be and dance like. How do we empower our girls (and boys) to be bold, to be brave and to be their true selves, no matter what the crowd or what the judges think?
Prayer: Jesus, you were the most individuated person. You defied many expectations and cultural norms. You always grounded yourself in your relationship with God to be able to live out of your true self. Being in relationship with you allowed your disciples, men and women, and those who met you to become their true selves as well. You broke cultural norms and rules regarding class, gender, ethnicity and religion. You transcended stereotypes and met the others by engaging and seeking their “true self” and thus bringing healing and liberation to those who met you. Jesus, come and meet us and our daughters and sons, so we/they can be bold and brave to be our/their own true selves. Amen
Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” John 4:28f