The Flesh Obsession 2

imageTo my gorgeous girls, my most precious daughters,

What was it we spoke of the other day? I think your Dad called it ‘The Flesh Obsession’.

This preoccupation with the body, sex and beauty that seems to dominate our popular culture.

It screams at us from our TV screens, our advertising, our movies, our magazines, our songs and music videos, and our social media.

So much so, that there are some days when it feels overwhelming. I’m your mum, and I want to see you grow up to be amazing women. Women who know that their worth is so much more than just their ‘body beauty’.

For me, sometimes the weight of that responsibility feels so huge. I may look dependable, strong, independent and sure, but deep down, I can be a little (or even a lot) scared and tired and unsure at times.

I want to guard your hearts and guard your minds. I don’t want your innocence bombarded before you are ready. I don’t want you to think you have to be something other than what you are.

I want you to know that you don’t have to prove your worth by how sexy you are…or thin, or pretty, or popular. You don’t need to follow the latest trends, or wear designer clothes, or be the most risqué. I don’t want you to think that your worth comes from the most ‘likes’, or ‘shares’, or ‘followers’…especially if it comes down to ‘the more you bare, the more they share’.

Flesh obsession is all around us. And gosh it’s enticing. For you, for me, for all of us…for we all want to be beautiful, sexy, admired and desired.

We are being fed a feast of noise and lights; fame and fortune; glitz and glamour; beauty and fashion; sex and romance; power and independence; approval and popularity.

It says, “Prove to the world that you are someone special – then you have made it”.

But it doesn’t tell the whole truth. It doesn’t tell us that the things that make us truly special cannot always be seen. They are not always shiny, loud, sexy, popular, expensive or impressive.

Remember that song by ‘GRL’? The one about the pretty face with the ugly heart? They sing:

“Okay, you’re pretty. Your face is a work of art. Your smile could light up New York City after dark. Okay you’re Cover-boy pretty, stamped with a beauty mark. But it’s such a pity, a boy so pretty, with an ugly heart”.

The truth is, the stuff that we see on the outside just isn’t enough. That saying, “true beauty comes from within” isn’t new, but it’s true.

Money, fame, popularity, beauty and sex appeal – it seems to be a package deal. But at any time these things can be lost, broken or crumpled at our feet, leaving us feeling used, empty and alone. Then, what we have left is the deepest part of us. The bit that thinks, feels, hurts, loves, and yearns for acceptance (rather than approval).

The body, mind, heart and soul are one. Each part makes up the whole of who we are. When we nurture our inner beauty, our outer beauty shines all the brighter. “…clothe yourself with the beauty that comes from within, that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit…” (1 Peter 3:4)

…Oh, my precious girls.

I hope for wisdom enough to truly impart this to you as you grow and mature.

I know I won’t always get it right. Perhaps I’ll come across as self-righteous, or even hypocritical sometimes. I might be over-zealous, or over-protective. Maybe I’ll seem stuffy or old-fashioned. I may not always be consistent or even make sense to you.

I also know that it’s not all up to me. That you are your own people and you will make your own decisions. You will make choices that I will not always like, or think are best for you. But you will be okay. You will live and learn and love.

So, I will do the best I can. I will love you no matter what. I will seek to be wise in how I live and what I teach you. And most of all I will pray. I will pray, knowing that there is a wonderful God who loves and cares for you more than I. A wonderful God who can fill that deep part of you with real inner beauty, peace and wholeness. A beauty, peace and wholeness that completely surpasses even the ‘best’ our world can offer.

With my love, Mum xx

(Esther Murray)


About Esther Murray

As a bit of an idealist, Esther often dreams of a world where kindness is the currency and where no one ever suffers from hunger or mistreatment. In the hopes of making some part of this dream a reality, Esther studied a Bachelor of Social Work. She quickly discovered that she probably wasn’t going to save the world but could simply strive to make a difference in her everyday. Much later, as the sea of nappies, toys, teething and tantrums threatened to engulf the dreams of a former life, Esther began to write. Making meaning of a childhood in the Himalayas, the craziness of motherhood and the state of the world was a much-welcomed creative outlet. Esther loves doing life alongside her husband Clive raising their three young daughters. In her down-time Esther can be found drinking tea (never coffee), tinkering on the piano or bass-guitar, practicing her Urdu, rummaging the op-shops, or attempting some kind of DIY.

2 thoughts on “The Flesh Obsession

  • Lucy

    Oh dear Est……talk about a writing touching the heart. Just reading it over again, one can feel your wanting sooooo much for your gorgeous girls your most precious daughters to be all that’s best for them…..for their beauty to shine from within not just the outward appearance. It is so true…time and time again you see people who may be pretty or sexy or popular but inside hard and unkind, uncompassionate, unable to empathise with others. The world can be hard but there is so much need for gentleness and kindness and beauty from within. Your last paragraph is so beautiful and so comes from your loving, kind, gentle, caring heart. If ever there were three young ladies who had a mum and a dad who gave sooooo sooo much of themselves in wanting and giving their best – all they humanly could to their children, these are they. We are with you in your prayers for your three gorgeous most precious daughters.

    • Esther Murray Post author

      Thank you to you Lucy. You are a most wonderful woman and such an incredible encouragement to me. I am so grateful that you are doing this journey with us! xx

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