I hurt my back … again … so I could barely move today.
When Sheri got home from work she wanted to go shopping for a summer dress.
Now, if she had asked me a couple of months ago to go shopping with her … well … she probably wouldn’t have asked me a couple of months ago, because she knows that there are not many things I dislike more than shopping. But in my new world, since the completion of the Marvelous Work and a Wonder®, and with my new attitude, and the fact that I couldn’t sit much because of my back, I agreed to go shopping.
So there I was in Nordstrom’s rack. While Sheri was looking through the racks for her dress, I was putting on suit coats, fedora hats, and sunglasses and wandering over to where Sheri was looking for a dress attempting to be funny. Imagine me … the true messenger … dressed in a suit and a fedora. But now, with my new haircut, Sheri thought I looked pretty good. I didn’t see such goodness. So I found the worst looking shirt I could find in the men’s dress shirt section and brought it over to Sheri … thinking that she would laugh because it was so god-awful ugly. SHE THOUGHT IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST SHIRTS SHE HAD SEEN ON ME! I couldn’t win. Her shopping world would never be my real world.
But I was happy and at peace.
Yes, I knew that millions of people were suffering throughout the world producing everything sold at that store, but instead of concentrating on that, I watched the vain, self-absorbed, well-dressed and -mannered shoppers … and I actually enjoyed the experience. They were my fellow human beings doing what we all do: searching for happiness. Looking for the right dress or shirt to make them look better than what they thought they looked like.
I wondered if there would be any shopping if we all loved ourselves with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. Would we look for that other piece of clothing that would make us look better, or would we be satisfied with what we had on?
I was completely satisfied with what I had on: a pair of short pants, a long-sleeved, dark T-shirt that I had worn for a couple days already, and some running shoes. But I didn’t have one negative thought watching the rest of my siblings running around the racks searching for something to make them love themselves more.
But there I stood holding a crotched (oops I meant … crocheted) sweater that Sheri had chosen while she tried on the few dresses she had taken off the rack. She asked me if I would look at each one and pick which one I liked. The problem … but it just didn’t seem to be a problem to me at this time … was that the dressing room was right smack dab in the middle of the bra and panties section. So there I stood holding the sweater, looking like I wasn’t really interested in the bras and panties … when in reality I was lying to myself like most men do … as I pictured what Sheri would look like in the bras and panties without the dress.
I stood there for the better part of 30 minutes while Sheri tried on about 5 different dresses and came out each time to show me. Honestly, she looked good in all of them, but way too good in the very sexy red one, which she embarrassedly modeled for me while a couple other guys tried to hide their stares as they, too, waited for their partners to choose a dress. When Sheri walked back into the dressing room in the red dress, a guy was watching her butt the whole way. He looked at me as if he had done something wrong. But when he saw my smile his eyes lit up and widened as a I agreed with him about Sheri’s behind. I then broke the ice by saying,
“They (referring to our wives) spend all this time and money looking for something that we want to see them in, when we really don’t want to see them in anything.”
He laughed. I stood there holding the crocheted sweater trying not to stare at the bras and panties.
Sheri was a little nervous about having me shop with her because of all the negativity I have told her in the past about her vanity and her desire to shop … even though she has less clothes than any woman I’ve ever met. I think she was pleasantly surprised with how the experience went.
Sheri shops because she doesn’t love herself enough. Sheri doesn’t love herself enough because I continually disparaged her so-called vanity and desire to shop, because she was simply trying to improve the self she didn’t love.
Was I the cause of the way she saw and loved herself?
Yes, I was.
Was I loving Sheri then as I loved myself then?
Yes, I was.
I didn’t like myself much then.
But I like myself now.
So today I loved myself at Nordstrom’s rack, thus I had no need to shop for me. But then the emotional transformation of the experience occurred when …
… I loved others like I do myself.
What a cool principle to live by!