Thursday, December 3

A Message from the Sole. Soul. Technically, both would work!

It started with a silly flair that someone sent me on Facebook. A button that said “Shoes can change your life. Just ask Cinderella…” How perfectly clever!

Because shoes change throughout your day. You can’t run a marathon in heels. You can’t attend a black tie affair in Chuck Taylors. Not even if they are silver. You can’t march in the snow wearing flip flops. And you would be remiss to go to the beach wearing thigh high red vinyl boots. (No, I don’t own any, but I intend to one of these days!)

So why is it we think our diets, or even our lives, have to stay the exact same day after day in order to be good for us?

I don’t know about any of you, but I get stuck in a rut a lot. I eat the same things day in and day out. I stick with what I know works because it’s safe. I do that with more than just the diet, in fact. I do it with food, my wardrobe, my whole life. I get stuck in a rut.

But I don’t do that with shoes.

In fact, with shoes, I enjoy more freedom than in any other area of my life. I change it up. I have shoes for walking outside. Inside. For dancing. For going on hot dates with my hubby. For funerals. For being on my feet all day. Even different slippers for the changing seasons and their varying temperatures.

Girls, I have got to tell you. When it comes to my life, I don't experience that kind of freedom. The "shoes" of my old life are worn and tattered. I have been wearing them a long long time. They are dependable, and I know they fit me perfectly. But I don't want to stay the same. I want to start changing things up! I think it’s high time I throw caution to the wind and spruce up the life with some heels. Or some thigh high boots.

Are you picking up what I am putting down?

What if I start taking more chances? What if I start making decisions that are risky and will not promise a reward, but will always know that I am following my heart? What if I start living life like I’m not the same old fat girl, ditch the girdles, and embrace the opportunities that are out there?

Over the past 3 days, I have received 4 emails and had 2 conversations with girls who are on the edge of making some hardcore decisions. They want to lose the weight, but it’s the same old dieting dilemma. What if I try it and fail? What if I can’t stick with it? Is there a miracle cure for fat and where can I get it?

I spent the last 24 years of my life wishing I was somebody else. I was a pair of comfortable shoes dying to be a set of red heels. I was overweight, extremely vulnerable, and thought no one else understood where I was in life. I was a pair of shoes that had been worn past their prime.

Today, I was told by Matt that I had an opportunity to shake things up. I have been invited to do a very special show locally. Here’s the kicker. It’s a 2 person show. And it would be just me and Matt. That’s it.

And at first, the thought of Matt and I performing scared me out of my wits. Even though I have acted on stage before, I am no where as good as my darling Matt. (He’s freaking brilliant on stage. You all have no idea what you are missing in the cornfield community theaters when Matt is starring in a show!) And I felt that old comfortable shoe aching to be put back on. I immediately wanted to spurn the chance because of my own insecurities. Those old shoe laces started creeping tightly around my feet.

“You aren’t good enough.”

“You are going to look like a hack next to that other guy.” (and I’m next to that other guy all the time, and he even sees my stretch marks and occasionally pops the zits I can't reach!)

“You won’t be believable.”

“You are going to fall flat on your face.”

I want you to think about something for a minute. (Yep, another fat fairy tale is just around the corner.)

What would have happened if Cinderella hadn’t changed her shoes? What if she had donned the beautiful ball gown of opportunity, but had kept on her feet the clunky reminder that she was still a servant? A maid? Would she ever have approached Prince Charming? Or would she have hung back, her feet firmly planted in the shoes of her past and even her present, to ashamed to dance into her future?

Maybe you have an opportunity to make a change. To step out of your comfort zone. Maybe you have a big solo coming up at church. Maybe you are going to make a presentation that could land you a promotion at the office. Maybe you are finally ready to face the truths that you see in the mirror and the scale and make some changes.

What would be the worst thing that could happen if you put on a new pair of shoes?

Would you walk a little taller? Would you carry yourself differently? Would you step with purpose and direction instead of wandering aimlessly?

I can only speak for myself here, but I have lived for too long in the well fitting form of my comfy shoes. I have let opportunity after opportunity pass me by, all because I felt unworthy, too fat, too ugly, and like I wasn’t “enough” to do it right. And you know what? Maybe there are times I am some of those things. Maybe even all of those things. But that doesn’t mean I can kick around in a new pair of shoes and give it a try. Because perhaps all I needed to walk into a new opportunity was the same me- but wearing a new pair of shoes that were fitted for the course I was supposed to take!

Charles DuBois once said:
The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.”

Am I willing to stick my foot out for the chance of becoming something better than I am now?

You know, when Cinderella put on those glass slippers, she was still a maid. She was covered from head to toe with the filth of her stepmother’s house. There was no denying that she cleaned houses that afternoon. But that night of the ball, she wore those slippers anyway. Even though she wasn’t a princess...yet.
I am firmly convinced that YET is the best word in the English language.

Yet means that there is still hope. It still can happen. For you. And for me.

So what if we spent the last year dieting and exercising and sweating to improve our health and our appearance? If we never put on the glass slippers of opportunity, the boots of change, then all the things we have worked so hard to achieve mean nothing.

We change ourselves so that our selves will change.

I can’t know where you are on your journey from maid to princess. From fat to thin. From wallflower to blooming centerpiece. But what I do know is that in order for any of us to get from one thing to the other, we have to be brave like Cinderella, and let a pair of shoes change our life. We have to step out of the comfy shoes, and get our tootsies moving toward those glass slippers.

You may have to try on a couple of pairs before you find the ones that fit you and you alone, but what woman doesn’t love shopping???

I want to encourage you to step out today. Make a change. Improve yourself somehow. Take a chance! Do something today that is for your future, instead of being planted in the present.

As for that show that I told you about with just me and Matt that scares me to death?

I'll let you know as soon as tickets go on sale. You aren't going to want to miss this!!!


Autumn Mist said...

Brilliant! This really made me think (and beautifully written, too.) I need to come back soon and read it again...and again.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see your show! So happy for you!

Putting my running shoes on after years of neglect was a HUGE stretch for me. I can really (and literally) relate to what you shared here, Charlie. Plus which, if you try to do your new thing in your old shoes, you could even lose a few toenails!

You're awesome Charlie! Thanks for sharing!

Lindsey @ A New Life said...


See, you've inspired me now :-)

Tami said...

I've got my tap shoes on and dancing with joy! Great thoughts and wonderful visual. Wish I was where you are so I could see your show!

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