A couple of weeks ago I went to my first aqua zumba class. I had tried zumba before and loved it. For those who don’t know, it is a latin-dance-inspired workout. Basically this white girl can’t dance like that very well. Yet I know that as long as I move my body, it doesn’t matter if I don’t get the moves right! I when I was aqua zumba on the pool schedule, I knew that I would love it!
I went to my first class and it confirmed my theory—aqua zumba is the most fun thing on the planet! It was a ton of fun dance moves, yet you aren’t self-conscious at all because you are under water! And when sweat is pouring down your face, you can just grab a handful of water and splash yourself. And due to the compression of the water, your muscles don’t get tired as easy.
Latin dancing by nature is very sexy. The instructor was well qualified and her confidence in what she did exuded from her. He had a huge smile ear to ear the whole time we were working out. As I followed her, I couldn’t help but smile with her. As she radiated confidence, I couldn’t help but to feel confident. I might even admit that I felt a little sexy.
When I noticed that I felt so good because she was projecting all of those good emotions, I thought to myself, “if I looked that good, I could feel that good all of the time.” Then and only then did I notice that she didn’t have the perfect body. Now let me make it clear, she was very healthy—she just wasn’t perfect.
We don’t need a perfect body to feel good about ourselves. The amazing thing is that when we genuinely feel good about ourselves, we give others permission to feel the same way. Genuine confidence in ourselves is contagious. If we have true confidence, it isn’t boastful, proud or arrogant. True confidence can be found in knowing that you are doing what God wants you to do. It can be found in having a great relationship with God and seeing yourself the way he sees you. God doesn’t care about a perfect body (according to the world’s standards.) He wants a perfect heart.
Feeling bad about ourselves only causes us to shrink and not perform the work God has for us to do on this earth. This all reminds me of one of my favorite quotes. It was given to me by an amazing lady that I met on my mission. She was a lady that had many talents, and used them to let the light of God shine through her.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” –Marianne Williamson
This quote is often attributed to Nelson Mandela.
So this pioneer day, I encourage all of us to find something that lets God’s light shine through us with the intent to liberate others from the darkness of self-doubt and shame. We all can push forward as the pioneers—onward ever onward as we glory in His name!!