Have you ever asked yourself why is it as women we tend to compare ourselves to one another so much instead of appreciating what we each bring to the table? I often wonder if we could just stop and see ourselves through the eyes of the One who created us, molded us and perfectly designed us how we'd feel. I am thinking it would be pretty awesome and rather incredible, don't ya think?
Life lesson #35, self-doubt with all her shortcomings can really mess us up! She comes in like a wrecking ball, with her demolition crew eagerly awaiting to turn our lives into rubble.
Honestly, how many of us start the day off already defeated, with our crown tilted or better yet in need of a serious polish? We believe every stinking one of the lies forced and spoon fed to us. If we don’t have the latest hair trend, if we aren’t following the newest diet fade, if we aren’t signed up for the current fitness craze or sporting an up- to - date version of ourselves we are obviously in default, heading into foreclosure of our own self- worth. It’s downright despicable the way we see our imperfections as such fordable foes. Personally I've fought this same battle the majority of my life, feeling defective, inadequate and made up of nonstop glitches, From the time I was old enough to understand my clothes weren't a designer brand or my hair wasn't exactly trendy, I began comparing myself to the media's version of "bold" and "beautiful". We all do it and that's what saddens me the most. We compare ourselves, wishing away our own rare qualities for what? Cookie cutter, unrealistic, a dime a dozen, get in line, take a number, follow the leader stereotypes? So I just want to get really honest here today, because I still find myself sailing this very same ship more often than I'd care to admit.
My mother is one of the most beautiful women I have ever known, both inwardly and outwardly, but she's never been able to accept this fact. As a child I watched her, admired her, wanted to look and be just like her. I knew she was beautiful but as I grew up I saw her confidence flounder all over the place despite my dad adoring her. Why, because Hollywood and the fashion magazines told her she wasn’t thin enough, young enough, wasn’t pretty enough or trendy enough. The truth is she was far more beautiful than any diva of her time. The sad part is because she felt unworthy; I learned to feel the same about myself. And what's even worse, as women, we’ve all been here, we teach each other to be this way, passing our insecurities down through the generations because we fail to see what God sees in us, falling for the lie there's something wrong with us.
Personally my battle line has always been drawn in my weight. I have fought this uphill campaign all my life. I am never happy with where the scale lands, ever! I could look like Twiggy, be a toothpick and I'd still think I was fat. Why, because I was programmed to see myself this way, never making the mark. In high school I just wanted to fade away into the background, I hated getting up and getting dressed for school. I couldn't pull off any kind of trendy hoopla to save my life. My hair was a complete mess most of the time. I was always trying to hide my boobs, of course now I just wish I had them back again. Hindsight is always 20/20 isn’t it? I had dark hair and pale skin when blond and tan was the thing! I hated myself if we are going to be really honest. I could get along with anyone, and I had lots of friends but I always felt I was somewhere way down the totem pole. I was awkward, my head in a book most of the time, you would either find me reading or writing. I stayed away from the sports stars at school, I wasn't a cheerleader, I wasn't a rocker, a kicker, a nerd or any of those other stereotypes. I was simply me, though I was never quite sure I knew who exactly that was most of the time. The fact I married Johnny, a jock in his day, a football player in high school, sure goes to show you how life can change though.
It has taken me years to feel any kind of self-confidence about myself at all and to stop being a people -pleaser. I'm definitely still a work in progress. I really do feel awkward to this day most of the time, keeping my eyes downcast. Even as an adult, a grown woman with two near grown children of my own I know I'm easily manipulated into believing I am nothing, never strong enough, pretty enough, or smart enough to run with the cool kids. I guess I never quite feel I fit in anywhere and so I observe a lot. I worry I'm under or overdressed and I'm frequently aware I am nowhere inside the trendy zone despite my feeble attempts. I inevitably get the joke too late, take things too literally and wouldn't know one designer bag from another. I wake every morning, seeing my scars, the ugly ones stretched across my chest, working hard to accept the missing part of me. I see the scale go up and I have to fight the urge to not eat. And truth be told I don't even bother with fashion magazines at this point, I simply have no need to further complicate my self-image! Basically, I'm my happiest when I'm writing or miles away with my head in a book to this very day. And just like my mom, you can tell me I'm beautiful all you want, till you are blue in the face and I'd still feel inadequate.
The reality is this though: we can't live life photo -shopped or airbrushed, could you imagine what that would be like? There would be no diversity, no unique qualities in any of us. We'd all be a bunch of fake, plastic dolls running around like Stepford wives! Seriously, if we became real life Barbie dolls we'd be walking around on our tippy toes with neck braces on just to keep our heads upright! So this is the deal, the reality we should be living in ladies: we are made in HIS image, so how in this world could we be anything but beautiful? Personally, I know I'm a constant work in progress. Some days the battle is already over for me before I even climb out of bed. If you were thinking I've made my destination already, with confidence plus and you'd like to be like me, let me go ahead and assure you, despite my best efforts, on any given day, I've got a very long way to go yet.
As I put pen to paper today, my challenge to myself and to you is to stop seeing ourselves through any one's vision but our Father's. I definitely need to stop looking at my worth through my own eyes for sure! Accepting this challenge doesn't mean I will meet my goals on a daily basis because I can tell you right now I won't. What it does mean is I want to stop wishing my own attributes away and start appreciating the wondrous, even if baffling at times, masterpiece I am in Christ alone. My worth does not come from what color my hair is or if I am skinny or even have both my boobs! No, my worth is found in the reality I'm a daughter of the King, and in His eyes I am indefinitely, irrevocably beautiful. We all are! So come on buttercups, chin up, and let's get the real party started! Embrace your flaws whatever they may be. Be thankful for your own unique qualities and beauty, inwardly and out. Accept we aren't going to be perfect, we can't all have what everyone else does, but we CAN canoodle our hearts and minds around who God has created us to be in our own right. After all and I know for many of us this is a breaking news story, we aren't mistakes, our bodies, large or small are not up for sale!
And really at the end of the day, the bottom line, the way I see it anyway, as women, we need to begin finding our way back, being at home within our own skin again. Just from my own internal battles, my personal demons and boy howdy aren't those some big ol' struggles kind of days, I’ve learned before we can change any part of who we are physically, we have to dig around and uproot our emotional fears and doubts first and foremost. Hard work doesn’t come cheap, it’s by far anything but easy and more than likely will take our whole lives to complete. But if the end result's peace, self-confidence and personal acceptance, isn’t it worth the price? Honestly, that's really the sum of it all isn’t it, finding our worth in a sea of doubt? So please make me a promise won't you? Never, ever stop reminding yourself you ARE beautiful, stunning, exquisite, magnificent, and lovely, made perfectly in HIS image, a true daughter of the King! Go ahead, pull your tiara out. Better yet push those old dusty boxes out of the way and grab your crown made of diamonds instead. Don't you know beautiful girl our Father in Heaven bestowed this very gift upon you the day you were born? All you have to do is accept you're already a diamond, beautifully made new every day in His image. Go on then, put it on, we’re all waiting for your triumphant entrance….