“The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.” -Maya Angelou
Today’s post is about positive body image and self-love. I know it’s talked about a lot, sometimes over-talked about, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Some people make fun of it, but that’s because they don’t understand it. Things like eating disorders are a legitimate problem, and should never be taken lightly. All the talk about “loving yourself” might sound kinda silly, and it can get to a point where it’s just self-absorption. But, coming from someone who has struggled with self-hate, this is my take on it.
Once upon a time, there was a seven-year-old girl. Up until this point, she had always believed she was beautiful. She even convinced herself she was a fairy princess. Dancing around the house in tutus all day every day.
Then one day, her self- worth was diminished. Every time she looked in the mirror all she saw were flaws. Maybe it was the movies or the magazine covers or comments people made.
That little girl was me.
It only got worse as I got older.
Frizzy hair. Freckles. Acne. Cellulite. Pale skin that won’t ever get tan.
Countless thoughts like “If only I could lose twenty pounds.”
Fad diets, exhausting workouts, obsessing over the number I saw on the scale, counting calories, and constantly comparing myself to other people. Thinking that because I wasn’t a size four that meant I was overweight. I was always much taller than all my friends, which only made me more self-conscious.
I found this quote one day, and it hit me really hard.
“Imagine this: You just painted the most beautiful picture you have ever painted. It is exactly what you wanted. You absolutely love it! The person you give it to constantly points out the flaws… How does that make you feel?
God is the painter, and you are the person it has been given to.
It breaks God’s heart when you constantly crtiticize yourself, because he made you perfect. You are absolutely beautiful in His eyes.”
Wow, just wow. I had never really thought about it that way.
I learned to look at myself the way Yahweh looks at me. Looking at all the beauty around me, mountains and oceans and insanely gorgeous landscapes. The same God that created all of those things also created me.
I learned to stop criticizing myself.
I learned to stop comparing. Stars are beautiful. Flowers are also beautiful, but you can’t really compare them because they are beautiful in different ways.
I learned to love myself as I am.
So now, when I look in the mirror I try not to look at the flaws as much. Instead, I see something that God created.
He calls me beautiful, chosen one. I am a child of the King with an extraordinary purpose, and that will always be enough for me.
The way we think about ourselves is so SO important. Just think, would you tell your best friend the same negative things that you tell yourself about your body? Probably not… No one wants to tear down others by pointing out all of their flaws, so why do it to yourself? Words have an effect on us, be it positive or negative, including the ones we speak to ourselves. Criticizing yourself does not make you a better person.
I still have days when I feel insecure, and the enemy whispers lies that I’m ugly and worthless. But at least now I realize that they are lies, and I don’t have to believe them anymore.
Psalms 139:13-15 says:
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
If you struggle with the same thing, you’re not alone. I’ve been there.
Know your worth.
Know that you’re incredibly loved.
Know that you’re fearfully and wonderfully made.
Know that you were created for a purpose.
Know that you’re beautiful, lovely, and made in the image of Yahweh.
YOU ARE PRICELESS. Don’t ever forget that.
Choose to see yourself through His eyes, as His child.
And so, the way I see it, there is nothing wrong with loving yourself. It is not selfishness or vanity, but rather, knowing your worth and being confident in everything God created you to be.