Today I had an epiphany. I can be so hard on myself and sometimes the way I talk to myself in my head is anything but nice. If I talked about a friend the way I talk about myself sometimes, let’s just say we wouldn’t be friends anymore! Today I was looking at my daughter and I was thinking about how beautiful, and kind, and sweet, and wonderful she is. As I was thinking all these things about her I realized, she will one day have her own insecurities and things that she thinks aren’t good enough. And then I thought there’s just no way, because if I was as perfect as she is- I would have no insecurities. But the truth of it is, we don’t see ourselves the way others see us. We tend to focus on our flaws and shortcomings instead of our gifts and strengths.
I remember in middle school, I got made fun of for being tan. Someone said I should work for Molly Maids and made fun of me. I am a maid for my children now so I guess they weren’t too far off! But it hurt my feelings at the time. When I got home my mom was so shocked, “Why do they pay to go to tanning salons if they think it’s bad to be tan?” She sang my praises and told me how beautiful I was, but I didn’t see myself that way in that moment. I let the mean people change the way I saw myself because before then I had never even given a thought to the color of my skin.
Then in high school, someone said I had big hips and said I was heavy which, to me, meant that I must be fat. I told my mom as I cried because I longed to be a tiny, skinny, petite girl. But I never was, I was always tall and had a woman’s figure. My mom showed me how women are praised for having hourglass figures and told me I would appreciate my hips one day. But again, I was hard on myself and did not think it was beautiful at the time. My mom and dad ALWAYS told me how wonderful and beautiful I am inside and out. Even when I gained the freshman 15, my dad told me I looked so good, he simply did not see a flaw in me.
Unfortunately, no matter how beautiful someone else thinks you are, if you don’t feel it, you will never believe it. The best way to feel amazing is to change that voice in your head. Give yourself grace when you aren’t perfect and focus on the strengths, gifts and abilities God has given you.
Can you imagine if we looked at ourselves with the same adoration as we have when we look at our children? What if we saw ourselves the way our mother see’s us? Or what if we looked at ourselves the way God sees us?
We would see our purpose. We would see our beauty. We would see so much potential and so much substance, there’s no way we would doubt our abilities and our significance.
My new goal is to start talking to myself as if I was talking to my daughter. When I start to think I’m fat or am I ugly or I’m not good enough, I’m going to ask myself, “would I say this to my daughter?” OF COURSE I would never think or say that about her. And if I wouldn’t. Then I’m going to stop that thought and turn to a nicer, more graceful thought.