Maybe it’s just me, but recently I’ve sensed the need to write about a topic that I suspect effects every single person, at some point in their life. Actually, I know without a doubt that it does. The belief in your beauty- feeling beautiful, and as for you men…handsome. When I was at college, during the time when my RA was at its worst, I truly recognized how downright sickly I looked. I was not comfortable with my body, and quite frankly my body wasn’t comfortable with me. Losing 20 lbs without meaning to had such a negative impact on me, at the time. It literally hurt to sit because I lost most of my cushion, AKA butt! I didn’t feel pretty, beautiful, or stunning for that matter whenever I looked in the mirror. I appeared gaunt, and was much more pale than I am now. When my dad would rub my shoulders, he would always comment on how he could feel the bones. Looking back at old pictures from that year, I shudder.
It’s important for each of us to NOT obsess over our image, though I realize that is MUCH easier said than done. Yes, I am the first to admit that I spend plenty of
wasted time on my hair and makeup each morning. I pinch that stomach fat, spend a half hour each day using teeth whitening strips. I do at times, but not that often, feel guilty after eating a large meal-that good home cooked meal where having second’s just seems natural. However, despite all of that negativity, I am proud to say that I have a new approach to my self-image and respect for my body.
Often times, whenever I get discouraged over my appearance, God places something in my mind that snaps me back into reality. I often refer to this verse found in Matthew 6:28. “And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!” (NLT) Each time I hear that verse or read it, I soak it in as if I’ve heard it for the very first time. It speaks volumes to me. I so often get caught up with shopping and the thrill of it all, get annoyed when a zit makes a home on the middle of my forehead(yes, I promise it’s that same spot each time), or how fit I could and should be that I forget how beautiful God has created me, and each of us to be. I believe the verse says to me, “hey Becca…whenever you allow yourself to get so upset over your uniqueness…oh yeah, your body, remember this…when you really look at a flower, not just glance at it, but really observe a flower, it’s absolutely amazing how intricately detailed it is, and not to mention gorgeous. If a flower is that gorgeous, then DANG you must be ten times prettier. After all, we were made in the likeness of God”. Just earlier this afternoon as I was cutting the stems of the flowers Matt bought me, I made a mental note to appreciate flowers more. Funny cause I had not a clue I was going to be blogging about this topic. And not only did I not know I was going to be blogging about this topic, I definitely had a “God moment” as I was searching for the verse I mentioned above. Not even two hours ago, as I was cleaning my room, I found some old “17 magazines” under my dresser. I noticed that I had written Matthew 6:28 on the corner of the magazine, but didn’t bother to look it up…until it literally presented itself to me just now, as I type this. Someone out there needs to read this, I’m sure of it.
Why is it that we dwell upon that one negative, hurtful comment, and not the numerous kind compliments people bestow upon us? It’s as if that one comment has the ability to completely ruin our day, and leave an unseen scar. We often say that we don’t care what people think about us, yet find ourselves so hurt, so broken. I have my faith, which drives me to love on others. You may not agree or understand my beliefs, but I don’t have to prove to you that God exists, He can do that on His own.
I will leave you with this. I may not know you personally, but I can tell you without a doubt, EACH and EVERY single person is beautiful/handsome. Meaning, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL/HANDSOME! Embrace the little freckles, big feet, and curly hair. Most obviously someone may not be attractive to you, they may not have qualities that appeal to you. But, who are we to put down others, crush their spirits with such harmful words, when we ourselves have our own imperfections? We need to lift each other up, compliment way more often than we do, and most of all…love on others. Not just by saying you love them, but by showing them that you do.
Until next time, make a list of all of the things you love about yourself and feel free to share them with me. I’d love to hear how you are working on a better self-image. I will share my list in my next post.