2016: The Year I Learned to Love the Way I Look
Just like... well... probably every woman on earth, I've taken issue with the way I look since approximately the day I was born. It's not something I've ever liked talking about, but in this last year I've gotten quite comfortable with the topic, and I feel that it's pretty important to share for a few reasons.
- I'm trying super hard to be relatable, here.
- Just kidding, but seriously, if we're all feeling it, why is no one talking about it?
- If I actually write the words "I'm over this", I kind of have to be, right? No take-backs?
- Learning to love myself is the platform from which I write this new blog. It's not just about looks, but about who I am. Knowing that I have the right to take up space in this world and that I don't need to feel guilt or shame about it. I have a place here.
So there I was, January 2016, staring in the mirror and picking at myself. My face. My hair. My body. Unsatisfied with the girl looking back at me and not really knowing how to change that. I had an inner knowing that God wanted to confront my insecurities, but my body and I go way back and we've never gotten too comfortable with one another, so I did the only thing I knew how and made a vague promise to the reflection - by the end of the year, I would look in that mirror and call myself beautiful. I jotted a note on my goal sheet: "Know my worth in His eyes".
Over the next two months I talked to a handful of beautiful women that said the same thing. They didn't feel it. For reasons too numerous to count, we all had this inner voice telling us we weren't enough. Men like blondes, not brunettes. She's lost so much weight and I'm just gaining it. My eyes are uneven. This stupid double chin! What might be worse is that in the brief moments that we'd overcome those thoughts, the days we caught a glimpse of ourselves and liked what we saw, there was a whole new set of lies. You're so full of yourself. How could you think that way? Don't you know that's vain? Christians don't focus on themselves like that. It was this conversation I kept having that really started to make me mad.
I'd tell these girls everything I knew about beauty. About how God created them. In HIS IMAGE created them. That they were precious jewels. That everyone else saw how beautiful they are. That I couldn't understand why they didn't see it. Then I told myself the same things. I'm created in His image! I'm a treasure! I'm beautiful! You know, the stuff you've heard your entire life when you've grown up in the church. Those platitudes fall a little differently on my ears than what they're supposed to. Without getting too far into my deep emotional wounds, I equate those cliches with inner beauty. The exterior doesn't matter and if it does... well, turn your attention to lie #2.
How could I feed these girls the pile of bologna I wasn't even willing to eat? And I know I'm getting long, here, but stick with me. I'm almost done. This isn't a "how to" blog. It's not an "I made it" blog. It's a "God gave me this tiny realization that changed things" blog. Somewhere along the way He reminded me of His creation. That we stand on a mountain top and marvel. That we hike to the waterfall to be delighted again and again. That we scroll Instagram #PNWCANNONBEACHBLANKETROCKWHATEVER every chance we get to see what's out there. The beauty He made all around us. But we forget to look in the mirror. We forget to look at our friends and our family and stand in awe. We forget to look at HIS FINEST CREATION and see how beautiful we are. And rest in it.
Look in the mirror today and remember that. YOU ARE HIS FINEST CREATION.