I've been doing a lot of thinking lately: thinking about why I do the things I do, why I react certain ways in certain situations, why I think certain thoughts about myself, why I feel emotions at different times.
I'm realizing more and more that my self worth, my self image, who I think I am, is based on such fleeting things. I allow superficial comments, instances and perceptions to shape and mold who I am, rather than looking at God's word, and finding the truth. God created me! God doesn't make junk! Does that make me perfect, absolutely not, but maybe I should be fixing my eyes on the truth, rather than what goes on around me.
Recently,I started to study Priscilla Shirer's Resolution for Women. In the chapter called "Intelligent Design" she says,
" I've often based my self-worth on some second-rate, inconsequential detail or assumption- like the way I looked, or the clique I fit into, or the way I measured up to a culturally set standard- to determine the type of woman I should be, to dictate the kinds of things I spent most of my time thinking about and and majoring on."
My friend, Denise, in her new blog,, writes:
" So, I'm going to attempt to live a bolder life and do and try things that I might just fail miserably at. But I will have tried. I will have pushed myself out of myself and maybe just learned that I'm ok even if I'm not perfect. Because, really, if I ever attained this warped idea of perfection (which is mostly about physical temporary things I can't ever find lasting contentment in), then who would be able to relate to me anyway? When I see a gorgeous, talented woman, I'm more likely to run the other way rather than befriend her. There are probably a lot of lonely gorgeous, talented women who could really use a friend! Maybe if I can get over all of this insecurity nonsense, then I'll actually be able to BE a friend, one who befriends out of love and not self-obsessed fear."
That is so ME! Both these ladies have described what I have been thinking lately. I can't tell you how often I experience fear and anxiety about what people are going to think of me. I mean, I know I'm a people pleaser, but this is crazy. Often, its not even about pleasing people, but about what people are going to think of me. Oh my word!
For as long as I can remember, I have had people make comments about my physical body. I struggle people. I struggle with my weight. Some of it is emotional eating. Some of it is lack of exercise, and some of it is some hormonal imbalance. It hurts and stinks. But I think I have let people's comments on my body affect how I am inside too. Just to give you an idea of things that have been said that have shaped me:
In elementary school, I wrote a speech about wanting to be a gymnast or be in a circus, not sure which, a friend had told her mom, and then reported back to me that her mom said I was not skinny enough to do that profession.
In elementary school, I was dancing around in the cloak room, and two girls, friends, told me that my bum jiggled when I danced.
In grade 4, my pediatrician, told my mother I was overweight, and needed to exercise more, I got my first exercise video.
In middle school, we went on vacation with family, we went to buy a bathing suit, and I tried on a two piece, my aunt and uncle chuckled at my belly protruding....needless to say I bought a one piece.
In high school, I was asked how it felt to be, " fat like you are."
In college, a guy friend told me he preferred to date skinny girls.
As a grown and married woman, I had an Uncle use me as an example as to why a woman shouldn't be a firefighter. " Would she be able to carry her, down the stairs."
CUTTING WORDS! I let these words decide what I should and shouldn't do. I decided that I wasn't very good at sports. I decided that I didn't like to dance. To this day, I will only dance in the privacy of my own home.
I get nervous about about meeting people and what they will think? I get nervous about seeing people I haven't seen in a long time. Why? Because I had lost a bunch of weight, met these people, and now have gained some/half the weight back. What will they think?
I've avoided pictures like the plague, not even wanting to look at myself, for fear of disappointment and anxiety over how I look.
There are times when I consider NOT going to see people or getting together with people because of my self consciousness.
BUT I'm realizing that I am so much more than my weight and my insecurities. I always knew that, but now I'm beginning to act on that. I don't want to limit myself anymore. I want to live this life God has given me and enjoy it. I want pictures to document my time with my kids. I want to laugh and dance around! I want to enjoy my family and the people I'm with, regardless of what they think of me. Perhaps even finding the confidence to call them out on any future insensitive comments.
I want my life to be based and built on more than what other people think or say of me. I am so much more than that. I want to believe that who I am and what I look like, is more important than what magazines and tv and other people have to say about who I am and what I look like.
I'm choosing to believe that God made me good. That God has made me special and for a specific purpose. I'm choosing to believe Jeremiah 1:5
1. God formed me 2. God consecrated me 3. God appointed me
" Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations. "
Lest you think I've only ever received negative comments, I haven't. I'd like to thank my aquatics activities instructor in college, who encouraged me and spoke truth to me, when I doubted myself. I have a husband who has known me at my skinniest and at my heaviest and has always told me I was beautiful and special.
I'm resolving to be ME! In all my talents, gifts, faults and vices. I'm resolving to try my best, to step outside of the box I've built around myself, letting God give me glimpses of who He has made me to be, as I stop looking at the inconsequential, and superficial values I've been trying to attain.