Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's Time to Love Yourself

I remember being told, often, that I was 'beautiful', growing up. I'm not sure if it had anything to do with the fact that it was mostly by grown men that gave me the creeps, or that I was a little girl and too young for men to be looking at me like that and calling me beautiful, but I don't think I ever really believed it to begin with.

I don't know when it occurred to me to not believe it. I wasn't ever much of a dieter either. To this day I don't even own a scale, but I can still tell you about how much I weigh.

But somewhere along the line, I began to believe I didn't measure up and I certainly wasn't pretty. I wasn't 'enough' of anything. I was just average.

That began to change this last year. Maybe it has something to do with turning forty. God had been giving me glimpses of myself, in the mirror... Then I attended this conference and the female speaker shared this verse, Eph 5:29, about loving your body.

It sealed the deal. I was done. OVER it. I was going to LOVE myself. I wasn't going to slander God's creation one more time by speaking negatively in regards to myself, especially my body and outward appearance.

We weren't created to hate ourselves. Somehow, we woke up one day and had believed the lie. That we were less than we were created to be. And whatever and however we were created simply wasn't good enough. It's a lie.

We believed if we just walked, ran, or ellipticalled ourselves enough--we would magically love our bodies. It isn't true. It never has been and never will be. I decided then and there to give up trying to make my body into something I might some day love and be satisfied with. Instead, I would love it now. I would be satisfied now.

We had it backwards. We bought into the idea that if we worked out enough or weighed the right amount we would then love ourselves. It was supposed to be the other way around. I don't do yoga so that I will then grow to love my body. I love my body, therefor I have grown to love yoga.

I take my daughter to yoga with me BECAUSE we love and care for our 'temple' and want to treat them right. The love was supposed to come first. I stopped fighting my body. And I stopped caring what you think about it.

I had to get my daughter a new swim suit this season. She's too big for the girls sizes but obviously not a grown woman to fit into some of the womens adult sizes and styles. It was a bit frustrating. It didn't help that the swim suit section of the store was a total mess! I felt complete dread in having to go get her a suit. I didn't want her to dread it. I didn't want her to experience standing in front of a dressing room mirror, trying on anything, like I had so many times in the past, and grow to loathe her body. Highlighting every minute flaw.

I found her one that I thought would do and a few others for choice. I didn't make it about how she would 'look' in it. I made it about which one fit right and she felt comfortable in. Done. We found a cute one that fit her great.

Then I realized I needed a new suit. Nothing was on sale and nothing was on clearance. New thought #1 was: I am worth full price! New thought #2 was: I am going to find a swim suit and I am going to look fabulous in it. Guess what? I did! It was amazing. I went in with a positive attitude toward myself and I even left with one. The most painful part was paying full-price, cause I love a good bargain.

We all have flaws, regardless of our waist size. We all have insecurities. I have just decided I am done pointing out and focusing on mine. DONE! I am more than just a body. More than a specific body part. When I focus on my flaws, I objectify myself. I judge my value and self worth on how one part of me, a few square inches, or more, looks.

By focusing on my outward appearance, even negatively, I am devaluing what I claim to hold as worthy: my inward character. Either I value character or I don't.

It's time to let go. Physical insecurity--buhbye! Being physical flaw focused--no more! It's time to stop hiding and hating who we really are, once and for all. Love yourself and be free, sister. It's time.

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