On Self- Image & Authenticity

This newly adopted mentality that I have…this appreciation for my own uniqueness and every tiny attribute that sets me apart, is emerging from a mind once bound by the chains of self-comparison. “I will be beautiful when I dress like her, laugh like her. I will be good enough when I can speak like her,” I‘d tell myself obscuring the reality of how wonderfully I’ve already been made. Yes, just totally and completely setting aside the fact that I’ve been set apart and intentionally made different.

What does it even mean to be beautiful? Stop and ask yourself what your own personal definition of beauty is. Now that you’re thinking of it, you’ve probably been influenced by any number of sources. If you’re anything like me, you’ve combined a bunch of different traits of other women you admire and compiled them into one tailored version of yourself. That’s probably beautiful but it’s not totally freeing. There is something overly methodical about it.

Embrace the you that’s evolved from making mistakes and learning. Embrace the you that has a crooked smile and a pair of knock knees, maybe ear lobes that you think are too noticeable. Somebody loves all those parts of you and wishes they had your kinky curly hair.

I used to hate my smile, so I practiced in the mirror until I found the one I like. I never did this because anybody told me to. I never tried to imitate anyone else’s smile in particular. I simply created one that suited my liking, and that was what makes me myself. I’m an individual.

For so much of my life I hated that I was naturally a chubby girl, no matter how little I ate or how many sports I participated in. I was thick. Nowadays I look in the mirror and love my curves. They fill out things like flannels and t-shirt dresses in such a flattering way. They even give ordinary things like jeans and t-shirt a little bit of character—something interesting to look at ya know.

I guess what I’m saying is that I love myself. What is it about you, that you strive to change but it just won’t change no matter what you do? Perhaps it’s that specific thing that needs to become part of your story. It needs to become part of the list of things that make you so uniquely you!

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know them full well. —Psalm 139:14

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