Learning to Love Yourself through God’s grace
What is the definition of self-image?
According to the Random House dictionary, self-image means “the idea, concept or mental image one has of oneself.”
The swords have been fighting this battle of a negative self-image for countless years.
Many times words to my husband were, “I am fat; my legs are too big. I hate my high forehead. I’m not too fond of the way I look. “
His response is always the same.
“You are too critical of yourself. That is not what I see at all.
I wish you could see you the way I see you. “
So why have I spent so much of my life criticizing myself whenever I look in the mirror or see a picture of myself?
“My hair looks terrible. It is too thin.”
“I look fat. “
“I am slouching too much. “
“My forehead is too big; it has too many lines and wrinkles.”
“Look at my large thighs. “
“My veins show on my legs- I need to cover them up.”
So many negative thoughts invade my head and consume the positive space. Critiquing and comparing became part of my daily mindset. I was never happy with what I saw. Negative thoughts filled my mind.
“She looks better than me.”
“She is skinnier than me.”
“Her legs are longer than mine.”
I was constantly comparing myself to others. Compliments by someone else meant nothing to me. I have lived with an unhealthy self-image since I was young. In every picture of me, I would have to look it over to see if it represented me well. And in my eyes, it never did.
In the past seven years or so on this growth journey, I have been on, I have been working on trying to reframe my mindset.
My therapist told me to find pictures of times when I have felt terrific about myself and post them around. When I get negative thoughts, then look at those photos and remember my true beauty. Doing this has helped my mindset turn to the positive and quality inside me.
As I get older, I realize my body is just a shell. What is on the inside is what matters. Beauty comes from within; when you are confident, it shows on the outside. Therefore, confidence, strength, and wisdom make you beautiful.
I think of my mother, 90 years young. I see how she has aged through the years, but I only see beauty because I know her. Her character exudes kindness and love. Strength and wisdom come from her struggles in life. Love pours from her heart to all who meet her. That is where the beauty comes from. Her body may have changed from the way it was when she was 30, 50, or 70, but her character has grown. Subsequently, the wisdom she has increases her beauty.
It has made me realize that what is on the outside is minimal compared to what we carry on the inside. Finally, the beauty on the inside is what shows up on the outside.
So, I return to my husband’s words-
“I wish you could see you the way I see you.”
His words include the message God is also trying to send me.
My husband’s words remind me to trust God when I get into negative self-talk.
My friend, do you have the same struggles? Do you carry those same negative thoughts about yourself?
Here are three things I have learned about myself when giving those thoughts to God.
1. You are loved.
“ Since you were precious in My sight; You have been honored, and I have loved you.”- Isaiah 43:4
He walks alongside you and sees you. You are important to Him, and He loves you.
Even if that negative talk fills your mind and makes you feel so insignificant, remember what the Father says- “You are precious to me.”
You are beautiful to Him. He is beside you in those moments of doubt and fighting for you. He sees what you do not see. Trust in Him and His words. He loves you.
2. You are worthy.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
In Psalm 139:14, David tells God He knows what is in his heart and mind. God knows what is in your heart, my friend. Even with all of the imperfections, He still looks out for you. He still thinks you are valuable and worthy.
3. You are enough.
“ For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10
You are God’s masterpiece.
Do you understand that?
Let me repeat that- You are God’s masterpiece.
He created you like no one else. He sees potential in you that you do not even know exists. Your worth and abundance are evident in His eyes.
You are sufficient.
You are enough.
He has a plan for you. A plan that was prepared long before you were even born. You were uniquely made to be who you are.
Your beauty comes from within, and you were made to bring hope and love to this world.
God’s grace and love
God’s grace and love humble me; any imperfection I have is not an imperfection to Him. It is the way I am supposed to be. My worth is not defined by what is on the outside but rather the inside. I am worthy. I am enough. And I am loved.
My friend, you are worthy.
You are enough.
You are loved.
Who you are right now is exactly who you should be. Let your strength, confidence, and wisdom exude from the inside to show your true beauty. When you start to see that and realize that that is where your true beauty lies, you will begin to see yourself differently. Your worth is not defined by what is on the outside but by what lies on the inside.
Therefore, my friend, please remember:
You are God’s masterpiece, and through His grace, You will start to tell your story!