Have you ever woke up in the morning looked at yourself with your lopsided hair all frizzed up, dark mascara circles under your eyes, and sleep washing its side effects all over your face and you wonder how am I supposed to make this look good today? Or you look at your closet and can’t decide what to wear because everything that you put on makes you feel bloated or behind the times on the latest fashion and you wonder what’s going to change in order for me to feel good? Have you been there? Have you sat on your couch watching reruns of “Say Yes to the Dress” while eating ice cream right out of the carton in your sweats wondering when is the day that I get to say yes to the dress? I just want you to know that you are not alone, and that you have never been alone.
I know those days, and I have lived and worn them well…those days where you just don’t feel comfortable in your own skin and everyone else seems like they have their perfect lives together. You scroll through your Facebook news-feed to torture yourself as you see your friends’ lives filled with fancy nights out, getting engaged, or posting the perfect selfie that shows off their new $150 haircut and dye. And yet I know that I am imperfect and the people around me are imperfect, so why is it such a struggle to measure up to feel like I can fit it?
It’s a power struggle between knowing that I am enough and feeling that I come up short every time. If I were to lose 15 more pounds my life would be perfect, or if I bought a new wardrobe once I lost those 15 pounds life would be grand, or if I am the life of the party in my new wardrobe with one less double chin then I could rule the world. And no matter what there is always something that you want because everything else keeps leaving you feeling that you still aren’t good enough. And at the end of it all you look in the mirror and realize that what you really need is to learn how to love yourself and to love everything about yourself and who you are right in that moment. To love everything from the way you look, your relationship status, the job you have, your weight, the care you drive, and the clothes you wear. I know it’s hard, and I think it’s natural to compare yourself with others and find your faults or where you are lacking, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Most everyone is doing the same thing and are struggling with the same imperfections and self-esteem issues. However, they just may be better at hiding it.
And that is why I write because I’ve struggled too long with thinking that I was the only one who struggled with loving myself with my imperfections and broken life only to find out that once I started sharing that others came forward and said, “me too” or “I thought I was the only one who felt that way.” I know I’m on this journey of learning to love myself and I want to share it with others in an open, honest way that helps them to work through their path of love as well. I think it can be hard too as a Christian wrestling with this because if we share these struggles or thoughts, then we fear people may think we are spiritually weak. This is such lie. Admitting our imperfections with one another in turn frees us from thinking that we need to live a lie or hide our true selves in ordered to be loved. God says come as you are and that means He wants me to come with my life just the way it is, messes and all. Our spiritual strength is being able to be vulnerable, honest, and open with our faith and learning to love ourselves and one another. In order to grow spiritually, we need to be honest about what it is we need to change or work on.
Ultimately by learning to love ourselves, faults and all, we can in turn love others, faults and all. We need to learn to receive love not only from others, but from God who created us and who sees us perfect just the way we are. As I continue on this journey of loving myself, I hope you join me too. Through posts of encouragement, sharing reflections of what I’m learning along the way, and devotionals to challenge us to grow in our relationship with God. In addition, I challenge you to share with others your pain, your struggles, and your stories because I guarantee you are not alone. God loves us so much and He wants to see us live our lives fully and full of love. Don’t wait until you get everything perfect in your life in order to start living your life. Live it now, love it, and share it with others!
If you could do me a kind favor, and please share this blog (www.blaynejohn.com) with others who also may be struggling with loving themselves or wanting to grow in their relationship with God. Also, please share with me anything that you are struggling with so I can write posts of encouragement and pray with you. (firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below) Visit my Facebook page for fun posts and inspiration!
Remember, you are not alone and you are loved just the way you are.