This is me. No makeup. No retakes. Okay, yeah, my hair is straightened, but I truly wasn’t planning this post when I woke up this morning.
Today I tried something one of my med school professors encouraged us to do years ago. I’ve always been weirded out by this idea, and I blew off this suggestion.
But as the day has progressed, parts of the past and of the present have tried to haunt me. Questions of my worth. What-ifs. Whys and how-comes.
Then this professor’s voice found its way into my mind, and I found myself in front of my grandmother’s full-length mirror. You are beautiful, I told myself. I looked into my eyes, looked at every feature of my face. Sure, you have some scars on your chin, and maybe your nose isn’t as narrow as you’d like, and yeah, your forehead barely exists, but you. are. beautiful. The more flaws I found on my face, the louder I repeated those words. Self-affirmation is what my professor called it. And self-affirming it proved to be. With each word I reminded myself that I am beautiful. I am unique. I was created so carefully and my beauty is found perfect to He who created me. And the flaws seemed to fade. The scars looked lighter. My nose looked more acceptable.
You are kind, I continued. You are compassionate. Your heart is so big and full of love. You see, sometimes I down on myself. I take for granted the good things about me as so many others have. I have told myself that I am too kind, I am too simple, and that is why people walk all over me. I have fed myself these lies until I began to believe them as truth. But what is life without kindness? What is life without genuineness?
I love, love, love Zooey Deschanel, and she has this quote floating around out there that I try to remind myself of:
“Being tender and open is beautiful. As a woman, I feel continually shhh’ed. Too sensitive. Too mushy. Too wishy washy. Blah blah. Don’t let someone steal your tenderness. Don’t allow the coldness and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart. Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to truly be affected by things.”
Don’t shut yourself down. Don’t tell yourself that you are too much or aren’t enough. You were fearfully and wonderfully made. Every single part of you is special and unique. Don’t let others tell you otherwise, whether by words or by actions.
You are worth so much, and you will only be able to live in that worth once you accept yourself the way you are.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” (Jeremiah 1:5)
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” (Psalm 139:14)
“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:16)
“Listen, O daughter, consider and incline your ear; forget your own people also, and your father’s house; so the King will greatly desire your beauty…” (Psalm 45:10-11)