Sometimes, it is simply better to be outside. Out with nature. Out of walls. Out of restrictions. There are times where I feel that need to get out of the house, go for a walk, and clear my head, talk to God, and just be. Particularly, I enjoy these walks because I can talk to myself. Nobody is listening and I can finally hash out whatever I think I’ve been thinking.
Anyway, this past time when I went for one of these mind-clearing walks, I began to think (speak) about body image and why it has seemed to always haunt me. I don’t know when it began, that I started to believe that I was not beautiful. I don’t know how it started, when I considered myself to be of less worth than other people. I just don’t know. But here is what I do know: (truths I uncovered during my walk)
First of all, the truth is that I am God’s daughter. This fact, alone, should cause me to fall on my knees in wonder and amazement. He has chosen me. This is incredible! There are times in my life that I literally feel like I am not worth anyone’s time, but then I am struck by the fact that God gave of himself so that I could be his! Even just writing about this right now is making me feel excited (this also pertains to you, a child of God, so you can also be excited and rejoice)!
Secondly, the truth that flows straight from the first fact is that I am beautiful. There are plenty of verses in the Bible that speak to this, and they are are true. This is a constant battle because there are multitudes of advertisements, commercials, books, and any and all other types of media/information that tell a person what they need to do to be better, or to be happier, or to have a certain type of life. It does not matter, not one bit, what those things try to tell me about myself, because the only one whose opinions matter has already told me how he has made me: in his image, beautifully, and with a purpose.
Third, the truth is that I was raised in a home that had healthy values. I owe it all to my parents for person who I am now. They have given me the example of a Godly marriage, what Godly parenting looks like, and how to live a Christ-like life. Nobody is perfect, but I am sure that God perfectly placed me in the arms of those two magnificent people. I am eternally grateful for my parents who instilled the love of Christ in my heart, and allowed me to pursue my dreams, even if I was not totally sure what it really meant yet.
Fourth, the truth is that if I take care of my body, I will learn to appreciate it. I took up a challenge in January (through the Tone It Up girls), and the healthier I have eaten, and the workouts I have accomplished, the miles I have ran and walked, the more I have been able to see myself in a better light. through TIU, there have been weekly challenges, workouts, healthy recipes, and pain and simple encouragement. Sometimes, I think it takes doing something totally different, to jump-start the awakening in your heart. Even though I don’t know these women, they have taught me how to love myself, even if I am having a bad day. They have taught me that spending time on myself, whether it is curling my hair, doing my makeup, or treating myself to that new something I have wanted, is much needed. I cannot neglect myself, and expect to change the world. Loving myself.. This is the greatest thing!
Finally, the truth is that I have to tell myself that I am good enough, that I am beautiful, that I am worth it, and that I am purpose-filled. If I go through life, always telling myself negative things, I will never advance or become what I could be. On the outside I was always a pretty positive person, but if it came to encouraging myself, I knew that I was short on good things to say, or that I would say them and not mean them. Being honest with myself, and focusing on the good (not the bad) will always be helpful, whether it has to do with relationships, body image, or my walk with God. The fact of the matter is that I have to be as nice to myself as I am to others, because if I am not, that means I am cheating myself of some necessary positivity.
These are all truths. All these truths I was able to talk to myself about on my walk. It should also be said that these truths are true for you too!
You are God’s child.
You are wonderfully made.
You are the product of positive influences.
You can learn to appreciate all of yourself.
You can speak truth to yourself.
I believe that the way you treat yourself will also influence how you treat others, so I think the better you treat yourself, the better you will treat others. I have always wanted to be a person who others say, “she loves well”. Not that I love others well, or animals well, or God well, or yarn well, but that I love well. An all encompassing love. I want to love well. Love is becoming scarce in the world, and it is an individual choice to cultivate that love. One day of the TIU challenge, we were to listen to a guided meditation, and there is a part that has stuck with me: “I am a messenger of love”. These ladies are not Christ-followers to my knowledge, but this attitude is what I seek. I hope you seek it as well. We are messengers of love. And not just any love..
I hope you know how loved you are. Spend a little time in nature, and allow your thoughts to be heard by your own ears.
Talk to yourself.