For most of my life, I felt less than. Especially when I compared myself to others (like I know I shouldn’t). I was never one of the popular kids. I was bullied. I wasn’t thin or strikingly beautiful like many of the other girls. I felt that I wasn’t good enough or smart enough for anyone, let alone myself. I was (and I guess am) just me.
I’ve noticed some changes in my life recently. I’m a lot less harsh on myself. I’m starting to realize that I don’t have to attempt to be perfect in front of others, to feel like I need to have it all together. I don’t need to wear makeup or have perfect hair. These outer adornments don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.
I’m slowly starting to accept that it doesn’t, or shouldn’t, make a difference what others think about me. My husband thinks I’m beautiful just as I am, and so does God. That’s really what counts. I still have many days of feeling like an ugly duckling, but I’m always reassured that I’m not; and even if others think I am, well, that is really none of my business.
Still, I strive to be accepted by others. I’m almost 50 years old, and acceptance is still an issue with me. One would think I’d be over it by now. I’m working on it, with God’s help. I can’t do it alone. I take comfort in the following passage:
“Your adornment must not be merely external – braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewellery, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4, NASB)
I don’t believe this verse is saying that I can’t braid my hair (if it were long enough) or have a stylish cut, or wear jewellery, or dress nicely. I do think it means that those things shouldn’t be my focus. They shouldn’t be what people notice about me. I want to have that gentle and quiet spirit, and I want others to see that in me as well. This is what I am striving for.
True wellness, to me, includes learning to accept myself as I am, flaws and all, and being aware of any areas in my life which can or need to be improved upon. I’m far from perfect, but I’m learning the importance of not worrying about what others think of me, because that will hinder me from doing so much. To me, what is far more important is what God thinks of me. He is the one I want to impress.
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