Do you ever just look in the mirror and think about how much you have changed over time?
I’m not just meaning physically. Sure, no matter how much Rodan & Fields anti-aging creams I use, I still am going to see the signs of aging. My weight is going to fluctuate. Things are going to start to sag. That’s just life!
But, what I mean, is REALLY look at yourself. Look past the physical and look beyond the surface. Go deeper into the person you are.
How have you changed?
I used to be a young girl who struggled with body image. I was very insecure. I was already skinny and had pretty blonde hair. But, part of me still craved more. I always thought I could be better but not in a healthy way. Maybe if I was skinner or dressed a certain way or wore certain name brands, I’d get more attention. I would stand out more. I tried and tried. But, never succeeded. You can read more about this struggle here: Teaching Her to Love Her Body
Then, college came. I became popular. I partied a lot and had so many friends. Just what I had always wanted in high school. Or, so I thought. When I got this lifestyle, I found myself so torn between that and my faith. I crossed the line so many times and to this day, I cringe at some of my decisions. I had “everything” but yet, I still felt myself wanting more.
Then, I met my husband. Even in our early years of marriage, I remember feeling I wasn’t good enough. That, maybe he was more attracted to the skinny girls on TV. Maybe, he wished I was something different even.
About a year after we got married, we had our first child. With this change, came the best change in me. Along with the changed body: stretch marks, saggy chest from nursing, wider hips from pregnancy etc. came a person who was actually MORE CONFIDENT in myself than I had ever been.
How can that be?
How could I have changed so much? I went from being an insecure person with so much of my life focused on appearance and body image to a totally changed perspective to where I love myself, stretch marks and all?
How can I be so much more content when my body is the worst it’s ever looked?
To think, I wasted ALL OF THOSE YEARS focused on trying to make myself skinny and looking “good.” By focusing so much on my outer appearance I lost site of the person behind that body I was striving to get and those friendships I longed for.
Once I had my kids, my life was no longer all about me. I now had 2 tiny humans that depended on me for EVERYTHING! 2 tiny humans who loved me no matter how I looked. 2 tiny humans who could see the REAL ME and loved me anyway.
They changed me for the better.
I find myself now content with spending time alone. I no-longer need to have my calendar filled with social events (it’s full enough with just basketball practices and hikes!) Where I used to live and die for Thursday night partying at The Depot club, I now just crave that alone time. I have grown into someone who doesn’t need that constant attention from others to feel good about myself like I used to. I have changed into someone who can be happy just in knowing that I am God’s child. I am my kids’ mom. I am ME and that is who I am supposed to be! When I do spend time with friends now, I feel there is so much more substance to it. We can have conversations. We can be real with each other. Where I used to have sooooooo many friends but no CLOSE friends, I now have a handful of close friends and it means so much more to me. They love the real me…not the me I was trying so hard to become.
So, as I look at myself in front of the mirror tonight, I’m looking deeper. I’m looking past the facade and seeing me. And, you know what? I’m realizing it’s no longer a facade.
What you see is what you get. I have become real. I have become confident and the type of person who can be myself. By not focusing on my outer appearance, I have much more time and energy to focus on what’s really important: inside me. I can become a better person. I can now relax and just enjoy life without having to try to fit in and be someone I’m not.
I thank my kids for this change. But, most importantly, I thank God. He never let go of me even in those moments where I crossed that line and made some questionable decisions. No matter how soiled I made my life, He didn’t give up on me!
When I was ready, He was there waiting for me with arms wide open.
Eventually, I learned what it took to keep steady. It is with His strength that I can walk in confidence as I do today. It is because of his non-judgmental love that I am finally ME.
Featured Blog Posts (a few of my favorites):
Click here to see how others responded to today’s Daily Word Prompt: Soil
Here are a few of my favorite responses: