Between Elena and Courtney's posts, I've been thinking about the "I Am Beautiful" project all week.
This project needs to be done on a massive level, because I know SO MANY women who look in the mirror, and all they can see are flaws. For a very long time, I was among them. I didn't see my reflection and recognize something beautifully crafted out of love. I saw fat imperfection.
This hatred took me to some very dark places in my life, and was a catalyst for much pain and suffering. I started focusing on my insides, started telling myself positive affirmations. FORCING myself to look in the mirror and not beat myself up over what I saw.
You know what? Slowly, my thoughts began to change. The size of my waistband hadn't moved, but in taking steps to work on how I felt about myself, and the person I was inside, I finally got to the point where I could have a non-adversarial relationship with the woman I saw reflecting back at me in the mirror.
Then, something unexpected happened. In my beginning to feel better about myself, I began to take better care of myself! I started to eat better, exercise more.......not because I was chasing a waistband, but because I liked the way it made me FEEL.
We live in a world where we are bombarded by images on a daily basis, telling us we need to be thinner, taller, have no gray hairs, and that the less clothes we wear, the sexier we are! It scares the crude outta me to think of my girls being sent these lies. I don't EVER want my girls looking through old photos, seeing that I wasn't in them, and thinking it was because I was ashamed to be in front of the camera. I want them to know, 100%, that their self-worth will NEVER be hinged on their waistband, on a crush's opinion of them, or on ANYTHING else even remotely like that.
It took me the better part of 30 years to figure out that, a knock-out figure may turn heads, but a sincere smile, an infectious laugh, and a joyful heart will keep them turned. That the sexiest thing a woman can wear is confidence in herself....and that a positive outlook & a beautiful spirit have a staying power that perfectly toned buns just can't match :)
I'm never, ever going to be a size 2. I get the occasional gray hair, and I highly doubt America's Next Top Model is gonna come knocking at my door......and ya know what? That's ok :) I'm good with that.
Today, I can look in the mirror, and confidently feel that
I AM BEAUTIFUL
Just the way God made me. God doesn't make junk. He crafted me out of goodness & love, IN HIS IMAGE. I'm just sorry it took me so long to be grateful about that!
Join in the "I Am Beautiful" project, and link up your shots on Flickr! Thanks for putting this together Jill! Such an AMAZING project! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!! Inside & Out!