Too often we base our worth on our exterior instead of giving ourselves credit for who we truly are on the inside. In a visual society, it is hard not to measure our worth based on our looks. Self-acceptance did not come naturally for me. However, choosing to accept myself “AS IS”, with all my cosmetic flaws gives me peace of mind.
There is always room for improvement taking care of myself, but the reality is…my worth is not dependent upon my exterior. Grant it, my paycheck is not reliant on my looks, but isn’t that what digital enhancement is for? My outer shell is a little worn and torn, however, my attitude and the importance of who I am comes from the inside. Real beauty resonates from the inside out.
In his book, The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord, T.D. Jakes said:
“A positive self-image is not arrogant…Even though we say we don’t care what people think, to some degree we are still vulnerable to their word and ideas. But if we are going to be effective individuals, we must develop the ability to embrace ourselves…Do not think for one moment that others do not observe your level of style, class, and preferences…
If you cannot value your own existence and presence, you will eventually have trouble relating well to others…
More important is the fact that when we do not value ourselves, we tend to attract people who support that devalued image. Remember now, we train people how to treat us by how we treat ourselves.”¹
Have you ever struggled with self-hatred or self-condemnation, or do you graciously accept yourself? Does how you currently feel about yourself tarnish or motivate positive daily thoughts and actions? How we value ourselves is very important, not only for peace of mind, but because that image spills over onto other relationships. Gaining emotional and mental stability makes you smarter and wiser to shun detrimental relationships and behaviors.
If you want to achieve renewed health, healing, and peace to your mind, body, and spirit, please understand how important it is to accept and love yourself right now just as you are. Realize that you deserve respect, imperfections and all, no matter what you have done in the past. Self-acceptance and self-respect fuels the desire to take good care of yourself. If you are looking for the perfect situation or the perfect weight to start loving yourself, what will you do if that scenario does not occur? The burden of continual self-disappointment is too much to endure and a pointless waste of time.
Always being unhappy with yourself negatively impacts your daily life and influences the choices you make. God never intended for any of us to carry those burdens.
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest…Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you find rest for your souls…the burden I give you is light.'” Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
I could analyze myself to death about all my outer imperfections, but how productive would that be? I have thrown out the microscope and look at myself without condemnation. I choose to look at myself through rose-colored glasses. Am I blind to my imperfections or that my body does not look like the twenty-something, digitally enhanced model on the magazine cover? No. But, when I look in the mirror I choose to notice something positive.
I have learned to love my body, lumps and all. I do not focus or criticize my not so visually appealing body parts, and I go on with my business. It is a moment-by-moment choice. Hey, if I don’t go up to bat for myself, who will? I lived too many years in the shadow of self-criticism and insecurity, and made choices with that same thinking. Why would I ever want to walk that miserable road again? The power to choose is in my hand and in yours.
To know and stand firm in the importance of our worth is another crucial step to getting healthy. If we devalue ourselves, why would we think we are worth putting forth the effort to improve our health? Learning to accept our imperfections and focus on celebrating our positive attributes is healthier and less stressful!
How You Perceive Yourself Is a Daily Choice
Please do not be fooled into thinking you will never have a negative thought about yourself again. It is a daily choice to accept your imperfections and silently say no to the familiar criticisms, while at the same time choose to appreciate your strengths. These are the practices that keep you sane and healthy. This new self-acceptance allows you to take care of the person of value you have to live with for the rest of your life…you!
Blessings to your health and peace of mind!
¹The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord, Bishop T.D. Jakes, pp. 14,15,17,18, ©1998