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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

{wonderfully made}

Recently, it has come to my attention that maybe, just maybe, I have some insecurity issues. And by recently, I'm pretty sure I mean my entire adolescent and adult life. I have a habit of making friends with people of whom I am extremely envious. Even if I am not envious of them at first, as I get to know them more, I find things about them that I convince myself are lacking in my own life and I simply cannot measure up. Recently, it all revolves around my insecurities over my appearance. To be specific, as I am aging (noticeably, I might add), as my metabolism is slowing down (despite the trillions of hours I log in the gym), as I look in the mirror and see my dad's face staring back at me (don't get me started), I seem to have friends that are overflowing with natural beauty. Friends that are blessed with genes that keep them eternally and effortlessly skinnier than I will ever be, or with hair that is either blonder (or browner) and always shinier, friends that can put on a trash bag and look gorgeous. But they don't put on trash bags; instead they put on gorgeous clothes and look like super models. (Apparently, I only become friends with really pretty people....maybe I need to change that.) And day after day, I am fighting back the constant crippling thoughts that I am the ugly one. Crippling to the point where somedays I want to cancel my plans because I know that no matter what I wear or how I style my terribly cut hair, I won't measure up and it'll eat away at me all day. I know it's silly and I KNOW that I am overwhelmingly blessed in so many ways. I even know that I have talents and gifts that others don't have....but for some reason my head tells me that those things are not nearly as important as how I look and so they don't matter. I was talking this through with Toni on our run a few weeks ago and her response was "Don't be silly. I don't want to hear it. Do you know how many millions of girls would die to be you?" That helped. For about thirty seconds. I thought "Hey, maybe I'm not as bad off as I think!" and then immediately I convinced myself that those millions of girls were all barefoot and toothless and hanging out in Walmart. Because the only way you'd want to look like me was if being toothless was your alternative. Obviously. I was not saying these things to Toni to fish for compliments just as I am not writing these words to all of you for that reason. I am writing because I have a hunch that as women we all struggle with this in one way or another. Maybe this is because I can see the competition and defeat in my own daughters when they feel that their sister looks "more beautiful" than them that day. Maybe this is because my five year old comes home from Kindergarten feeling badly about herself because she isn't as "fancy or sparkly" as the other girls. Maybe it is because every magazine cover is showing us an airbrushed version of what we as women need to strive to look like. Maybe you are the drop dead gorgeous one but you see everyone else and all you can see are their happy marriages when yours is struggling or their beautiful children and for years you haven't been able to conceive a child of your own. The point is, we all have our insecurities that speak lies to us about who we are and where our worth is found. I'm learning to kiss those lies goodbye and replace the negative soundtrack in my head that tells me I'm not good enough with the truth that I am wonderfully made. And you, my friend, are wonderfully made as well.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works (that's me...and you) are wonderful, I know that full well (ok, maybe I don't know it that well yet, but I'm working on it)." psalm 139:13-14


jess e. said...

great wisdom ali...and so true, i too struggle to not envy things about others and feel like i will just never measure up. a friend once pointed out to me that how i felt about myself would directly affect how my daughter feels about herself. i shuddered at that thought! so everytime i start to feel like i am fat, ugly, a mess....i think i need to act and think like i want my daughter to feel...like i am wonderfully made! thanks for the reminder!