Loving The Skin You Are In
I’ve seen it so many times I can’t count it on my hands or feet. Women with profile pictures of them years ago when they were “the ideal size”, still unable to appreciate what they look like now because they are no longer look like what they consider to be their ideal size. Constant negative self-talk because of the insecurity of what they look like now. Now understand me, I do understand being healthy right? Our health needs to be a priority and the added pounds can be a sign to us that self-control is needed. I mean, it is a fruit of Holy Spirit but that’s not what this blog is about.
I am talking about the false mindsets we can have on what it means to look like the “perfect” woman and often that perfection is attached to a certain dress size. I call this a fairy tale mindset. I have talked about this in the area of trauma but this is also an issue with how we see ourselves as women.
It is not at all the will of God that we live our lives like this. Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth, ladies and Jesus said that he will lead us into all truth. Did you hear that!?! All truth, which means we have to see ourselves correctly.
For much of my life, weight has not been an issue. My way of eating and exercise has been a constant thing that weight just wasn’t a problem, even after having 4 kids and going through a divorce, but over the past few years that changed. With an increasingly busy schedule, working out and making the best eating choices fell secondary to ministry, work and rearing children. 50 extra pounds later was proof of that. I used to believe the answer to my weight began with my exercise routine and eating habits. Now that does have a lot to do with it but I realized how much the weight was taking a toll on my esteem. Suddenly the confidence I once had was dwindling and I couldn’t explain it immediately. I tried the routines of my past in exercise and eating but they were just not working!
One day while sitting with God, he said something that triggered me. He said, “You are so beautiful and I love what you have become.” That statement really triggered me in an unexpected way. Why? Because the weight that felt so ugly to me, God was calling beautiful. My weight was a part of my becoming. I knew God wasn’t saying don’t lose the weight but rather to realize that the last few years, I became something so much more beautiful than the former Elisha and I needed to stop framing who I was today based upon my weight now. Cropping pictures, finding ways to hide my weight or choosing pictures from the “former me” was not pleasing to God because what I had become was so beautiful to him.
Do you understand what I mean? I am not talking about pushing away the need to have a better healthier regimen but I am saying that what you wont love now, you wont love smaller. God said something to me in prayer that he knew would force me to face what I didn’t see as beautiful. God was pushing me to love what he loves.
Do you love what God loves?
Be honest with yourself. It’s okay to admit that over the course of life, you haven’t don’t the best job of loving on you. We can so easily as women make what we hear in music and see through entertainment as the images that we need to be. It’s not real. Being a wife, raising children, working, running businesses and the lists goes on makes each women unique in what we are juggling in our lives. Some of it is ugly, grueling work and demands but that does not make us not beautiful in the midst of the juggle. The truth is you are beautiful. God is saying to you, just as he said to me, “You are so beautiful and I love what you have become.”
How do you deal with the fairy tale perception?
Be honest with yourself…. You move far too quickly pass that mirror and/or you stand there long enough to make sure you match but that’s it. You have to face that. Somewhere along the way, you stopped loving the skin you’re in. Jesus told us that the 2 greatest commands is loving God and loving your neighbor as you love you. Facing your perception actually will help you love others better. That’s fantastic!
Change the conversations you are having with yourself…. You are your worst critic. Every new pair of pants, shirt or dress you try on is accompanied by negative remarks on how bad it makes you look, that even your spouse and friends can’t deter you from such a lie. Speak well of yourself. Proverbs reminds us that how we think affects who we become. You are better than what you are saying. Deal with your speech by dealing with your thoughts so can appreciate who you have become.
Get Naked…. I know, I know. Elisha, what are you talking about? In dealing with loving myself, God would push me to stand in a mirror naked, look at myself and speak beautiful over my body. It can be hard when you start but the more you do it, the more you will believe what you are saying about you. Remember what I said, negative mindsets don’t change just because you lose weight. Change it now!
Learn to pamper yourself…. Some of the negative ways we see ourselves is because we dont spend enough time loving on ourselves. No getting your nails done isn’t a necessity but maybe it’s the thing you do for yourself. Get away for a hour or two if you can and sit at park, not thinking about all the things you need to do for your husband, kids and others, but just taking in the scenery. Dream for yourself. It could be a cup of coffee, a facial or walk in the neighborhood.
You matter but you have make you a priority because sometimes in the midst of all we do for others, we forget the need to love on us. Release that fairy tale mindset. The you now have wisdom that who you used to be never had.
And if your profile picture is the “former version of you”, go change it. Your beauty NOW is so worth seeing.