On Liking Yourself (In Case You Don’t)

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Samuel found his feet the other day. He was pretty impressed. I loved that I got to witness it–the first time he reached out to grab hold of his little toes. And once he figured out that they were there, and that they weren’t going away, his toes became his new favorite toy. All day long, he’d kick his feet up and just stare at them in wonder and I was tickled that he could be so easily amused.

And a couple weeks before he found his feet, he had discovered his hands. I had left the room to go grab something and when I came back, there he was with his little fist curled in front of his face and he was just staring so intently. I tried not to make much noise because I just loved watching him watch his own movements. He’s still in utter amazement over his appendages. It’s the coolest thing.

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As I went about my business, doing my everyday normal things, I thought about how good it would be if all of us still walked around amazed that we’ve got toes, amazing toes, and hands, such neat-looking hands. Because for some reason, when we get older, (especially us girls) we start believing that there are all these things wrong with us. Our hair is too straight. (Or not straight enough.) Or our forehead is too long. Or our nose is too big. And before long, we don’t really like ourselves. Because the world sends us all these messages that we’re not beautiful if we’ve got a pot-belly or knobby knees or short legs and we start to believe it.

And the other day, I looked in the mirror and I did something really cheesy, but it helped me. I told myself some kind things. I said things like, “Belly, I’m sorry for not loving you. Thank you for the way you carried my babies for me. And neck, I’m sorry for hating your profile. Thank you for the way you hold my head up. And hair, I’m sorry for not liking you. I’m glad you’re there to cover up my head.”

And I felt very awkward and silly but something about choosing to love myself instead of hate myself sort of healed me a little. And when I said those things, I couldn’t help but cry. And when I looked in my own eyes, I think I saw the pain that all the girls of the world feel when we start believing that we’re ugly and not good enough and can’t possibly measure up to the images we see on the magazines and the tv screens.

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And something else happened. I became a little more like a child. I started being amazed at the ways my fingers move and my toes hold me up. And I admired anew how incredible it is that skin heals itself and how single strands of hair shimmer in the light.

God says we’re created fearfully and wonderfully. It’s hard to believe that sometimes. But, I’m thankful for a little guy just discovering his toes to remind me that we really are remarkably made.

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So, I’m becoming a little more childlike. And when I’m looking in the mirror, I’m trying to remember to tell myself some kind things.

For you formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:13-14)

 

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