“You look beautiful! I love your hair! And your earrings are so pretty.”
Any time I was given a compliment, I instinctively pointed out something flawed about myself.
“Oh…well…thanks. I have such bags under my eyes today and my hair is a total mess. And these earrings? Ugh, I’ve had them forever.”
Why did I always feel the need drag myself down when someone was lifting me up? Why did I need to partner every kind compliment with a negative comment?
You are beautiful. You look lovely.
I felt like the person would eventually discover one of my many imperfections so I might as well point them out first.
“Why do you do that?” I was once asked. “What?” I replied, unaware of what I had done. “You never accept a compliment. You always say something negative about yourself.”
It was true.
I never simply accepted a compliment. I felt so flawed that compliments actually made me feel…uncomfortable. And I realized it was because I didn’t feel worthy of such statements.
Beauty=perfection. And since I was far from perfect, I must be as equally distant from any kind of beauty. Right?
Do you find yourself doing that same thing? When someone says something kind to you, do you feel the need to say something unkind about yourself? When a piece of your beauty is complimented, appearance or character, do you instinctively counteract it?
If we’re honest, it’s really really easy to feel inadequate in our culture. It’s easy to feel we aren’t beautiful enough. Or talented enough. Or smart enough. It’s easy to feel like we just aren’t enough in general! We criticize ourselves. We complain about our flaws. We become discontent. We grumble about our chunky thighs, our fluffy tummies and our lack of defined calf muscles.
I get it. I so get it.
My definition of beauty was based on something that doesn’t exist. The standard to which I was holding myself was a mirage. Worse than a mirage…a complete lie.
It can be a long and difficult journey learning what beauty really is—and believing that we really are beautiful.
But dear friend, please hear this…
You are beautiful. And you are enough.
And it’s not because of the image you’ve created, but because of Whose image you were created in.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13
From the moment He began knitting you together in your mother’s womb, He has been telling you…YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
Every day, every night, He is singing over you…YOU ARE LOVELY.
And in the quietness of your heart, He is whispering this truth…YOU ARE WORTH IT.
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17
Oh, precious friend. You are beautiful.