|The Republic of Tea: Red Tea = Amazing in a mug|
So we'll just jump in.
To say I have always had a positive self image would be a lie. To say I currently have a positive self image would also be a lie, but I'm working on it.
I can remember my first crush, way back in kindergarten. My little girl friend and I each had a boy we were crushing on and had decided that we were going to kiss them on the cheek. I remember like it was yesterday. We looked at each other, gave the nod, and off we went. I watched as she leaned in and planted her sweet little kiss on her crush and he blushed and smiled. This gave me confidence, so I went over and kissed the cheek of my crush. My response was much different. He was NOT happy with me, quite frankly, he was mad and it was all my fault.
Thus started my feeling like a boy would never like me because every other girl was better than I was. Yes, in kindergarten, as early as that. This is my first memory of comparing myself to someone else. There must be something wrong with me. She must be better than me. I'm not good enough.
As we all know, crushes come and go, and GASP! there were even a few times when I was on the receiving end of someone else's crush. Thank God my last and final crush just so happens to be on the love of my life, whom, I am most blessed to say, loves me back just as much (if not more it feels at times) as I love him.
OK, OK, yes, I am head over heels crushing on Robert Downy Jr. but celeb crushes don't count in the real world, right?
I have lived most of my life comparing myself to others when the only person I should be comparing myself to is who I was yesterday. She is the one I need to be better than. She is my competition. She is the one I need to beat.
While taking General Psychology my freshman year of college we had to participate in experimental studies. I was chosen to participate in the comparison study. I was the perfect subject. I was given a notebook in which to write every single time I compared myself to someone else and why I had done so. There were categories such as Physical Appearance, Personality, Intelligence, etc. Wow, did that notebook fill up fast! And by fast I mean within days, in every single category.
I found that every few minutes I had to open my notebook and jot down what was wrong with me, because that's how comparison works, it doesn't exist to distinguish how we are different from another, it exists to make us feel inferior to another person.
I do feel that things such as constructive criticism, goal setting, pushing yourself, etc. are perfectly healthy and acceptable things, as long as they are being done out of wanting to better yourself, and not out of trying to be someone else.
Since becoming a mother I have grown more and more aware of how damaging this mindset can be.
When my son and future children hear me talk about myself I don't want them to hear such negativity as "I look fat today... I hate my hair... I'm not smart enough to understand that... How dumb am I?... I wish I was as charming as "so 'n' so"... my voice sounds terrible... my butt is too big... my eyes are too small..."
I want them to experience their momma being the woman God has created her to be - me, myself and I! I want them to see me walking in the confidence of knowing that I am a one of kind, daughter of The King. I want desperately for them to never, ever, struggle as I have with self image and feelings of inferiority. I desperately desire for them to focus on bettering themselves, on being the unique, perfectly and wonderfully made, person God has created them to be. In a world where aging is looked down upon and status holds more value than it's worth, I want them to be confident in themselves and it starts with me being the example.
My opinion of myself is setting the standard for how my children view the world. That is something worth changing your beliefs over.
"I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~ Psalm 139:14
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;..."
|Bear and me earlier this evening|