I saw an article on Yahoo! News last month that really opened my eyes to how I think about myself. Well, that’s not entirely correct; I know how I think of myself–and it’s usually not very positive. (I’ll go into that another time). But I realized as I looked at that article, that I’m not alone in having a low self-image or a poor body image.
I’ve realized that we all stand in front of the mirror and see flaws in ourselves. Even someone like Sophia Vergara who is a very beautiful woman. The Yahoo! News article I read reported that she told The Daily Mirror (the UK tabloid), “…sometimes I look in the mirror
and think I look like a drag queen!”
There is an important lesson in that. It’s not that a movie star sometimes dislikes how she looks. It’s deeper than that.
This is the lesson: We can’t trust our own opinion of ourselves because it is quite often flawed.
We look at ourselves through the filter of our experiences and opinions. We see our flaws, the things we wish we could change, or the things people made fun of us for as children. We miss what we wish was there; different hair, skinnier thighs, a brighter smile. We look for what we hoped for and are disappointed when we don’t see it so we berate ourselves for not being good enough (at least I do).
But if we can’t trust ourselves, who can we trust?
We can trust our friends, because they see us through a filter of familiarity. I don’t look at a friend and think, “She needs skinnier thighs.” I look at a friend and think, “I love her laugh! She always gives it so freely!”
We can trust the opinions of those who love us. They see us through a love filter which (usually) accentuates the positive and minimizes the negative. I have to learn that when my husband says, “You are beautiful,” that’s how he really sees me.
And finally, you can trust your Creator, who knitted you together in the womb. When God sees you, he looks through eyes of perfection and agape love. And he delights in you. (see Psalm 47:11 “By this I know that you favor and delight in me, because my enemy does not triumph over me.”)
The next time you look in the mirror and have a hard time loving yourself, try looking through the lenses of the people who love and care about you. And then maybe you will learn to see how beautiful you really are.
Your turn: Do you struggle with body image? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!