Tag Archives: self-love

Peaceful sunsets

I’m constantly surrounded by people, and this tends to inhibit my ability to think clearly about things I want to think about. So, today, I had dinner with myself.

I sat in the balcony with my favorite Italian pasta dish from a small restaurant down the street.
I faced San Francisco and the setting sun.
The beauty of it all overwhelmed me.
It was chilly and bright and quiet –
The cool wind kept me company and drew me back to reality every time my mind drifted too far.

And I liked it.
I realized that lately I have become so critical of myself.
I have let failures fracture my self-esteem and confidence.
I have let stressful situations and insecurities break my convictions in the beauties of life.

My little date with myself and my thoughts made me love myself more.
It made me sure of who I am and what I want to do.
It made me forgive myself and others –
It gave me the opportunity to fall in love with my life again.

Life is not easy. I think we all learn that very quickly in the process of growing up.
But oh my God, it is so beautiful –
And I’ve spent too long doubting, criticizing,  over-analyzing everything.

I’m at peace – with the world, with my struggles, with the hurdles I must jump to get to where I need to be.
I’m giving everything I care for one hundred percent of my effort, 
But I’m setting higher standards for the way I treat myself.

03072012

Spring 2011.

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Wonderfully Made.

You were made in the image of a beautiful God. Your value, beauty, and worth does not come from your personal achievements. You were created by the perfect Creator, and nothing you do will ever make you less than wonderful.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:14 NIV

You are good enough, regardless of what you have done and failed to do. You are beautiful, regardless of society’s standards. You are valuable, you are loved, you are forgiven.


Society is wrong – You ARE beautiful.

It is truly sad that we live in a society where women are constantly told that they are not enough: they’re not pretty enough, skinny enough, young enough, smart enough, strong enough, good enough…
They’re told by the media and society in general – that they are not enough because they don’t look like the young women Hollywood has created through crazy, unnatural means.

Beauty is not: crazy liquid diets that do not provide enough nutrients to the body, insane work out routines created by personal trainers that require hours at the gym and lots of money, getting rid of all of your imperfections through surgeries and loads of make up…
Beauty is not defined by Hollywood’s standards.
Beauty is natural – beauty is loving the body you were born in, being proud of the knowledge you have acquired throughout the years and the work you have accomplished, being confident.
Beauty is God-given, and it lacks nothing.

There’s nothing wrong with dieting, working out, using make up. But these are things that are supposed to enhance either our health or our best qualities. They are not meant to consume our lives and help us look like the girls we see in magazines.

Sometimes I like to stand back and “people watch” on a busy street – there is so much you can tell about a person’s self image from the way they hold their head, address awkward situations with strangers, and the way they smile.

I live in a college town, so most people are in their early to mid twenties, and even these young women do not seem to love their bodies and minds. During my “people watching” sessions, I notice how many, many young women keep their heads down while they walk, staring at the pavement. They avoid eye contact not because they are in a hurry (I assume they are not, since they are walking fairly slowly), but because they lack confidence. They don’t smile. They are very apologetic when their umbrella slightly touches a man’s coat. When they trip over something and quickly catch their balance, they look around to see if anyone had seen them stumble a bit. I met a girl today, actually, who asked me what I was studying. I told her, and she replied “oh, I would like to study that but I’m too dumb for that…” I proceeded to try to convince her that that was not true. I’ve seen this girl before, she was rather quiet, and probably not society’s definition of “beautiful”. I continued to speak to her and she later opened up and was full of laughter, clever remarks, and insightful ideas.

There’s just something about society’s notion of beauty that irritates me so much.
I’m young, I’m healthy and thin, a little over average height, and pursuing my dreams.
And occasionally, I catch myself thinking  “I wish I was pretty…”
I worked as a model for a short period of time, basically hired for looks.
I ponder: If I’M insecure, what about others? What about those girls who have never been told they are pretty? What about those girls who have been through accidents that have left them changed? Can we ever truly feel like we’re GOOD enough in today’s world?

And why do men get to set these standards? Why does a woman feel inferior to a system that is dominated by the other gender and its standards?

If women cannot get the attention they require and deserve from the men in their lives, we as women must give other women the attention. There’s just something about being told you’re beautiful. (For example, I was at a store with my boyfriend and I saw this girl who I thought was so very pretty and I knew she probably didn’t even know it, so I told her. She felt slightly uncomfortable (and so did my boyfriend), I could tell, but her face lit up and she smiled.) Beauty is not measured in years, kilograms, or the number of compliments received by men. Beauty is everywhere. We have to love the bodies we’re in, and teach other women to love themselves, too. People only demand the respect they deserve when they know their self worth, which makes self-love a priority.

Just for information: I have nothing, absolutely nothing, against men. There are men in this world who are more loving than any woman I have ever met in my life. I have been blessed with a wonderful young man in my life, and our relationship would never have worked out had I not learned to love myself first. Happiness truly does come from within, and the relationships we build are where we share our happiness with those we choose to love.

Society is wrong – You are beautiful. 
“Be kind to yourself – you only have one body, one life, and only the moment to live it” – Olivia Coyne