What Makes Me Beautiful
I was having an anxious day, I’ve been having quite a few of those lately. So I did what I normally do when I feel this way and I put in my headphones and turned on Spotify. I got through about half an hour’s worth of songs before I heard the first few notes of a song that never fails to at least make me grin. This time instead of grinning, I had an epiphany.
Don't know what for
You're turning heads when you walk through the door
Don't need make-up, to cover up
Being the way that you are is enough
Everyone else in the room can see it
Everyone else but you
Baby you light up my world like nobody else
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed
But when you smile at the ground it ain't hard to tell
You don't know, oh oh
You don't know you're beautiful"
-What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction
While I was listening to music, I was also looking through my photos planning blog posts, when I noticed that I “smile at the ground” or anywhere else but the camera in most of my photos. I really can’t be surprised by this because I intentionally avoid eye contact with the lens, because I believe I can’t take good photos and constantly feel like I’m making a weird face. It’s hard to look a person in the eyes or a camera in its lens when you don’t want them to notice your imperfections, and when you believe that’s all you have it shows. It’s there in your eyes, in how you carry yourself, and in your words.
In the midst of this difficult season, my confidence was a casualty. I filled my head and my heart with lies and discouragement so much that there wasn’t any room for anything positive. Self-deprecation is unhealthy and it will exhaust you and those around you. Which is why my resolution for this year is to stop self-deprecating, because it did nothing but make my life worse. You break yourself down to the point that you are not able to accept a compliment.
You hear the positive words and they feel foreign. Misplaced.
When I got my brand photos back, I sat there for the longest time because my initial reaction was “it doesn’t feel like me.” The woman in these photos is beautiful, confident, photogenic, talented, fun, and a professional blogger. All of the things I didn’t feel like. But that is me. And if I can look at those photos and call the woman in them all of those things, then I can look in a mirror and do the same thing. Mainly because God sees them in me along with so much more. He created me. Who am I to insult the one who knows me better than I even know myself and who took the time to make just one of me?
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” -Proverbs 18:21
Words are important and they matter. No matter what you believe, what you say impacts your life as well as others'. Because words matter, I started to write down encouraging thoughts as well as what Jesus says about me through His Word (the Bible). I can already see a difference in my attitude and I have consistently been taking small brave steps one right after the other. It’s time to be freed from the weight that is self-deprecation and live my life fully in exactly who I am.
I love journals, so I often write important things down in them, but maybe you need a voice memo or a video to help you remember to love yourself. Whatever works best for you, take a small step every day to discover something about yourself that you like and record it. You may need to start with general qualities that you admire in others that you also have. Admire. Don’t Compare.
There are an infinite amount of posts, quotes, lyrics, books, etc. urging us to stop comparing ourselves to one another. But why does it never sink in?! I hear my critiques and accept them as fact but then I hear my friends criticize themselves and I wonder if we’re looking at the same thing because I don’t see what they’re seeing. And that’s where my epiphany hit me.
“Everyone else in the room can see it everyone else but you.”
We look at "everyone else in the room" and admire their beauty but we refuse to believe we have it too. So we put our heads down and hope that they don’t see what we see in the mirror. All the while they are shaking their heads wondering why we don’t see what they see in us.
For example: I have the most gorgeous people in my life, and I don’t mean that shallowly either. They are beautiful but they have the heart and spirit to match. However, they don’t see it. When we crowd around a phone or my camera we do the exact same thing. We look straight at ourselves and find the 14305489305843 things that are wrong. Then we look at each other in the photos and praise the same amount of things that we just found wrong with our own self.
You might be reading this going, “Duh Kaylyn! The entire point of the song is that you are enough, you are beautiful and you haven’t gotten that yet.” Hence the whole, “[y]ou don’t know you’re beautiful.”
But what if we actually believed it instead of just singing and dancing along because it is a catchy tune? We could change everything.