Beauty or beast…?

Our inner beauty isn’t always obvious to us – our perceived inadequacies can make us feel ugly. We can be very harsh on ourselves, and years of critical self-talk can result in us feeling insignificant, unsuccessful and insecure.

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Truth is, I went for years without questioning my inner critic. The monologue about my inadequacies was unceasing – because I never challenged it.

We can get so attuned to our inner critic that we don’t hear or doubt, what other trusted people – and God – have to say. And so we paint black & white pictures of ourselves that miss the beauty and colour that others see in us!

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A positive way forward can be to focus on ‘opposite action’ where we notice the distorted thought and act otherwise. So ‘I can’t’ becomes ‘I can’ – and it’s not necessarily about adding to a ‘to do’ list!
Just as important, is taking time ‘to be’. Self-care isn’t necessarily selfish – we all need to take time ‘to stop and stare’.

What is this life if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare…    (W H Davies)

‘Being’ and ‘doing’ in ways that challenge distortions will help us to paint a more accurate picture of ourselves.
Not a perfect portrait, but one with colour and detail – and the odd smudge here and there! The truth of the matter is that none of us is perfect, but we’re all significant and secure in God’s sight.

This can be hard to believe, when our perception of ourselves may be distorted by past or present experiences of relationships. Many interactions are based on transactions, and if we feel our worth is dependent on what we do, we can be ‘people pleasers’ and life can be an endless search for approval and acceptance. But God offers us a different experience. If we start believing that God’s love is unconditional and that the Giver delights in us for who we are, we will naturally want to grow into truth.
So let’s believe the truth at the heart of the matter, and start to see a fuller picture.

Truth is… ‘You are precious in my sight, and I love you’ Isaiah 43:4

6 thoughts on “Beauty or beast…?

  1. This really is good writing! Keep it up. I’m 54, and a couple of days ago I had an epiphany. I grew up with a mentally ill woman who was unpredictable and sometimes cruel. And I just now realized that all the negative things I have believed about myself were necessary in order for me to live with her. If I hadn’t believed them, I could not have gotten through the day. I think if I’d had positive and secure, the difference between how I saw myself and how she treated me would have been unbearable. I just wish I’d known well enough to leave my hopeless, helpless picture of myself there when I left. Be strong! You are so loved!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. – It takes courage to see a more balanced picture of ourselves and to believe that God delights in us 🙂
    I’m so glad for you – that you’re seeing a fuller picture of yourself…

    I’ve been reading some of your posts – you write in a really engaging way!

    Like

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