Thursday, May 16, 2013

You're Beautiful...Just the Way You Are!

You're beautiful. Did you know that? Has anyone ever told you?

You are. I believe everyone is beautiful in their own way. What's absolutely contemptible is that at some point in your life, someone tried to hide or change the thing that is most beautiful about you.

I see it in my childhood. I talked too much and too loudly, I moved my hands too much when I talked, my voice was too sing-songy, too high-pitched. (I decided the last two on my own after hearing recordings of myself.) I was fat (really, I wasn't; I have a rounder body type, but my weight was in the normal range). I was ugly - that random kid at camp told me so when I was 8 years old.

I learned those lessons well. It wasn't until I was in high school, suffering with constant sore throats that I decided to pitch my voice higher. I sing in the soprano range, but I was speaking consistently near A below middle C. No wonder my throat was sore!

I spoke in a near-monotone unless I was reading; then I was super-expressive. Teachers loved having me read aloud. My kids still love hearing me read because I give each character its own voice - like radio theater! It's a lot of fun for me, too. But it wasn't until recently that I allowed myself to be expressive in my daily speech. In fact, when I first began speaking with my (natural) lilt, my oldest son thought I was making fun of him!

I did struggle with weight in 6th grade, but I'd lost 20 lbs. by 8th grade. I steadily gained weight throughout high school, but I was still within normal limits and wore a size 8. I now am a size 12, which isn't bad for a mom to 5 with no time for any kind of regular exercise. I am truly content with the shape my body is in at this stage of my life.

I did internalize the ugly comment. I wore glasses, and I felt plain. I look back now at pictures from my childhood, and gosh, I was so stinkin' CUTE! I mean, truly adorable.

I have had to work at feeling beautiful. I took negative comments and false beliefs and let them define me. Perhaps you've done the same?

No more! I am living the truth of who God made me to be. I am effervescent. I am gregarious. I am fun. I am a superb storyteller. And you know what? I'm pretty darn cute, with my purple glasses, trendy haircut, and warm, welcoming grin that invites others to come laugh with me!

I am beautiful.

What I want is for you to revel in the truth of who God made you to be, too. You may have been told you are too this or too that. You need to "tone it down" or "lighten up." NO! God made you perfectly you; to water down your personality  because someone else said to do so is a complete travesty.

I don't know if you're into affirmations, but if you are, I want you to write affirmations for those areas you were told to change and say them for a week. See if you notice a difference! Immerse yourself in the truth of who you were meant to be. Stop letting others' opinions define the choices you make in how you live your life.

Because you? You are beautiful. Just the way you are!