Updated: Jun 8
You are fearfully and wonderfully made!
Genesis 1:27 tells us that God created us in HIs image; and we know that God is perfect, which means that ever detail about us is perfect. I used this illustration in my first book, but I think it's beneficial to use again.
Think of yourself as an empty canvas and God is the painter. He took the time to carefully design you; from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet. From the tiniest freckle to the widest curve, God took the time to create you as He saw you. Take pride in who you are; every inch of you.
I know firsthand that this is easier said than done. As a victim of sexual abuse, I hated the way I looked. Sexual abuse has a lasting impact on our perception of how we look, the value we place on ourselves, and our ability to feel and be present in our bodies. I felt my looks were the reason behind all of my pain. I hated the mirror; I only used it long enough to apply make-up. The only time I felt slightly attractive was when I was covered in jewelry, make-up, and clothes, or as Jewlz (you have to read the first book to understand that one). I didn't think Javon was pretty at all.
So how did I conquer those feelings? It took time, years really. I would stand in front of the mirror and just stare at myself. I began with my face. I took inventory of all of my features, good and bad; the way my eyes were slightly shaped, how pretty my smile was, even the fact that my forehead was a little bigger than most. Once I fell in love with my face, I moved to the next part of my body. My shoulders, my arms, my hips, even my feet. Eventually I realized that I really am fearfully and wonderfully made. and I perfect just the way I am. However, I'll let you in on a little secret: some days I still have to remind myself of my beauty. It's not that I don't think I'm beautiful, but sometimes I don't feel like my best self, which is normal. On those days I lock myself in my room, stand in front of the mirror and sing Bruno Mars at the top of my lungs: When I see your face, there's not a thing that I would change. Cuz you're amazing just the way you are! And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while. Cuz you're amazing just the way.
It's not enough that you appreciate your physical attributes, you also have to appreciate all of the characteristics that make you unique. It's easy for people to point out their flaws and issues but not their qualities. We all have traits and characteristics, strengths and weaknesses that make us who we are. I titled my second book Discover Your Inner Sparkle and Let It Shine because I believe we all have a unique quality that the world needs; we just need to tap into it and let it out. A good way to discover your qualities is to identify your temperament. I encourage you to take a personality test. The results are very interesting. I realized that a lot of the things that I thought were weird were actually character traits, qualities that made me unique. I was able to embrace all of me and love me for who I truly am.
Never hide, change, or downplay who you really are. People will love the REAL you. And the ones who don't, well that's their problem. Embrace your unique, beautiful, authentic self. You are perfect!
Know Your Worth
A great way to love your temple is to create and enforce boundaries. Many people have a hard time demanding respect and setting boundaries for themselves because they don't realize how valuable they really are. Once you know how special you are, you will begin to see how much you're really worth. You will understand that you have value and that you deserve love, respect, and appreciation. Once you realize your worth, your outlook on life will change. You will no longer settle for anything less than you deserve in any area of life. You can hold your head high because you know who you are. Here's the thing, you don't have to wait for someone else to validate your worth. Begin appreciating yourself. Appreciate the value of your fee, because they take you where you need to go. Appreciate the value of your heart, because it allows you to feel and experience emotions. Appreciate the value of your mind, and so on.
Self-love is NOT Selfish!
It is important to pay attention to your body. Exercise, get adequate rest, and maintain healthy diet. I know this may sound selfish, but you are the most important person on your journey. I'm a mother of two wonderful, handsome young men. They mean the world to me, and I always put them first. However, I realized that I couldn't do anything for them if I didn’t take care of myself. You have to take care of yourself first. Flight attendants always tell their passengers to secure their own oxygen mask before trying to assist someone else. Why is that? If they can’t breathe, they’ll pass out before they can help their neighbors. Self-care is self-love, and self-love is important. Do you have a self-care plan in place for yourself? What do you do to make sure you are healthy, refreshed and revived? I’ll share my self-care plan with you. I wake up every morning at 6am to pray and meditate. That is my time to get myself together before waking my family. I make sure to give myself an hour of downtime each night. I set my alarm to make sure I take my medication on time. I also schedule “Me” time once a week. All of this helps me to be the best version of myself so I can be present for my family.
Affirm this over yourself today: I love myself and all of my unique qualities and features. I strive daily to remember my worth. I see the value in myself which allows me to see the value in others.