I am tired. I am really, really tired.
It takes a lot of energy to be a woman. I am tired of hating how my butt looks in my jeans, worn out with wishing for bigger breasts and drained by considering how every bite of food will effect my thighs. I am exaggerating, but only a little.
A woman is expected to be feminine and beautiful in every way. Her nails, hair, make-up, shoes, and clothes must all work together to create a picture of perfection. However, even if a woman does all of that right, she is not gorgeous unless her body is sculpted to match a Victoria’s Secret catalog model. So, yes, we are tired. We are running on empty, some of us literally.
After a conversation with a friend today, I was encouraged in my writing and slightly discouraged with life. She had read my post “Imperfect Perfectionism,” and appreciated it because it helped her to get some perspective on some of her self expectations. This woman is an incredibly attractive female. If a woman as gorgeous as her can feel unattractive, what kind of goddess would one have to be to feel justified to be confident in her own skin?
Actually, the sculptures and paintings of the goddess of beauty would not pass today’s standards of perfection. She would be considered to be a plus sized woman.
Our self-criticism is created by our natural need to be viewed as beautiful. In a world in which beauty is crafted on photo editing programs, how do we find rest? I don’t have the magic answer; I am just as tired as you are.
Here is what I do have:
Believe those who compliment you. Don’t convince yourself people are lying to make you feel good. Don’t put your own qualifiers on the compliments. Your shirt does not look good for a chubby girl; your body does not look good for a mom; and, you are not pretty for someone your age.
This is one I’ve been working on. My husband is always telling me to accept his compliments for what they are. I hate it when he is right, but I’ll admit it in this case.
Focus on the things you truly like about yourself. Don’t look in the mirror and see the one tooth that is slightly crooked to the left. See the thing, hopefully things plural, you like about yourself. If you don’t know what you like about yourself. see my first piece of advice, and choose something you’ve been complimented on. Put your energy into finding the positives. When you are tempted to criticize yourself, force yourself to focus on the positive. Say it out loud if you need.
I have a friend who writes positive affirmations, quotes, and scriptures on sticky notes and posts them around her house. Her mirror is a prime location. I have wise friends from whom I can learn.
Believe the deeper truth. You are beautiful. In Psalm 139:14 (NIV) King David says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Even if you don’t believe in God, the truth is that you are a wonderful creation.
Please, believe the deeper truth of who you are.
Well, my weary friends, I hope these tips will help you find some rest. I am going to be attempting to put them into practice right along with you. I need a break from my own criticisms!