I see you there.
I look in at the girl sitting on the floor crying out to anybody to help her. I see the girl begging to be chosen, that’s doing everything possible to make it happen. I see how you pinch that part of your stomach, how you pick and prod at every little imperfection that doesn’t even exist. I see the way you yell out for someone, anyone to simply value you. I see the way you don’t know how to value yourself. I see how you are crying out for love and in the process giving away your body and your soul. I see how you are walking in a major or a career because someone told you that is what you are good at. I see how you chase man after man to affirm your beauty and in the end you settle with cheap impersonations of it. I see how you desperately want to be seen so much so that you have starved yourself to try to fit into an unattainable image. I see how you have turned to food to make the hurt just a little bit less. I see how you think that the drugs or alcohol will numb the real pain inside. I see how you have pushed your real dreams away to try to chase an ideal life. I see how you have tried desperately to try and control every single situation and feel like a failure because of your unrealistic expectations or the expectations others have placed on you. I see how the words of others, be it parents or “friends” have cut you so deeply you have no idea how to get out from under them. I see how the labels of society have trapped you in so tightly you are doing all that you can to survive the pressure. I see you on the floor with tears running down your face because you cannot do this any longer.
I know that you want out. I know that the weight is too much to carry any longer.
I know because I have been the girl sitting on the floor, and all too often I find that I am her still. I am still the one who looks in the mirror and cannot find the beautiful parts. I walk into a room and immediately know that no man there will look at me or see me as stunning. I far too often turn to food to satisfy my deep longing to be cherished. I will hear a woman half my size talk about how she is “too this” or “not enough that” and think of how they must look at me. I have been there, sisters. I have walked out trying to get man’s attention by giving all that I am. I have carried deep, hurtful words and allowed them to be my identity. I have let others control my life because I was far too afraid to speak about the things I really love.
Today, in this moment, I want us to give ourselves permission to be who we really are.
I believe with every ounce of my being that who you are is enough. That the woman deep inside with all of the struggles and emotions you are feeling is worthy and beautiful.
There are passions deep within you, ones that you may have covered up for years that I want us to give ourselves permission to draw out again. I want to walk with you in redefining beauty. For beauty is not a size, nor is it a hair color, or a type of woman. Psalm 139 says we are, “fearfully and wonderfully made,” a verse quoted often but rarely believed. Beauty is simply being you.
Sometimes we have to practice being ourselves. I, for years, lost who I really was. Even in the past year, I had to completely transform and change the way I see myself. It wasn’t until a friend said to me, “Britt, be Britt,” that I really gave myself permission to draw out the things that had hurt me and stopped me from being my true self. I have had to relearn myself. Relearn the things that bring me joy, that I am passionate about, and figure out what beauty actually is.
In this process I have found that being who I really am is a daily process. And more even more than a simple process, it is a fight. You have to fight to let go of all of the things the girl on the floor was crying about. You have to fight the lies charging in that are trying to prevent this positive change from happening.
In order to be my true self, I had to find the things that I was made of. It may seem silly, and sometimes difficult to examine ourselves. But the other side of the fight is worth the view.
Here are five things I do to draw out who I really am:
1. Go into beauty and sit with the Creator.
-Ask Him to show you the beauty all around and invite him to show you the same things inside of you.
2. Try something new every day.
-This could be drawing, writing, running, arranging flowers, drinking coffee, kayaking, decorating, baking or even watching a movie in a theater alone. You never know what will bring you joy.
3. Write down the new things you are finding out about yourself.
-They can be as simple as you prefer red over blue. Or something as important as realizing that you don’t like it when a person touches you in a certain way.
4. Make a list of your dreams.
-The things that are huge to you, and the every day ones as well.
5. Express what you need.
-People want to walk along side you. You just have to be vulnerable enough to allow them in.
I want us to live with a personal, daily permission to be. I want to see the girl who was crying on the floor get up and dance in joyous celebration of becoming the woman she really is created to be.
Photo Credit: Leandro Perez