“When you say those things you’re making yourself ugly,” is what my husband said to me after hearing yet another negative comment about myself fly out of my mouth. In most relationships that would have been a red flag, but in mine it was a much needed reality check. That quote was the second half of another sentence that started with “you’re the most beautiful woman in the world to me but…”
As women, we are sometimes our harshest critics. There is a little voice in our minds that sometimes speaks to us saying we’re not thin enough, smart enough or beautiful enough. That voice has been created by the media, by individuals who wanted to degrade us for one reason or another – ex lovers, jealous women or even family members who were projecting their own negative self images on us. It may have been the family member who pinched the nostrils of our “too big” nose or the cousin or uncle that warned “don’t stay out in that sun too long or you’re going to get dark.” All of the negative perceptions of our physical appearance that we have taken in all of our lives play back to us at the most inconvenient times.
In this situation my husband was asking me to pose for a picture and I kept putting up barriers between my face and the camera because on this particular day that negative tape had been playing on repeat and I did not feel like my normally camera ready self and said something not so nice about myself out loud.
On this day, when my husband said that I was making myself ugly, I understood exactly what he meant so much so that it scared me. When we don’t feel well physically or emotionally our head hangs low, our posture is slouched and the tone of our voice becomes a mere echo of itself. We don’t make eye contact, we move slower and the smile – which is the same in every language and the most disarming gesture we can deliver becomes imprisoned by an ugly frown or tight lips.
So I made a decision that I would no longer subscribe to the negative self talk channel and when I did, I would fight the one negative thought with ten positive thoughts. I also decided that sometimes if we tell ourselves something over and over, we start to truly believe it. So even on days when I wake up feeling bloated or can’t find anything to wear because it all feels unflattering, I continue to tell myself that I am beautiful and worthy of whatever blessing I find in front of me.
Affirmations are real. Don’t be afraid to talk back to that misinformed person inside of you. Remind him or her that God created you and God doesn’t make mistakes. Remind him or her that tomorrow is always a new day and your poor decisions do not have to determine your future decisions. Know that the more you talk back to that voice, the less he or she will have to say to you!