Sunday, September 1, 2013

My bad side...

Last night I took a profile picture of myself, to submit for consideration in a short film segment. As I uploaded the photo and saw what the camera and the world must see me like, I felt intensely ugly and discouraged.   I thought to myself, "I know I have a double chin, but was it so obvious?!"  (There were also MANY other negative thoughts I had about my appearance and inabilities, which I won't share.  Those thoughts caused me to feel I didn't measure up in any way.) I felt great disgust for myself, as I rolled my chubby body into bed.  I prayed the Lord would remove those feelings from me.  Which gratefully he did.  By morning I felt acceptance for myself--only with his help!
(My husband just read my blog, and says he doesn't understand why I felt like I did.  He just doesn't see those things when he looks at the picture.  That's the thing thing about all of this:

 My feelings don't become real, just because they feel real to me.)
The Edeweiss flower represents to me just a small portion of
God's glory here on earth.  If he took such tender care in
creating a soft, white, artistic flower like this, then what efforts
and thought must he have taken towards our creation. We are far
more beautiful than any of his other creations!
Perhaps others of you are just as hard on yourself.   Thoughts of ugliness are not from God, but from the devil.

Our kind, loving Heavenly Father sees us far differently than we see ourselves.
God does not have that same standard of beauty that the world depicts in movies and magazines.  Those are lies, and not reality.   Our Heavenly Father looks upon our hearts. He loves us with all the pure and tender feelings of the greatest parent we have ever known--and even then so much more than we can imagine.  He sees the radiance and glory of our spirits, desires, and actions.

I want to apologize here, because I realize that things aren't too bad for me.  I could be a much heavier person, my body or face could be disfigured, I could be missing teeth, etc.  Some of you who read this may have just those very challenges, and many others.   Far worse, or more painful than mine.  You may look at me and read my feelings and think with discouragement, "What is she complaining about.  If she thinks that's a bad picture, then what must I look like? I'm sincerely sorry.  It is not my wish to weigh you down, or make you feel badly about yourself.  It's a strange phenomenon, because I NEVER look at other people and have negative thoughts about their appearance.  I only feel that way about myself. :(  In fact, if I see someone, who looks like they are struggling, I say a fervent and silent prayer for them.  It's just harder for me to have the same generosity for myself? It's good to remember this "...we are ... hard on ourselves! Believe me when I say each of us is much better than we think. We need to recognize and celebrate what we’re doing right." (Bonnie D. Parken, Sweet Moments, complete article found here.)

Reach out to know and learn more of Jesus Christ.  His love
can heal you of any pain, heartache, anguish, or fear that you have.
"The Lord doesn’t care at all if we spend our days working in marble halls or stable stalls. He knows where we are, no matter how humble our circumstances. He will use—in His own way and for His holy purposes—those who incline their hearts to Him."
"God knows that some of the greatest souls who have ever lived are those who will never appear in the chronicles of history. They are the blessed, humble souls who emulate the Savior’s example and spend the days of their lives doing good" You Matter To Him 

It is very damaging when we start comparing ourselves to others. 
Fighting the invisible enemy of imagination
I've been there in that boxing ring of distress, far too often.  I stand alone and try punching at an invisible, but powerful enemy--my imagination.  I falsely believe that because someone is better than me, that somehow it lessens my value.  That's a lie!

I like to remind myself that
"There is always going to be someone prettier, smarter, thinner (more athletic, talented, _______ (insert your own word),"  and it doesn't matter, because I can only be my best self.  My life here on earth isn't a competition against others, but a quest to become the very best person that I can be, within my allotted circumstances. That reminder has often brought me comfort. I'm going to start praying for help to love myself more, and ask that Heavenly Father will help me understand my intrinsic value.  I'm going to pray that I can learn from the examples of those I admire, but not feel overwhelmed by feelings of insignificance.  Perhaps you'd benefit from this prayer too. :) 

Take hope in knowing you are somebody special, even in those moments that, like me, you forget that.  Even if you do not look the way you wish you could.  Or, you have very real limitations and obstacles that make it difficult to do the things you want to in this world.  Someday, after the trials and hardships of this life, you will soar with joy and freedom through glorious courts on high. 
   " matter where you live, no matter how humble your circumstances, how meager your employment, how limited your abilities, how ordinary your appearance, or how little your calling in the Church may appear to you, you are not invisible to your Heavenly Father. He loves you. He knows your humble heart and your acts of love and kindness. Together, they form a lasting testimony of your fidelity and faith.

"....please understand that what you see and experience now is not what forever will be. You will not feel loneliness, sorrow, pain, or discouragement forever. We have the faithful promise of God that He will neither forget nor forsake those who incline their hearts to Him. Have hope and faith in that promise. Learn to love your Heavenly Father and become His disciple in word and in deed.

Be assured that if you but hold on, believe in Him, and remain faithful in keeping the commandments, one day you will experience for yourselves the promises revealed to the Apostle Paul: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Brothers and sisters, the most powerful Being in the universe is the Father of your spirit. He knows you. He loves you with a perfect love.

You can read the whole article here by Dieter F. Uchtdorf : You Matter To Him

I hope you will focus on being the best you, and look to find your own special beauty.  We all have beauty.  A beauty that cannot be seen on the outside, but only on the heart.  Look there to find the very best, brightest and most beautiful you.  Look hard, reach inside, grab careful hold of it, and act upon that beauty (even if it only starts out with a spark or two)!
My warmest regards to you in your quest to reveal and understand your true beauty. 

To learn more about Jesus Christ and how he can help you feel greater joy, peace, and happiness in your heart, please visit one of my favorite sites:

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