In the spirit of National Eating Disorder awareness week I would like to shed some light on the fact that eating disorders can and do affect individuals of all genders, ages, races, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds. I used to be an expert on putting on the facade that everything in my life was great. I made sure that my outer appearance was always well put together from my hair and makeup down do my stylish heels. It was as though I piled on the layers to hide the real truth. I wore my “mask” to hide the fear, the shame and the guilt. Once I completely stripped away the facade, I was left with just an empty shell until I allowed God to show me my beauty through His eyes.
In today’s society where glamour is instant and false ideas of perfection are easily attained through filters, apps and social media the truth of who we are is no longer valued. Everyone’s highlight reel is a constant misconception that life is perfect and your self-worth is based on your posts, likes, tweets and what is socially pinned. What I have realized is that no matter how hard I try to reach perfection I always pale in measuring up to the world’s beauty mirror and I get distracted and fail to see God’s beauty in me.
There is so much emphasis on outer perfection rather than the inner soul. I’ll admit that I myself have fallen captive by society’s standards of beauty. I would try to obtain that flawless outer appearance, that sensational sense of style, the perfect makeup and the latest hair style. However as much as I tried to match that ideal standard I always failed. Anyone can look like they have it all together on the outside when they are dying on the inside. Trying to conform to these standards of beauty I was setting myself up for failure. While going through some of the darkest times of my life I developed an eating disorder. Anorexia for me was not about losing the weight to feel beautiful. Anorexia was about having some sense of control when everything in my life was so out of control. I was in a situation where I was frozen by fear and felt hopeless on an everyday basis. The one thing that I could control was what I put in my body. For people that didn’t know I was suffering with anorexia I would get comments on how good I looked once I started losing the weight. I used to think to myself, “What did I look like before?” It took a long time for me to realize that anorexia is a false sense of control and in reality it controls you. I learned that anorexia was and is the symptom to the scars I carry.
For far too long I spent many minutes, hours and days hating what I saw in the mirror. When I looked at my reflection all I could see is my fears, flaws and failures. I am slowly becoming comfortable in my own skin and not giving into the world’s definition of beauty.
When we strive to be everyone else but the person God created, then we are giving control to those things that control our perspectives in life. When we are anchored in the truth of Christ, we give the Holy Spirit control in what matters most in our life. When we start to see the vision that God has for each of us our identity takes on the shape by our Maker and not by the world. That’s an image social media and magazines will never reflect.
When we talk about beauty, we are often speaking about what someone looks like from the outside. But inner beauty is something completely different—it is the true nature of a person, the real person within. It is the personality, the goodness, the stuff that makes a person a true person. External beauty is only a part of the whole package, and without a beautiful heart and spirit, the external beauty means very little.
To love ourselves is to see our own true beauty. It means we understand how incredible we are. It means we appreciate ourselves, we believe in ourselves and most of all, like ourselves exactly the way we are. When we learn to love ourselves we start to see our true potential, we see our own strengths, capabilities, and achievements.
To love ourselves is to fully support ourselves, back ourselves up and be our own best friend. It means we look at our accomplishments and achievements and give ourselves recognition and admiration for what we have achieved. Loving ourselves is the greatest thing we can ever do for ourselves and others.
When you start to love yourself the hidden beauty will shine, unlock the door to happiness and let the beauty shine through. Enjoy the beauty that has been locked away for so long.
Beauty is more than skin-deep. It is showing the goodness of what’s inside of you. Stand Proud and shine beauty and love.
I challenge you today to strip away your masks and let your true beauty of who you are be revealed and let it shine.