August 4, 2017

What Matters Most Is How You See Yourself

I have stolen two things in my life. The first was a piece of candy as a small child. The second was a picture our leaders hung in the bathroom at girls camp. When I first saw this picture at camp, it resonated with me. I looked at this picture every time I went into that bathroom that week. At the end of the week when we were cleaning up, I went into the bathroom and I swiped it. Its new home became my bedroom mirror, where I looked at that picture every day for years. This picture became my mantra and I lived by it.

You might be wondering what was so special about this picture that I stole. It was a picture of a chick looking into a mirror and seeing itself as a beautiful peacock. The phrase written beneath the image said, "What matters most is how you see yourself."

As a teenager, I was pretty carefree. I didn't care what anyone else thought of me. I was happy with who I was. I tried to be kind to everyone I came in contact with. Life was pretty good aside from the hardships and trials that are naturally a part of this earthly journey.

Somewhere in young adulthood I forgot about that picture that once hung on my mirror and I began to listen to the voices that echoed around me that I wasn't good enough, that I would never be good enough unless I conformed to some else's idea or standard of what "good enough" was. I was bullied and belittled to the point that I had to say, "Enough is enough. I'm done with this." I had to walk away from the bullies in my life. I closed that door and chapter in my life.

Rediscovering myself has been nothing short of a grand adventure! I have seen, done, tried and experienced so many wonderful things! I have grown as a person. I've become a better person. And I think I can safely say, I am genuinely happy. I am happy with myself and where I am in life.

This past week I have been thinking a lot about the phrase "What matters most is how you see yourself." Those words are so true! It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of you! The only thing that matters is how you see yourself and how God sees you.

I think it is safe to say that at some point in their lives most people will experience what it is like to be bullied. Bullies seem to be lurking everywhere. Bullies can be friends, family, neighbors or strangers. It doesn't matter who someone is, bullying is never okay and you don't need to put up with it or tolerate it. The mean things people say are a reflection of how they ultimately feel about themselves.

Remember, God loves you! He is cheering you on! Don't be so hard on yourself. What other people think of you doesn't matter.  "What matters most is how you see yourself." And when you love yourself, life is so much more enjoyable!