Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In The Eye Of The Beholder

This is going to be a personal blog post, one I've been mashing around in my head. Not sure if this is the place to discuss what goes on in my head, but if not here, where? Right?

How do you see yourself? Are you tall, short, heavy, thin, thoughtful, selfish, quick witted, boring? There are so many ways we can define ourselves and some moments we may be one thing and another moment, something entirely different.

I have very brief moments when I feel positively about my appearance. That moment typically happens the moment I finish getting ready in the morning. By the time I get to work, I know that all my "curl" has gone flat, that I have a cowlick that seems to always mess up my bangs, and lets not discuss weight.

True, the scale doesn't say I'm heavy by any means, but when I look in the mirror, all I see are my imperfections. I see the pimply, heavy, styleless. flat-chested girl from high school. At work, about the only men who make "moves" on me are old enough to be my father! hahahaha Not that I want to be hit on by anyone, but it certainly makes me wonder what I'm doing that men in their 50's and 60's say something to me.

On Saturday at work, (I work at a hardware store) I was stocking some supplies and a guy walked by me and said, "I don't mean to be rude, but you're beautiful." And he kept walking!! Of all the nerve, he didn't even stop after that comment. I didn't look up at him, I was trying to process what he'd just said and I started giggling. Nobody says that to me unless they are in the category above. Then I started thinking about it. No one ever calls me beautiful. I admit I can occasionally be "cute" but I have to really be trying.

Telling me about my looks, postively, sends me into a crazy tailspin. I over analyze these kinds of comments. I started thinking, "Oh, if he saw me in the morning," "If he saw me tomorrow," "He's looking on the outside and has no idea of my heart or mind," "He must not have looked very closely," and so on and so on.

Does anyone else deal with this? How do you turn around your stinkin' thinkin'? Do you find your identity in Christ? I know that God is the one I should care about and how He thinks of me, but it's so hard to wrap that around my mind and my heart. With the way the world speaks about and shows beauty, it's not so easy to compare it to God's view.

God tells me He loves me. That He created me in His image. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Unfortunately, I don't know that I will believe that with my whole being until I stand in His presence. Many days I don't see any kind of beauty inside or out. Some days there happens to be a lot of ugliness. On those days, all I can do is hope no one will see what I'm truly like.

I know a lot of how I feel has to do with being separated from my husband for over 3 yrs. The circumstances of our separation certainly didn't help with my self-view and worth. I have no idea if we'll remain married, so of course my mind wonders if any man would ever find anything he would like. Trust me when I say I'm only scratching the surface here about myself.

So, hear I sit struggling still with my image and I'm 40 years old. Does this ever go away? Will I be 60 and still comparing myself to the grandma next door? Yep, her boobs are sagging, but they're still bigger than mine. Wow, look at that lady's hair at church, wonder if mine will ever look the same one day to the next. Wish I knew how to apply make-up so I'd have smokey eyes just like so-and-so. Sigh...

Sorry for the Debbie Downer post, but I had to get it off my...chest.



Anonymous said...

Totally don't feel bad, you are not being a Debbie Downer!

I think that it is easy for a person to pick on themsleves. I don't know the whole story, but I am sure the separation has something to do with it.

The thing about thinking negativly is that it snowballs and is super easy to get used to. You just need to find one good thing and focus on that.

Then pretty soon find 2 things and then 3 and then soon you will look in the mirror and say "I look great!"

Personally, I never compare myself to others or look too close in the mirror because it's not worth it. If I am having a bad hair and outfit day, well then, I just stand a little straighter and say, I like my shoulders today :-)

Don't feel bad!

annaed_2 said...

I'm afraid that I have no great words of wisdom but I can certainly identify. The problem is focus. Whatever we are focused on, that is what we will be consumed with. Life gets loud and crazy and (fill in the blank). It's super easy to become distracted, especially in our culture. We're privileged, pampered even. Keep pressing on girl! -DDM

Mimi N said...

Thanks for sharing ladies! It is a weird place to be in. I figured by 40 I'd be over my appearance, but I guess not. hahahaha

It's amazing what gets stuck in your brain when you're young and impressionable. I think my dad leaving when I was young had a profound affect on my entire life in so many areas.

I also wanted to say, this wasn't meant to be a pity post, mostly just churning around these thoughts in my head and thinking maybe I'm not the only one dealing with them. That's probably the biggest reason I posted this, believing there are others out there still dealing with this as adults!

<3 Mimi

Anonymous said...

Ugh! Body image is an issue that I have for sure. When you figure out when it ends and how it ends, please let me know. :0)

Lizzyray said...


You are a beautiful woman inside & out(remember when Matthew called you the beautiful one:)We all are our worst critics though, we see all our faults & physical flaws. The only way I know to overcome these thoughts (& I have certainly not mastered this), is to continually tell myself how God sees me. It's written hundreds of times in His word! I love you my dear sister & miss you terribly!

Denise said...

i think most women feel this way we just don't tend to communicate it with each other.

i wish i could see myself as christ sees me, and believe Him...all the time. but society and circumstances tell us differently.

however i can tell you that the most beautiful women i know aren't the ones who have the right hair, or smokey eyes (but would that work on me?) they are the women who love others out loud, who speak words of truth, and give grace.

i want to be pretty, but more than
that i want to be beautiful like that.

may God tell you who you are in and to Him.

Mimi N said...

LizzyRay, I HEART YOU!!!

Denise, I agree that we don't discuss this much. Definitely a huge part of why I wrote the post. I knew I wasn't alone in how I felt. Ugh, to have Christ's eyes would be a gift! Just like Brandon Heath sings in his song "Give Me Your Eyes". And I totally agree with you about the women I know. The ones that I find the most beautiful are the ones who pour out the love of God!


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