*Here is a fact that may be expressed every once in a while, but maybe isn’t expressed enough:
You can be dating someone, and still have low self-esteem/confidence i.e. you can still feel unattractive & unworthy of love even when someone is loving you well, & telling you that you’re beautiful/handsome.
I’m taking a guess here, but if you’re single, you might have rolled your eyes after reading that because you feel that if someone were to affirm you in such a way, you wouldn’t really have self-esteem issues, which is fair.
If you’re in a relationship or married, my guess is you might know what I’m talking about. Because yes, I’m currently in a relationship, and yes, I recently have struggled with feelings of self-deprecation.
***Disclaimer: My self-deprecating thoughts did not come from any emotional/verbal abuse from my significant other. All of this was rooted in my own head with my own insecurities. So, I don’t want any of you to immediately think that low self-esteem within a relationship automatically means that the other person is responsible. The other person could have their own self-esteem issues as well that are rooted in their thoughts.
I hesitated to write about this because I felt like admitting that I had low self-esteem would make me seem weak, and my pride tried to tell me that that was the last thing I needed while feeling insecure. But one of my favorite things about writing is being vulnerable with whomever is reading so that maybe those who have felt the way I have felt, or even currently feel those feelings, they know they are not alone.
And truly, expressing my weakness only points back to the strength and power of God in my life! Like when I look back on all the things He’s brought me through, I can be encouraged that my low self-esteem cannot bring me down, but will ultimately bring me back to God.
So yes, in the latter months of 2018, and even in the beginning weeks of this year, I admittedly didn’t feel beautiful. Not even pretty; definitely not sexy. I questioned my personality, and compared my looks to girls I know and love, and even those I didn’t know, but would see by scrolling through social media. I considered wearing makeup more often because maybe I’d feel more attractive. I wondered if I was worth it; if I was truly good enough for anything…even good enough to be dating my boyfriend.
It’s not like all of these thoughts were brand new; I’ve definitely thought some of them before, but doing so in the way I was doing, in a different place in my life, it was just really hard for me to push past them. And eventually, these thoughts were no longer just in the background of everything going on, but they were actively affecting me in how I responded or reacted to things. They even seeped into my dreams, creating scenarios that frightened me because they only confirmed the negative thoughts I was thinking about myself.
Communicating these feelings to my boyfriend did help, but nothing helped more than to remember who I am, and most importantly WHOSE I am. I am the daughter of the Lord. I am an heiress in the Kingdom of God. I am loved so much, that my soul was bought with the Perfect Sacrifice. I was created in His Image, and there is NO ONE ELSE just like me. I am unique, I am a masterpiece, and my self-confidence relies on all of those truths.
Go and read the beauty and comfort that is Psalm 139. ❤ We are known and loved so well!
I had to continually affirm myself of these things over and over for a good while, and dig back into God’s Word to remind myself that I am HIS. And that fact alone outweighs any opinion or beauty standard or personality preference or self-deprecating thought this world throws at me sometimes. Of course, it doesn’t mean I’m fully healed of my insecurities; they will probably try to creep back in another time. But I can at least go back to the assurances and reminders of my worth.
It is VITAL to understand WHO we are and WHOSE we are!
Naturally, I wrote a poem about it…
“note to self”
The low self-esteem that has creeped through the seams of my life found its way into my dreams one night.
It had happened only once before, and in both nightmares, my confidence was
Shattered by my envy of other women.
And this burden isn’t a new one; admittedly when I’m awake I sometimes find myself
Scrolling through the pages of girls the world deems “pretty” or “sexy,” and
As I scroll, I can’t help but wonder how I could compare to such beautiful women with
Hair all done and nails on fleek and
Faces and bodies that could make any man possibly
Leave the woman he’s already with because
Maybe he isn’t satisfied.
Sure, his woman may be loyal and love well, but she might not be
Pleasing to the eye.
And that is a great fear of mine: to be told that all of me is loved, and then
Abandoned for another because I’ve been
Sized up next to another woman and I
Do not measure up.
How heavily I have weighed my worth in my
Worries of losing earthly love, when
My true value does not lie there.
How often I’ve accepted the lie that beauty only belongs to some, when truly it is
Shared by everyone.
The only ugly that is in me is the impulse to
Degrade myself because I’ve been exposed to
More people who express beauty differently than me. And I
Became afraid because my reflection did not match there’s perfectly.
But “I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” yes, a masterpiece!
And no woman can ever
Do me like I do me.
And no man can ever determine my worth and value on whether he decides to stay or leave.
My self-esteem rests in the Hands that created every fiber of my being, and
Every piece of my personality.
My self-love is found in His Love for me,
One that saw the darkness in my heart and
Through sacrifice, wiped it clean.
So, I release those insecurities, and I
Embrace the fact that
I am MORE than enough.
Yes, I am a queen.