For years, I have dreaded summertime.
As I put on shorts or pulled my hair back to stay cool, all I could see were my flaws.
My ears stick out. My legs are always a ghostly white. And how could I ever forget the boy in high school that would point out if my legs jiggled even a little bit?
I was wildly self-conscious about all of these things and more for most of my teens and twenties. But finally, after 30 years of sweating in jeans in the middle of July, I decided enough was enough. 2021 would be the year I traded my insecurity for summery dresses and a ponytail.
Shortly after I had made this decision, a couple of videos of me and my husband went “viral.”
It didn’t take long for some hurtful comments to pop in. There were a lot of people discussing my weight, since I weigh more than my chronically ill husband. A handful of people told me I looked like Jay Leno and that I needed to get a chin reduction ASAP. And one troll even decided to tell me that I should no longer exist.
It was brutal. A few years ago, it would’ve crushed me and possibly chased me off of social media forever.
But I was able to laugh it off.
After years of hiding anything that could be perceived as a flaw, this reaction shocked me. How had my mindset shifted so drastically?
It didn’t happen overnight, but here are 3 things I’ve gotten intentional about reminding myself whenever insecurities creep in:
1. No one is noticing me….
When you walk into the grocery store, what’s on your mind? For me, there are a million things I’m thinking about: What do I need? Should I buy organic? What’s actually on sale? Did I forget my coupons at home? Is our sour cream still good? I should’ve brought my reusable bags. Do we need breakfast food? Are we out of pop?
And these are all things I’ve thought before even getting out of the produce section!
I don’t have a second of free space to even consider what other people in the store are wearing. Yet, how many times have I changed before going out to run errands because of what others might think of me? How often do I put on makeup for no other reason but to go out in public for some meaningless chores?
Sometimes, our insecurities scream so loudly in our minds that it’s deafening. But we’re the only ones that can hear them.
2. ….but when they do, they have their own insecurities to focus on
While point number 1 is true 99% of the time, occasionally, yes, someone will notice the thing that you wish were hidden. Just like those rude commenters, they may even point it out. But worst-case scenario?
The thing they’re pointing out is their way of masking their own insecurities.
If my weight makes someone else feel better about the way that they’re hurting today, I’m not the one who needs to fix something.
3. This is who God created me to be.
I’m thankful for my protruding chin and large ears because I get to put on headphones and talk for a living.
I’m thankful for the little extra weight I’ve gained lately because it shows that I’ve survived some traumatic things.
I’m thankful for my scarred and bruised legs because even though I keep bumping them into EVERYTHING, I’m learning to stand tall on them.
And I’m thankful that when I DON’T feel thankful for the parts of my body I don’t always like, I have people in my life who remind me that I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.