This morning I was tagged in this photo. My first thought was, NOOOOO. This picture is horrid. Then I began that self talk that is most definitely not “ta-dah!” worthy talk. It is not the kind of talk that a daughter of the Most High King would think. It was the talk of a self-centered human would think. Why do I look so fat? I look so tired. What a goofy smile. Those were all thoughts that wanted to take up residence in my head. Then, if left unchecked, which they were, the thoughts started going down a very slippery self-loathing path. Me? I’m not a self-loather. But when confronted with a horrible picture of myself staring at me on my FB profile, tagged for all the world (or at least my 2400 FB friends) to see, it happened. Self-loathing heading to the path of self-destruction. I wanted to cancel my golf date today. Really? Because of a photo??? Yep. Because of a photo.
As I often do, I figure if I have bad thoughts about something, maybe there is someone else who might also think like me, and we can learn from each other. So I asked my “friends” why they would like the photo that was clearly horrid. I wasn’t fishing for compliments. If someone had said, “you don’t look fat.” I wouldn’t have believed them anyway. I just wanted to commiserate with my friends about how horrible it is when you’re tagged in a picture that looks horrible.
But what I received along with a few commiserations was truth. Truth that said to me, “ … own your beauty. You are beautiful, just the way you are. God made you and He does not make mistakes. You are a real mom, and a real woman, with a real life, and a real body. And we love you. Allow the tags, so we can rejoice with you along your journey!”
This was followed by the amazing words, “I don’t even know you but the few times I’ve had the pleasure of meeting u I was I can’t explain it. You made me feel joy. Everytime I see your precious smile I feel the joy. I love your ‘ta-dah’ and everything that goes with it. Trust me when I say seeing u with no make up or whatever the case may be will not kill that joy u originally gave me. I will still feel it. It’s God thru u. He can never make u look bad.”
Those words changed everything for me. I mean it. They changed me. I have kids who don’t want me to post pictures of them. To me, that’s ridiculous because I see the beauty in them, regardless of the weird look on their faces, or the strange way they are standing. I see the love I have for them. And there I sat missing that people will see the essence of who you are in a photo, regardless of the lack of perfection.
I had a friend once tell me that I’m not photogenic. What he was really saying is, “You look way better in person!” But the way I processed the words made me feel a bit like I shouldn’t let anyone see photos of me. I’ve now changed my mind. You can do that you know. You can change your mind! You have the power – I have the power – so, here’s to changing my mind about “bad” photos of me. There simply can’t be a “bad” photo. It is simply a one dimensional view of a multi-dimensional daughter of the Most High King who is loved by many – simply for being the person God created ME to be.
I welcome you to post a photo in the comments. You know the one. The one you’re almost ashamed to post because you look —- less than perfect. As my friend said, “Own your beauty!”