How do you feel about the way others see you and the way you see yourself? Did you ever try to put on a front hoping to make someone else see you in a different light? Have you ever wondered how God sees you?
The Battle with Self Worth
I have battled with self-worth my whole life. I have battled with feeling inadequate, unloveable, not good enough, and not pretty enough for the majority of my life. I was 32 when I wrote this and I know that even still my battle is not over, but at least I’ve tasted what it feels like to finally be winning!
How did this happen?
Not because I found a new makeup or a diet that worked. Not because of my family, my spouse, my kids or myself… but because of Him. He finally broke through to me and I am beginning to see myself through His eyes.
I still feel broken, but I know that I am enough because I am never alone. I still feel imperfect in so many areas, but it no longer matters because I actually feel LOVED. Loved not in spite of my imperfections but because of them!
I am finally free for the first time. Free to be me!
- The Impact of Realizing you are Loved
- True “Me-Time” – How to Replenish when Life Sucks the Life Out of You
What the world sees
We all know this is a big issue. The craze of self-esteem and self-care lately is almost overwhelming…
But, how are those working out for you?
Does a bubble bath change the way you see yourself? Does repeating your mantra make your problems go away? When you mask the problem behind chocolate and wine, all you end up with is a greater need for more chocolate and wine.
What is the solution?
Imagine seeing double all the time, one thing on the right and one thing on the left. You aren’t sure which one of those things is the real thing or if the real thing is somewhere between the two objects. You’ve been getting along all right, but many activities are quite dangerous. Imagine driving, for example!
You need GLASSES!
When you put on glasses, you are seeing as God sees. The double vision you had before is merged, and the “two objects” focus perfectly onto the reality of the situation. Now you can drive, or complete any other activity, with confidence. Whereas, before, you could only make your best guess as to where you were going or what you were doing.
Double vision – The First Distorted view
How I see myself – Two Possibilities:
1) Self-critiquing perfectionist –
Do you spend more time criticizing yourself than enjoying who you are?
I’m sure you have heard the saying “We are our own worst critics” or “I am my own worst enemy”.
In this view, we always seem to be hyper-aware of what we consider to be our “shortcomings” without being able to see the full picture. This vision of ourselves is overly critical. It is dangerous because, if we allow it to control our lives, it becomes a debilitating handicap to becoming the person we are called to be.
2) Narcissist –
On the other hand, there is the opposite extreme.
Some people believe that they can never do anything wrong.
This kind of person, usually without noticing it, thinks that everything exists to please them, that they are the only person whose happiness matters. They only see their own wants and needs and are willing to do anything, including running over other people, to get it.
They are those who think that the world “owes them”.
This kind of person rarely, if ever, feels the need to apologize for anything, because they can’t see anything wrong with their behavior. They are typically obsessed with the superficial (hair, clothes, makeup, money, job, status, prestige, etc) and rarely have time or energy left to notice anyone else after a hard day of looking out for number 1.
Clearly, both of these extreme views are distorted, no matter how real they may feel at times.
Second distorted view
How Others See Me – Two Possibilites:
1) Overly Perfect Complex –
My husband and I do BeachBody© workout videos. As the name suggests, pretty much all of the people who serve as examples in these videos to help you do the workouts have perfect “beach bodies” and would probably look good on magazine covers. When we look at them from the outside we see “perfect people”. We can get envious of how good they look and think that somehow for them it must be completely natural or easy.
However, they’ve been practicing for much longer than we ourselves have been and they still struggle with eating or working out, just not while on camera – but we don’t think about that.
The same goes for people who, when you look at them, you look at them in envy thinking, I wish I had it all together like so-and-so.
This view is all about the surface.
It’s about what someone sees from the outside. No one outside yourself can know everything that goes on beneath your surface. Sometimes this is an image we fight to project, wanting everyone to think we are always perfect, but it is a charade that cannot be upheld for long. “The truth will always out”, as they say!
2) Underwhelming –
Or the other way around…
People could look at us and see someone perfectly ordinary and unimpressive.
This can happen for multiple reasons but let’s look at two:
- You are humble
They might not notice your qualities just because you don’t brag or show off your accomplishments, even though you have them. There is nothing wrong with this.
- You are hiding
But, if the reason people don’t seem “impressed” by you is because you are hiding from the world, then there might be a problem.
Why might you be hiding?
Three common reasons:
- Are you afraid of responsibility and what you might be able to accomplish if you ever got off the couch and decided to see what you were capable of?
- Are you just lazy? Unfortunately, there is no remedy for this or way of getting around the hard truth. Sometimes, we just have to look it square in the face and admit it in order to establish a starting point from which to change.
- But, the most common we hide is because of a lack of belief in ourselves
You may not know what you are capable of. You may not know that you have talents (in which case, I’m telling you that you DO!!!) You may be scared, scared of the work it might take, scared of failure, scared of developing the wrong talent, scared of being unappreciated, scared of yourself because you lack knowledge of what you are truly capable of, scared of whatever it might be, but that fear is holding you back. Holding you back from becoming the greatest you you can be, holding you back from realizing your true potential in life.
Read also: Love and Fear – A Change in your Heart
Glasses – Double Vision Corrected
The “I” I truly am – The “I” that God sees
“If a little flower could speak, it seems to me that it would tell us quite simply all that God has done for it, without hiding any of its gifts. It would not, under the pretext of humility, say that it was not pretty, or that it had not a sweet scent, that the sun had withered its petals, or the storm bruised its stem, if it knew that such were not the case.” – Thérèse of Lisieux
The real me isn’t the flawed (or perfect) person that I see myself as, nor the perfect, horrible or boring person that others may think I am.
It’s the person who recognizes both their value and where they need to grow.
This is humility. Simply, perfect TRUTH.
Yes, as we all know, it is wrong to lead others to believe that we possess talents or qualities that we do not, but it is equally wrong to say we do not possess qualities which we do.
How to live in Perfect Humility – Seeing Yourself as God Sees you!
1) “Own” your qualities and talents
It is important for us to OWN our qualities and talents.
This doesn’t mean brag or gloat about our talents or use them to make others feel small.
It DOES mean USE THEM!!
Be proud of them! Be happy you are good at something! Use them to grow, to propel yourself to new heights, to inspire the people around you, to never become stagnant. To not allow ourselves to be governed by fear of limitations or failure because we know how much we are loved.
Sometimes as we lay in bed at night and crying over all the ways we “fall short”, I’m sure God says,
“I just wish you could see yourself the way I see you.”
His love isn’t based on a tally of our successes or failures but rather a love that is just because, just because we are beautiful, just because we exist, just because He made us. If we establish a close relationship with Him, His comforting presence and strength can give me renewed energy to go on, to try again, to know that any weakness in the area of my strength doesn’t constitute a non-existence of the strength I originally thought that I had, merely just a reminder of my humanity.
2) “Own” your limitations and failures
It’s important too for us to OWN our limitations and our failures. Other people need to know that we have imperfections, not to gloat or make fun (although this can happen, unfortunately) but to know that we are human, but that we refuse to be ruled by them. It is good for us too to see imperfections in our heroes because it makes them seem real, relatable. It makes it easier to believe that their greatness is attainable for the average person.
This humble “I”, the “I” that lives in truth, the “I” that OWNS both its qualities and its limitations and doesn’t let either define him, is the “I” that God sees.
He sees the soul He created within us who has the power to triumph over our weaknesses, the one whose strengths shine because of, rather than in spite of, our frailty.
Read also: How to Let God work through our Human Weakness.
What lies are ruling your life now? And how might some Spiritual Glasses help you to see yourself as God Sees you today?
Also consider reading Her View from Home Blog – How do you See Yourself?
#ParticularlyCALLED #Togetherinthetrenches #IamCALLED