Yesterday I wrote about respect and about respecting others. We really need to first respect ourselves. Today I see so many people who clearly do not have any respect for themselves or their bodies. We were all made by God to be different. We all look different; think differently; feel differently; like different things. That’s how it was meant to be. Some are more attractive than others, smarter than others, some feel more confident and there are so many that also don’t feel pretty enough or smart enough or confident enough.
Having respect for ourselves means accepting ourselves for the way we are and owning it. Appreciating what we are whether it is better or less than someone else. We shouldn’t even compare ourselves to someone else, honestly but we all do.
Part of respecting ourselves means respecting our bodies. There are a few different ways to do that. One is taking good care of our bodies. Now I’m not saying everyone should go to the gym everyday or eat nothing but organic foods. It just means make good choices in what we eat and exercise a bit. It also means loving our bodies for what they are and honoring them and ensuring others honor them as well. Not demanding that people treat you or your body with respect shows that can’t really respect yourself.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and talk about selfies. I apologize if I upset anyone, but it makes me sad when I see people constantly sharing “selfies” on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other means of social media. It makes me feel that they don’t see the beauty in themselves or respect themselves. Instead, they crave compliments from others to feel good enough about themselves. If only they could see how beautiful they are in God’s eyes and in the eyes of those who know and love them, they wouldn’t need the temporary fix from others. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder so when looking in the mirror at ourselves, we should see our own beauty. Oddly enough, the ones who are screaming for compliments are actually really stunning in most everyone’s eyes and shouldn’t need someone else to tell them they are beautiful to believe it.
Respecting yourself also means being aware of how you express yourself to others. Too many women/girls wear clothes that don’t really fit or that show off their “assets”. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should all wear turtlenecks and long pants by any means. You all know what I’m talking about. We all see those tiny, tiny shorts or shirts that barely cover what should be covered. What happened to respecting our bodies and saving our assets for our partner? (Remember, I have said before, I was raised the old fashion way). Many people will judge someone who is dressed like Daisy Duke in The Duke’s of Hazard and think “she’s a whore” or “she’s trash”. When I see that, I think that is someone who doesn’t respect their body because and don’t see their beauty so they are showing it off for attention. It usually gets attention, but not the right kind or not from the right kind of person.
Again, this all comes down to teaching our children to respect themselves. We put so much emphasis on body image. I am guilty of that myself. I have said so many times: “I am so fat” in front of my own children to which they always so “No you’re not mom!” Most wouldn’t call me “fat”. I can definitely lose 20 pounds, but I am not what most would refer to as “fat”. What kind of lesson am I teaching my own children about body image? Am I teaching them that unless they are the media’s version of a perfect woman, they aren’t good enough? I hope not. Instead I should show them that we should take care of our bodies, but God made us who we are and we should love ourselves no matter what.
It shouldn’t take revealing clothes or compliments from others to make us feel good about ourselves. We should respect ourselves and our bodies and with that, we will begin to feel our own beauty.