Sometimes the best healing is our reflection. The heart reflects the real person. As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. Proverbs 27:19. Over the past few months, I have taken the time to look at myself in the mirror every morning. That mirror has not always been a physical mirror put through the lens of the Holy Spirit. And lately. I have been pleased with the reflection of myself. And, I realized I wasn’t broken. I didn’t need fixing. I just needed to give myself time to grow. It was difficult trying to figure out the reflection in the mirror along the way because I had transformed into a reflection I didn’t want to see.
The days ahead were never perfect but the days ahead gave me hope. Hope to believe that the reflection I wanted to see was going to change right before my eyes. And it did. I got up one day and realized; I was the perfect reflection of what I needed to see. Yet! I still have a slight glare. And that glare, on some mornings appears to distort the reflection I desire to see. But on those particular mornings, it’s just a matter of positioning.
The glare [the imperfections] in the mirror may always be there. It’s a reminder that I’m not perfect [nothing is] but when I position myself. The glare still compliments the beautiful reflection I desire to see every day. Honestly, the imperfections are no longer my focus because the reflection has been fearfully and wonderfully made.
Have you ever heard that saying, “putting the cart before the horse.” That’s what I did. I didn’t position myself first before making the reflection perfect in God’s eyes. I put my confidence first and let the internal self-worth suffer.
Right! You’re probably wondering how can one work without the other?
People often talk about confidence and self-worth together, but they’re actually very different. This doesn’t mean that people who have good self-worth don’t have confidence, or that people who have confidence don’t also have good self-worth, but it’s not always the case. Some people have very good self-worth yet lack confidence, whilst others have incredibly great confidence and have very low self-worth. In fact, for me, someone that is extremely confident my self-worth became very well hidden.
That was a lot. But I think you get the point.
Now! Hone in on the ‘very well hidden’ part. Bingo! That’s the part that many women are struggling with today. In other words, we have to stop faking it and decide we want to make it. Make it out of the hell-hole we’ve been living in for so long.
Also, self-worth can be an internal and external experience. Let me explain the two. For me, my self-worth was related to the way that I felt about myself, it was a reflection of my inner sense of self value and entitlement. My confidence was a reflection of the way that I experience my external world and the relationships with other people, situations, and the circumstances I encountered. I lived perfectly in my external world; I flowed beautifully in the lives of other people and could do it with my eyes closed.
However, the internal experience became my torment over time. It got the best of me. My self-worth picked at me little-by-little and at some point. I saw the reflection of who I was and hated it. The confidence externally did not align with who I was internally. But, I lived there. I made it work until the inner self-worth demanded that I do something about it. I could no longer lie to myself and ignore the reflection in the mirror.
But! The thoughts in my head keep telling me you have it all. You don’t want to give this up. It will fix itself just give it a little time. I was good at coaching myself. So, I stayed the course a little longer.
Consequently, those self-worth issues started to speak louder, and the raging inner critic kept putting me down, even when I tried to achieve something quite significant to ease the pain. Gosh! I still didn’t feel like I needed to reward myself or better yet felt worthy of the reward. In short, I wouldn’t allow myself to digest or celebrate the good experiences that I generated or created [I know. It sucked!] Not only did I not reward myself, but I struggled with receiving compliments.
My thoughts around self-worth grew out of true regard and respectful acknowledgment, and recognition of self-value. Think about it this way. If a child is encouraged to have confidence and it’s created, and the feelings of achievement is never recognized and celebrated, then the ‘feeling good about yourself’ [self-worth] will be missed. All because the child missed something internally.
So the aim of self-worth should be understood in the light of your needs, your fears, your doubts, your beliefs about yourself, your joys, your strengths, and your weaknesses. Yes! YOURS. The more you know about yourself. The more you’ll accept the reflection and the glare that will bring you inner peace. It’s funny how all this works but it’s directly related to your relationship with God. I was vertically misaligned internally.
Is it okay to say that I forgot something along the way because I was too busy creating an external space for me to thrive?
Let’s be clear. I don’t have any regrets. I always feel I have to say that because I’ve learned so much about myself and my self-worth through those experiences. But if I could just take a moment to wish a little bit. I wish I had been smart enough to do them both.
Okay, that’s enough wishing!
On the contrary, even if I had chosen to change nothing, and simply continued to see myself with the warts and the lack of self-worth. My confidence would have still soared. The reality is, my fear of what was hidden inside would have left me afraid to reflect deeper. My desire was to see my whole self in the light, and to come to know me, as I am, so the fear of self-worth would diminish.
Today, I got it! I am winning in both areas. I need me. Gosh! Let me say that again. I need me. The true reflection of who I am. And, it’s okay for that doggone glare to get in the way sometimes. I’ve learned to position myself so I can focus on the reflection [more than that glare] in the light of Jesus Christ. I needed to understand that the basic nature of who I am is pure and desires goodwill, even if my personality and confidence was distorted by the fears and doubts that were harbored within.
In conclusion, it’s simple. Heal! You’re the best person for the job. Other people are standing in line waiting for you but you can’t help them if you don’t have self-worth yourself.
I said all of that to say, I know that for many of us, living for other people and having confidence feels natural. And it should because many of our lives have been serving and loving other people. But loving yourself and finding your self-worth will feel even better.
So here are seven self-worth reminders to help you start looking at the reflection in the mirror: