I stare in the mirror. The fit isn’t right. I tug here and there. Too tight here. Too loose there. Huff and puff. Squeeze to fit those pants or that shirt. Try another color. Maybe a different shade of whatever color. Nope. It’s not working. Near the point of tears, I pull myself together, and put the clothes back on the appropriate store racks. Failed again. This has been my shopping life for the last couple of years. It’s a wonder I even have the newer things I do have. For me, shopping for clothes is such a chore. At least it was until last month.
I’ve needed to buy a new blazer that’s work appropriate for a while now. Being that it’s now creeping up on summer, I thought a cardigan would be better. After all, it’s a bit hot to be wearing heavy, long sleeves. The only thing is I didn’t want to go to the store and be disappointed yet again with clothes that don’t fit right.
The real issue is accepting the body as it is now and clothing it to look good as it is now, not as I wish it to be. So I decided I’d let the store clerk help me. You know how that goes right? You enter the store. They say hello and ask you what you’re looking for or how they can help. I hardly ever let them help me. “I got this;” I think to myself. I know how to dress myself. But when you’re confidence takes hit after failing-dressing-room hit, you decide to take the help. That’s what I did.
I told her I was looking for a good blazer for work, needed to be professional looking. I normally go straight for black. She recommended blue, a color I never would have thought to wear. I instantly resisted and came up with some flabby excuses as to why that color wouldn’t work. She insisted, “I think this blue will look good on you. Why don’t you try it?” She even showed me other colors I could pair it with – purple, coral, green, and blue. She said, “it’s summer time. Time to wear colors.” I thought she was crazy, but I took the blue jacket and a couple of the colored chemises, went to the dressing room, and tried them on. At first glance, I realized I was liking how I looked, for the first time in a long time, I loved how I looked in the mirror. And I wasn’t kidding myself. I was styling. I looked like a professional. No frumpy dumpy ill-fitting look, but a fits-well-on-you look that made me feel like a million bucks. Maybe even a bazillion smackeroos!!
Belief is a powerful thing. My disbelieving in my own beauty was tearing down my confidence and ruining my self attitude. I was not being gracious or kind to myself. I was not giving myself an opportunity to live in the beauty of who I’m created to be. I was not allowing myself to buy what I needed because I felt too exposed. Who was I to dare to look good, feel good, and treat myself? Horrible things to be thinking, but I thought them. But in that moment in the dressing room, I had an epiphany. I am worth quality clothing. I am worth looking and feeling good. I am worth the professional look. I am worth clothes that fit well even if I’m not the size I want to be. I am worth the small expense. I am beautiful in my own skin. I believed it then, and I believe it now.
I left that store with something more than just a fabulous, blue blazer, lots of colored chemises, and a pair of snazzy black flats studded with shiny, silver triangles. I left with a boost of girl-power-kick-butt-confidence. I left knowing that the size didn’t matter, it was the heart of the person who makes the clothes shine. I left feeling like I could take on the world. I believed in myself. When I believe these beautiful things about myself, others believe it about me to. It exudes from the inside out. It changes the atmosphere. My outlook changes. When I come into contact with people, the see the smile beaming from the inside out. You can’t fake that kind of confidence. It’s from the core of who we’re meant to be.I am beautiful in my own skin. I believed it then, and I believe it now. #beautifulskin #wonderfullymade Click To Tweet
We are beautiful creatures. We come in various shapes and sizes. What matters most, aside from taking care of ourselves, is that we learn to love ourselves fully and wholly no matter what. I’ve been pondering love lately because the command of Christ was love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Think about it. How can we love our neighbors well if we don’t even love ourselves well? I’ve struggled too, but that day in the dressing room brought me a deeper understanding of what it means to love yourself. It means taking care of yourself well. It means knowing you are worth it. It means being gentle and kind to yourself. It means forgiving yourself. It means speaking life over your soul.
Imagine how we could change the world if we loved more like this. I want to live that kind of life, a life of love. A love that stretches me in ways I didn’t think possible, like trying on colors I didn’t think I would wear.
Beloved, we are so worth loving. We have this right-now life to be love, to wear love, and to exude love from the inside out. May it start with each one of us recognizing just how valuable and lovable we are no matter our physical appearance.