The other day I woke up feeling ugly.
You know the days. Those days where you question whether you really look like that and wonder how you still have friends and why they didn’t let you in on the secret they’ve all been holding.
Everything about my face felt wrong and my hair had seemingly conspired with my pores over night to declare mutiny on my self esteem. I didn’t shower, partly out of laziness and partly out of spite…which you know, likely really helped in the matter, and my little scowled face and I drove the whole way to work comparing my ugly to everyone else’s pretty.
Halfway through the day I posted a photo of myself to Instagram. The photo was one I took that morning in an attempt to convince myself I didn’t look that bad in natural light. My post was strategically cropped, heavily filtered and given a cute witty caption.
Because you see, in order for me to feel okay with my reality that day, I felt like I needed to crop out what I didn’t like and dress up what was left.
How often do we do this? How often do we share only smidgens of the truth because we think it looks better in “Valencia” or sounds more inspiring outlined by a rectangle?
What we see is not always what is real. It is not always the true, full, all-things-considered story.
More often than not, we aren’t even comparing ourselves to the truth.
Because the truth of the matter is that truth is only found in Him… and not in the cropped (or full) versions of others’ stories.
We were not created to sit around and compare ourselves; we were created to live in the freedom of knowing who we are – as loved, chosen and accepted, despite all our flaws and mishaps along the way.
Today I write this from a place of realization that I, once again, have fallen victim to the lie that I was to live my life in competition with others. The truth is, that I need freedom from the forever rat race that is our cultural outlook on comparison. God did not give me, or you, all of our gifts, talents, personalities, and passions so that we can sit around and worry about what others think (or don’t think) about us,
We are called to get up and love. We are called to look fear in the face and tell him he’s a liar. We are called to live.
Comparison is not living. Worrying about what others say or think of our decisions, looks, actions, opinions, attire, hairstyle, relationships leads to death, not life.
To who are you comparing yourself? Whose opinion of you do you prioritize the most? Do you realize that you’re looking to others to define you instead of the Lord? What do you consistently try to crop, cut, hide or doll up in your life so as to put on airs to those watching?
You are loved.
You are a beauty.
You are called.
You are irreplaceable.
Share what is real. Accept your whole story for what it is for it has made you, you.
We all have pain. We all suffer. None of us are perfect so let us stop living our lives as if we were.
We were designed to need one another. Despite our imperfections, we were created to spur one another on through our weaknesses and our strengths. Our world needs your good, bad and yes, even your ugly.
But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.