Hi friends, Lyndsie here and tonight I’m sharing some very real and VERY personal thoughts because I feel like maybe, just maybe someone out there may need to hear what I have to say so here we go…
Beautiful, ugly, fit, out of shape, too tall, too short, flawless, selfish, blemished, flawed, etc. We’ve heard it all…
Women are always being labeled in this world and it can really take quite a toll on us. Not to mention the influences that social media have on us. I don’t know about you, but I’m 100% guilty of comparing myself to other women. If only I could be as fit as them, as pretty as them, have their hair, dress like them, have their confidence, their perfect family, their dog…the list goes on and on. Oh and it gets worse when you log on to social media because then all of these women you are already comparing yourself to are at their best and even more beautiful. But let me tell you something, social media is not always true. I have found myself time and time again trying to post a perfect life to my feed. It’s like I am trying to hide my flaws from the world. Trying to hide the fact that sometimes I don’t always have myself fully put together. Sometimes hiding the quirks that make me exactly who I am.
I have had to come to accept that sometimes I am just simply a MESS! My life is not perfect and something I don’t always remember is that my life is all mine. ALL-MINE! Although I don’t have control over every part of it, I do have complete control over how I FEEL about it. The whole mind over matter quote we always hear is true.
This got me thinking.. why do I care to impress everyone? My happiness should not be based on how many likes, comments, or compliments I received one day. The numbers and comments don’t change anything. I am still me regardless of how everyone else views me. When I am trying to portray a “perfect life” to post in my feed, I end up missing the true details of what makes life so fun! The memory that the picture reminds you of is what we should really care about. Not the fact that it’s not perfect or that so-and-so didn’t “Like” it.
We can be our worst critics. Scratch that.. we ARE our worst critics. I am guilty of staring at myself in a mirror and wishing that I looked a certain way. Wishing my eyes weren’t so big or that I had a different nose. I have stood in front of that mirror and labeled myself time and time again. Degrading myself to feeling as though I am not worth anything at all. Making myself feel as though I am incapable of being happy. Labels exist and they can be scary.
I am taller than a lot of my friends and family and I’ve never looked at it as a positive thing. Being taller, I naturally weigh more than someone shorter than me. I can remember a time about a year ago that I was extremely wrapped into social media. I was constantly scrolling and constantly comparing myself to other women. I thought they all must live perfect lives because of the perfect pictures in their feed. I was so concerned about what others would think of me that it put me in an unhealthy state of mind. I was so wrapped up into other people’s lives that I almost forgot to live my own. I would constantly tell my husband that I wanted to be someone else. “I just need a better body to be happy” “I wish I was skinnier” “I wish I was prettier” “I wish I had her hair!” “I wish I could have her style. I hate my style” “I wish I could have her funny personality.” “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I be one of them?” I was comparing myself to everyone else. I would be so wrapped up in my cell phone that I would spend HOURS at night scrolling instead of talking to my husband. I would stay up way too late and waste precious sleep time from obsessing over how much I wish I could change. I would neglect my time with my husband by being so addicted to my cell phone.
My husband and I are both working, both in school, and both actively busy all the time. It’s funny how you marry the person you see the least! But being busy wasn’t my issue. The issue I was having is that I was spending my time with him on my phone more concerned about others than myself. I was constantly talking to him about how much I wish I could be like someone else instead of asking about his day. My confidence levels were lower than ever before and it was frustrating. I just wanted to be happy with myself. With my body.
This was my breaking point. My body and my mind were both being affected by me comparing myself to others. This was the moment I realized I needed to stop. I was so wrapped up into trying to be like everyone else that I couldn’t see the amazing parts of my life. My marriage rocked! Still does! Always will! My family is the best. I have a place to live that keeps me safe, an amazing job, and the most amazing husband/best friend in the world. AND YET, I was so upset inside because of how I looked and because I thought everyone would judge me. I never believed anyone when they would give me compliments. I would hear them, but never believe them. How did I even let myself get to that point? The mind is a very amazing and dangerous thing. Labeling and comparing yourself to others can damage what makes you unique and it will slowly but surely consume you. All of you.
I opened up about it with my husband one night and with tears rolling down my face he told me things he loved about me and how he doesn’t want me any other way. He couldn’t believe that I was feeling so down on myself because to him, I am enough and I always will be! He told me about his flaws and I kept saying things like “What!? No way! You look amazing! That is not even a flaw!” That’s when it clicked. He can see and label his own flaws, but I can’t. I don’t notice them! (Queue the light bulb! I finally got it!)
Since that time, I have changed my outlook on myself. I have learned to love myself. It’s when you love yourself that you find a deeper way to love those around you. Working out has a way of making you feel better too! Those endorphin’s are not fictional! They are amazing! The moment I finally accepted myself for who I am, was the moment I started to love myself. By loving myself, I then could give 100% more love to my husband and those around me. And honestly, that type of happiness can’t even be captured with a photo to post on social media.
Labels can be both positive and negative. I will forever have body image issues, and I will struggle with them, however, I believe in the person I am and I know that I am worth far more than a label. I can be whoever I want to be and I will love myself along the way.
Don’t you dare allow someone to make you feel like you’re not good enough. Stop letting people who do nothing for you control so much of how you feel.
NEVER trade who you are for someone else’s approval. If someone doesn’t like you, then it’s up to you if you care about that or not. You have the ability to hit “unfollow” if an account isn’t uplifting. If someone says something mean to you on a picture, you can delete the comment! Social media is a place that you don’t have control of what other do or say, but you DO have control over what you look at, what you say, and how you choose to feel. So be nice to others. What you say about others may not affect you, but it does affect the person it’s said towards. Gossip is such a horrible plague and we need to put an end to it. Be nice to others and be nice to yourself!
So here I am, eating my cheap chicken nuggets and drinking my large Diet Coke while sharing a personal insight to a raw and very real time in my life and you know what? I am grateful for my trails because I know they make me stronger. The best part of it all though is that I am happy! And you should be too! So to the person reading this struggling with labels just know that YOU are enough. YOU are far more than a label, and YOU can be whoever YOU want to be.