Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Celebrate You Day!

For the first 50 or so years of my life I focused on what was wrong with me. As an adult, once I took a serious look at myself and really began to understand the power of God's love, I was able to overcome the shame, the guilt, the insecurity etc. I'd lived with all my life. Now, I focused on trying to "better" myself. I tried to change the negative traits into positive ones. And when that didn't necessarily work, I felt guilty. I "shouldn't" be this way. I "should" be more like So-and-So. The pressure I put on myself to be someone I wasn't made it even harder to change. Basically, I tried to change who I was. I was no better off than I was before. The only difference was that now I was aware. And being aware...well, I'm not so sure I was better off knowing if I couldn't change it.

There are things that we can change about ourselves, especially if we really want to live a Christlike life. The fruits of the spirit---love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22)---those are things that are put in us by God. We have the ability to live a life worthy of those fruits. And that's what we ought to attempt to change, and aspire to be because we can. 

But there are things in us that are hard-wired; they are part of our personality. It's who we are. It's what makes us unique...whether we like it or not. And because God made each of us to be uniquely ourselves, we ought to celebrate who we are and not put ourselves down. Focus on what's right, not what's wrong.

The other night I was at someone's house and another person walked in. He said to me, "I can hear you talking out in the street!" The old me would have become embarrassed and flustered, and later berated myself for being so loud. Instead, I said, "I know," and kept talking. It's who I am, and I know who I am. I found it humorous. Instead of trying to change the aspects of my personality that make me who I am, I now celebrate them. And in so doing, I'm so much more at peace with myself. 

I'm sure I've blogged about this before, but it bears repeating. Plus, I can't remember what I wrote 4 hours ago, much less 4 months ago. Isn't that great?! I don't have senior moments. I'm too young for that. I always had trouble retaining information; that's why I need to write things down or repeat your name back to you three times after I meet you (and will probably still forget it). And because I'm always thinking of 5 things at once, I might get confused about what I'm doing in the moment. I'm not old. I'm just busy in my head. 

Today, when you look in the mirror, don't look at your flaws. Don't focus on the wrinkles, or the stray pimple or the crooked nose, or the overweight you (ok, that you can change, but we don't like that topic). Look at the unique creation. Look at the adult version of the child that God formed before time began. Just like a composer hears the arrangement, or the artist sees the finished painting or sculpture; just like the florist knows exactly which flowers will go together best to form the most beautiful bouquet; so did God know exactly what he wanted each one of us to be. Don't try to change yourself to be like someone else, because guess what? They might be trying to change themselves to be like you! Celebrate you today!

Blessings Along the Path,

Video-it's a little under 8 minutes, but a MUST see. This young woman has chosen to overcome the horrific comments made on YouTube about her and is now an inspiration to many!

Katie Couric interview with Lizzie Valasquez-Voted "world's ugliest girl" on Youtube 

Lizzie Velasquez's inspirational talk

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