Since the beginning of time, every young child has had an innate longing to find the answer to one very important question. With each new experience, interaction and lesson of life, she collects data and applies it toward her answer. Somewhere around the teen years, she hits info-overwhelm. Like a cluttered desk, all that she has collected has piled up and she begins to wonder where the truth is. In her frustration and desperation for answers, she may frantically shuffle through the piles–moving papers–setting aside some ideas, destroying others. In her quest to find the answer, she may make a mess, but no matter how long it takes her or how painful it gets, she must know:
Who am I?
It has been said that, “when the student is ready, the teacher appears.” It seems to me that each of us are ready to be a student of self-discovery even before our reasoning develops. Like sponges, we are learning from everyone and seeking to approval and attention of anyone. We watch the way our playmates, siblings and parents treat us and decide if we are valuable, cherished or wanted. When they comment on our strengths, weaknesses or physical attributes, we gather answers to our question, which we can either believe and receive or doubt and reject.
Without a doubt, a healthy and secure upbringing does help a child “find herself” but it is not enough to be privileged with a perfect environment with great parents. We could have been given everything we needed or wanted but instead of appreciating our financial security we could choose to read our parents’ hard work as rejection and believe that we are not worthy of other people’s time. When our parents are passionate about protecting us, we could believe that we are highly valuable, or we could assume that we are defenseless or weak. If it were possible and only loving words of encouragement were spoken over us our entire lives, we could still translate positive words into something negative.
“You are beautiful!”
“You’re just saying that because I am….”
The way you respond to other people’s opinion of you is a big indicator of your Img.ID: C: Question it, find your own answers. N: Consider it, but consider the source. D: Feel it, talk about it, work through the emotions. I: Believe it, receive it, act on it (often by punishing self). R: Experience it, waver in believing it, guard your heart. G: Fight with it, correct it, prove it wrong. Click the letter to learn more about that style of beauty (Image Identity or Img.ID), including What2Wear.
What you believe about yourself may very well be twisted-Truth.
Perhaps you were teased because of your weight, height or abilities–or maybe you were praised for it. More than likely the thing pointed out about you was true, but other people’s comments or actions may have twisted the truth as it answered your question.
So what if you are short and fat, tall and lanky, lacking in skills, supernaturally gifted, or absolutely gorgeous?
Really, what does that mean? Should what you look like or what you can do define your value?
“You are beautiful!”
“People only notice me when I look good….”
Abilities and appearance may describe you, but they do not define you.
If you are feeling overwhelmed in your quest to understand yourself, I encourage you to go to the One who knows you better than any one else. You do have worth. Tremendous worth. The God of the universe knit you together in your mother’s womb. Look to Him for the affirmation of who you are. He chose every attribute you have and He has a purpose and a plan for you, which includes not only your gifts and talents but also your challenges and dis-abilities. Don’t allow the confusion of other people’s opinions to hinder your confidence any more. BE who you were designed to BE.
“What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. -Luke 12:6, 7
As an author and speaker, Catrina’s passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, Catrina now uses her profession, her own powerful stories and her training as a Biblical life-coach to reach the heart in a way that is relatable, encouraging and inspiring. Her message is balanced with both fashion and faith and is making a difference in the lives of women and girls all over! To be part of this movement, connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit https://catrinawelch.com for more information.