ISOLATION

You sit slumped in a chair by the window; defeated, deflated…You hear laughter, conversations, and the clatter of dishes in the next room. The smells of grandmother’s famous “rolls” tickle your nose. Although the house is alive with activity, you sit seemingly isolated…alone…the thoughtless comments of a moment ago still sear through your mind.

“Your hair is too long.”

“Your skirt is too short.”

“You are too heavy.”

These voices in your head tear through your mind and destroy your self-confidence….strengthening your suspicion that it is a dark and dreary world. Peering through the window your vision is consumed by dark, gloomy clouds approaching. The rain begins, slowly running down the pane.

DISTORTED THOUGHTS

You focus forlornly on the falling rain. The water is mixing with the dirt on the glass, distorting the view of the outside world. It’s impossible to see clearly now. As the thoughtless comments ring through your mind, your vision is blurred by the raindrops running down the windowpane, and then tears roll down your cheeks. Is your view of reality flawed? A terrible feeling of apprehension grips you like a vice.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/topics/personal-perspectives

STINGING COMMENTS

These moments bring back painful memories of critical comments…your weight….your hair…your looks. Each memory is like a tiny needle sticking you in the heart.

As you sit staring out the rain stained window, you can’t think of anything else. You can’t appreciate the natural world or the loving friends and family around you. All you can think about is how you want to change yourself or what other people think you should be. All you can feel is guilt for not doing things differently, not starting that exercise program sooner, not watching your diet more closely.

DISTORTED IMAGE

Staring out, your cheeks damp with tears, it is difficult to shake the negative self-image that creeps into your mind. It maintains a firm grip, refusing to let go. As the scent of warm rolls envelope you, a gentle hand touches your shoulder. You turn to see your grandmother.

She says, “Walk with me….”

“But it’s raining,” you say.

“Is it?” she replies.

WALK WITH ME

You walk out into the fresh, crisp air. You take a deep breath. You grab her hand as you stroll across the freshly watered lawn. She’s talking and you’re listening intently, no longer caught in the shadowy cobwebs in the dark recesses of your mind. She tells you to look at the world, really see it. The world suddenly comes alive around you – birds chirping, the sky clearing, raindrops falling off leaves and hitting the soft, wet ground.

You see a living, colorful world. There’s no one here distorting your opinion, darkening your views. This is a world where you have a choice, dreams, and a positive outlook. In this world you are beautiful…you are magnificent…you are courageous. You are on top of the world, no longer consumed by a negative self-image. As you look forward into the sky, the sun peeks happily through the leaves on the trees. It is all very clear now.

http://www.simplypsychology.org/self-concept.html#sthash.26Nq7FMJ.dpbs

BE THE VICTOR

You have a choice. You can walk forward into the sunset or you can turn and be consumed by the rainstorm. As your inner strength guides you, realize that you are the victor, not the victim. In this world, you’re a genuine version of YOU! It’s not about how others see you.

Remember that the strength to see all of these things lies within you. It has to do with you, not anyone else. Dare to care about you and the real you will shine. Ignore distorted messages and find the truth. It’s always there….have the vision to see beyond the stained glass window. You are as beautiful as you realize you are.

LET’S TALK ABOUT IT

  1. Are you confident in your personal self-image?
  2. How do you deal with negative comments from others?
  3. Share a story…how have you overcome challenges with regards to body image?

Image by: timobalk

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