My life as a photographer has always felt like somewhat of a double standard.
There, I said it. Those horrible words.
I have made a career where my focal point is helping people to feel comfortable, beautiful/handsome, and confident in the body that God has designed for them.
And I love it.
I love that I have an outlet where I can give constant encouragement.
But I have a secret. I don’t apply that same philosophy to myself.
I sit as I edit and wish that I could have pictures I look good in.
I wish I felt that way.
I wish I didn’t have… (insert “flaw that I feel like I have that the person in the picture doesn’t” here)
Lately, someone close to me pointed out something to me that I’ve been trying to ignore for a while…
We were discussing pictures of me and I just kept scrolling past each one.
He would chime in and say he liked them;
I wasn’t satisfied with any of them.
“That angle isn’t good”
“The lighting is bad in this one.”
“My cheeks look big there.”
“I have a lazy eye.”
“I look chubby.”
These are all common phrases that I use while go through my pictures.
Eventually, (probably tired of my complaining-sorry!), he always says something along the lines of:
“Why can’t you just see yourself the way I do?”
“You look fine”
“There’s nothing wrong with that!”
“I like them.”
And then I realized.
I’ve heard these things before.
I’ve heard them and I’ve ignored them.
I’ve heard them from my mother.
I’ve heard them from my grandmother.
I’ve heard them from my Creator.
And each time, I ignore them.
Recently, as some of my previous posts have reflected, I’ve been having a lot of heart to hearts with the Lord about self image, for myself, for how I interact with others. It’s been a season that has been full of growth, but that growth has not come easy. But I’ve also realized that sometimes others DO see me the way Christ does, and they’re simply trying to remind me that I’m His. Their words are little love letters to me from Him.
It’s been a big conviction of mine that I take pride in letting others know their worth in Christ all while frequently ignoring those same words in relation to myself. How can I say that I truly believe that each person is “fearfully and wonderfully made” when I sometimes neglect to include myself in that category?
It wasn’t until I began to really think about that concept, that I was able to begin to really enjoy my job, and how I see myself when the tables are turned.
When I viewed myself through these other lenses; a sense of freedom rushed over me.
I was able to relax.
I was able to not overanalyze angles.
I was able to laugh.
I felt a greater connection to Christ.
There’s a stigma in society sometimes where it’s considered vain to love yourself.
And I think it’s a very human reaction to see ourselves and immediately try to point out every flaw.
Actually. I think it’s a very manipulative quality of the enemy to make that a reaction.
He doesn’t want us to be happy. Or confident. Or comfortable. Or joyful.
He wants us miserable. Self conscious. Uncomfortable. Silent.
So we should do the opposite.
It’s always been said that we are our own worst critics.
But we don’t have to be.
We should see ourselves through the bold lens of the way God designed us:
W O N D E R F U L
B E A U T I F U L
C H O S E N
P R I Z E D
U N I Q U E
S P E C I A L
C A P A B L E
C O N F I D E N T
S T R O N G
However, I am not naive enough to think that from this day forward I’ll never look at a picture of myself and say “oh no, that’s not good.”. But I am confident enough in this lesson that in the times when I stumble and I do see my flaws and can’t seem to look away, I can use that as a reminder that yes, I am human, but I was created by and I serve a very perfect God who is with me and for me.
And that one day I will be with Him.
Filled with bliss. Without flaw.
And what a moment of unspeakable joy that will be.
(So let me chase those thoughts and hold tightly to the ability to experience small moments of that joy and a relationship with my Creator each and every day.)