By Glyndora Condon MS MFT LPC
How many of us have asked that question as doubt looms over us? Oh to be someone with a 150 IQ-in every subject and discipline known to man, with a comedian sense of humor, a sense of style of fashion and taste; the etiquette of the nobles, yet the ability to feel safe and comfortable in an informal setting; a #10 knock out body (without cellulite or aging issues) that is forever young, the large and beautiful eyes that one can get lost within-with the long lashes that flutter gracefully; also with the poise and grace of a swan, the strength of the Lion, the sight of the Eagle, wonderful health, with common sense, insight and mindfulness; with Wisdom abounding, and love for reading, and the skills of the artist, musician, vocalist, gymnast, and a sharp shooter who can hunt and fish; garden and decorate; not to mention one who is sound in judgment and a great financial wizard...just to name a few respected items of a wish list that is pressured by the media and expected by our peers. I do not know of any one who has all of these gifts, talents, or skills-do you? Yet we compare ourselves continuously and judge
ourselves as unworthy. The shoulds, oughts, and musts seem to be in each sentence as we weigh ourselves as lacking. Little children come into my office and they think they either need to be perfect or they are failures (polarized thinking distortion) when they have not even reach puberty. Women are dissatisfied with whom they are. Men stress themselves out with the need to achieve so as to feel valued. Parents think they are terrible parents. Prevalent with all of these individuals is that question.
We are all gifted with a gift. We may be wonderful and sending cards and flowers to those who are ill. Others may be great cooks and love bringing dishes of delicious meals when there is a need. Some like to clean and organize. Others are mechanically minded and love fixing and creating things. In school-there will be those who read and easily comprehend and others who don't. Or, children who comprehend the math concepts while others struggle with complex problems. Some have more social skills and are more of a leadership personality while others like to follow and remain out of the spot light. With a paper for a group to prepare-then each use their gifts-then pull the strengths of each together in a collected work. One could be the thinker and organizer who becomes the leader. One could demonstrate the work with some type of photography or art; while another loves to write; and the researcher is providing the evidence. Each learns to lean upon each other and to respect each other's gift. Yet, when one is of the mindset that they should be able to do it all without effort-then herein lies a problem.
In other articles I spoke to how anxiety and depression evolves. I therefore will not speak of the reasons why for our doubt of our worth in depth but will state that media and society are huge contributors as we continue to see actors and actresses who; with the trick photography and wonderful theatrical tools; will appear free of flaw-as they act a script that does not often depict real life and real struggles. In homes-children are sometimes compared; in relationships-a young man or woman has to listen to the comparisons between them and others. We develop many distortions of thoughts as we grow up which is reinforced with media and society.
Are you good enough? Absolutely yes. God made us unique and wonderful as we are. In each He gave us one or more gifts. He encourages us to use these for Him. When we seek His pleasure then we know that He receives us as we are and grows us to where we need to be to possess inward treasures and beauty which then is reflected in our lives. We cannot be too broken for God, since He is the potter and we are the clay. God wants us to focus inwardly and to work on our hearts and in this work-our beauty will shine.
Society will have you believe that outside beauty is all powerful as it objectifies the beautiful. Hollywood also seem to come from this standpoint as they push products and cures for aging. We begin looking at ourselves and comparing ourselves to the worldly standard of our value which is eroding each day. The elderly are burdens. The unattractive are mocked. The obese are pegged as lazy. Those who are beautiful and talented are provided much attention. Those who are very athletic are almost worshipped since our entertainment is more valued. Those with high intelligence and who make discoveries are less paid or recognized. We who are average are tolerated as long as we do not rock the boat. Sometimes, the things that we now prize will blind us to the actual heart inside of that person.
Yet on the other hand; have you ever wondered how that good looking man ever saw anything in that unattractive looking woman? Have you been that other woman who attempted to steal a man away-and felt confident that surely your beauty and charm, your money and talents-would be impossible for anyone to resist-yet find yourself rejected? You then see this man and her together and think, How? This dismay is the root of us measuring outside things that society and media prized yet in reality these outward things did not seem valued. Could it be that the answer for the interest of that person-is due to what is inside that person? Perhaps that person is grounded in truth, compassionate, warm, loyal, and unselfish. Perhaps that person has integrity and is trustworthy. Perhaps that person loves their children and husband fully and is called, blessed. The heart therefore provided a countenance that the other hopefuls were not in possession of.
Have you ever met that really good looking man, driving an expensive auto, and who is successful-and thought-wow, I bet he would be a great catch. Then you finally get a chance to meet him and find that he is all into himself and you are only one of many women who is standing in line for his time. Did you find him obnoxious and arrogant? Not all wealthy and good looking men or women are so shallow and self minded-but some are. As you associate with that person who only has the looks and wealth; you find yourself un-prioritized and devalued since many are in line for his attention. You find him dull and frustrating and wonder-is this worth your effort? Time seems to erode his good looks. His money cannot buy you that inner happiness of knowing you are valued and prioritized. When one looks on the outside then one often finds emptiness inside. If you seek both what is inside then there is real treasure. The outside ages and breaks down but the inside grows and flourishes as it nourishes the other's heart and soul.
That inside however must be evident and confidently rooted and this is where we can help. Each of us are wonderfully made and have value. We each have one or more gifts. When we give from our hearts then our beauty will outshine the outside.