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One of the most paralyzing things that prevent us from offering our gifts and talents is the belief that we do not have something valuable to offer.
MY STRUGGLE …
APPARENTLY I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE …
The words of my classmate this week really resonated with me, making me realize that I wasn’t the only one struggling to accept myself as I was.
Our assignment was to create a self-portrait in which everything about its composition–the expression, pose, scenery, props, and editing–all had to speak about ‘who we were’. We were to take a very introspective look at ourselves while representing ourselves to the class.
Everyone’s self-portraits were truly unique and incredible in their own way, until one girl’s self-portrait showed up on the projector that resembled mine. I automatically thought: OK, this girl is probably very similar to me.
That’s why I was shocked when the first words that came out of her mouth when explaining her portrait were: “This photo of me is a LIE. This image shows the idealized version of myself — the person I want to be, but am not.”
She went on to describe who this ‘ideal version of herself’ was, and I realized that the person she was describing sounded a lot like me. I was perplexed. I didn’t understand. There she was, wishing to be like me — contemplative, insightful, the type of person who looked inwards for strength — while I loved that she was outspoken, simple-minded, and constantly living in the present moment. We were like two fools, each wanting qualities that the other person had, blind to our own unique, God-given beauty.
That’s when I realized that this nonsense had to stop.
We need to embrace ourselves wholly and completely–to stop trying to be anyone else, because otherwise the unique gifts that each of us have will never be offered or shared. We need to stop focusing on everything we’re not, and to rejoice over everything we are.
If no one has told you this before, I am here to tell you now: You have something valuable to offer. Not only is it valuable, but it is necessary. It needs to be shared. So throw away whatever ‘molds’ you feel pressured to fit, throw away all the voices that tell you that ‘you are not good enough’–because you are truly irreplaceable, unique, and downright beautiful. This world wouldn’t be the same without you.
1 Corinthians 12 // Jeremiah 1:5
YOUR TURN …
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