Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Looked At Myself

I did something scary yesterday.

Something I really don't do or for that matter, like to do.

I LOOKED AT MYSELF.

Without any clothes on (getting ready to hop into the shower), I took a look and surveyed what I would call "the damage".

I saw wrinkles and dimples and scratches and fat, OH MY! I saw a tummy that could use plenty of sit ups and boobs that were no longer vibrant with life but sagging from age. I saw beauty marks that have appeared out of nowhere. But I saw ME!

I realized that in spite of my disappointment of what I looked like in that mirror, I am a work in progress and always will be. I will never be content with the way I look on the outside. I will never be perfectly content with my hair, my legs, my stomach, my toes or even my arm pits. I can use what I've got to make it better or I can sit back and become complacent, thinking, "I am who I am and God loves me just the same".

So much of my life I've spent worrying about the outside of me but not realizing that what matters the most is my insides. It's like, as much as I love Oreo Double Stuff cookies, my most favorite part is the insides.

Married Boo came in the door the other day wearing a beautiful headwrap/turban. The first words out of my mouth before I even thought about it was, "So, what's with the turban? Are you seriously wearing it or just joking?" The minute I said it, I stepped back and really saw how beautiful she looked. The colors of the wrap splashed against the tone of her skin and her gorgeous eyes. What made it even more beautiful was her confidence. She WORE that and made it stunning! Not only that, I know who she is on the inside..honest, loving, caring, joyful and faithful.

How do I stop identifying myself or others by their outsides first? I take a long hard look on the insides - the inners as some folks like to call it.

Oh yeah, I have some work ahead of me on the outside but even more work on the inside. Thankfully, there's plenty of do overs in God's eyes.

Do you look on the inside or the outside?

17 comments:

Brian Miller said...

i think we process someone visually first as that is the first thing we see...the trick i think is pausing before we open our mouthes to look a bit deeper...i think the inside is what matters...

Dandy said...

I always judge my outside- always. I've become much better about judging other people on the outside but I still catch myself doing it.

It's such a crazy process, embracing ourselves. You would think it would be second nature.

Great post!

Kathy said...

I love Dove's campaign about love yourself in all shapes and sizes. We women are extremely hard on ourselves. I'm less quick to judge others as I get older but I'm having a harder time being just as open to the old lady in my skin. I'm a work in process- still.

ethelmaepotter! said...

Goodness, what a beautiful post.

I always judge MYSELF by my outward appearance, but I was born to parents who instilled in us from DAY ONE that we should always judge others by the content of their character. Seriously, those were Daddy's words even before I heard MLK use them. So I've been blessed to always look inside a person before seeing the shell.

mrstdj said...

I try not to judge based on the outside, but I can't lie and say that I'm blind. I think that most people take notice of the outside, even if they don't judge. Nice post!

Lin said...

I think your outside says a lot about you and how your view yourself. I'm not talking about physical features as much as what you do with them. I shudder when I see those moms coming to Parent/Teacher conferences in sweatpants, t-shirt, and crocs to represent their child and their family. That's what I'm talking about.

From there, I try to be open minded, but a smile will tell you loads about a person. And sparkly eyes. As much as we think the outside doesn't matter--I think it does. Did you ever notice how pretty/handsome a person appears because they are smiling and laughing? That's the outside that tells the world who you are.

Yes, the inside matters as well, but I think it is a combo of both that I look for.

Formerly known as Frau said...

I think we all look on the outside first it's just so....but we all know that inside is what's important. It's hard to not judge on the outside first it's what everyone does in society. I wish it was different.

dana said...

If only we didn't "JUDGE". That is the problem: not what we see.

Danica said...

Loved reading this post. I'm a child of an anorexic mother who was never happy with what she saw. So I was raised to feel like I shouldn't be happy with the way I look. I'm constantly trying to change myself when I need to learn to love myself. I'm still a work in progress!

Annesphamily said...

It is hard to look at yourself truthfully. I hate what age does to us but I am trying to keep my focus on the really important stuff. I was at a different blog that posted about these awful tornadoes. It makes you appreciate the small stuff. But I thought your post was great! It makes you stop and think. Hugs Anne

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

I am an insides person...I think more women than men are.

My weight swings drastically. Once, when I was the slimmer me, I asked my younger brother what he thought of my accomplishment. He looked at me and said, "When I look at you, I don't see the fat PJ or the skinny PJ...I see PJ" He's exceptional for a male.... And he's unmarried. How is that even possible???!!!

Joanna Jenkins said...

The older I get the harder I try to embrace my outer self-- the older self, but I actually spend more time working on the inside. Getting older is not easy and I'm becoming more and more aware of that-- thus the inner work.

Happy long weekend, xo jj

Veronica Lee said...

I'm also a work in progress! I hate what age has done to my body and it's hard embracing my outer self. I'm thinking of the lyrics of a song that go something like this "When you look at yourself, do you like what you see? If you like what you see, you're the person you should be. 'Cos your reflection reflects on everything you do and everything you do, reflects on you!"

Beautiful post, Simone!

Buckeroomama said...

I think we're somehow wired to react to the "outside" first --especially with people we don't really know. It takes a lot of self-checking not to jump to conclusions about people based simply on what we see. :)

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Oh, Simone, I am guilty, guilty, guilty. Like so many women, I'm extremely harsh on myself, even though I actually think I'm quite good looking! It's nutty. I wish I could lose it, but it's almost become a demented hobby.

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

I've know some physically attractive people who are "ugly". And some Plain Jane's that I think are beautiful. Yes, we notice the outsides first, but our insides shining out is what truly makes us beautiful. Great post!

Toyin O. said...

I certainly believe what is on the inside is more important than what is on the oustide. I work harder than the beauty inside than what people see outside.

 

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