A couple of months ago, I went to my grandson’s first birthday party and of course many pictures were taken. The pictures were sent to me and I was enamored with them all, until I saw one of myself holding my grandson. The very first thought I had while looking at the picture was, “Oh my god! I pray this picture is not posted on line!” In my head, I could instantly hear people making comments about my double chins or my large arms that looked even larger because of the way I was holding Liam. I literally felt fear grip my insides. The fear of people’s opinions about me. It’s something I have struggled with my whole life, and something I despise about myself. In a way, it’s how I was raised. My mom always worried about what people thought, and whether she meant to or not, it rubbed off on me. I identified this about myself early in my life and I have worked hard to not let things bother me, but some things still do….especially my struggle with being overweight.
Lately, I’ve been listening to different podcasts about loosing weight and how people view themselves. On one of the podcasts, there was a discussion about how most people immediately go to the negative when they view pictures of themselves. Instead of seeing the beauty that was captured in the picture, they instead see the flaws. I know that most people are their own worst critics, and I especially know that about myself.
As the thoughts in my mind beat me up inside and made me feel bad about myself, I could hear the question on the podcast. “What do you see when you see pictures of yourself? Do you see the beauty that was captured or does your mind instantly go to all the negative thoughts you have about yourself?” At that moment, my grandson’s mother text me and told me how much she liked the picture of me holding Liam because of how he was looking at me with so much love. I wanted to tell her that I hated how I looked in the picture, but I did not. Instead, I looked at the picture again.
This time when I looked at the picture, I saw a woman with a beautiful smile. The smile lit up her whole face, and it was obvious it was because she was in love with the child in her arms. Her eyes were sparkling with joy, and she looked so happy. In her arms she held a little boy who lovingly had his head turned towards her and his eyes were sparkling just as much, and he was smiling while looking at his Gigi.
Although I still see my imperfections, they do not stand out to me like they did at first. Instead I see something perfect, and that something perfect is a picture of a Gigi and her grandson. This moment of love was captured in time with a camera, and I am so glad! With God’s help, little by little I am being freed from people’s opinions about me. The very picture I once cringed at, is now one that I will always cherish.