“I hate….” has been the reel in the minds and out of the mouths of women for the majority of our lives. I cannot speak for men, but I know that physical discontentment is something males struggle with as well. It goes beyond physical appearance though. Discontentment is an issue of the heart, and the illness of our society. Believe it or not, this issue did not actually start with Vogue.
I have 5 little sisters, and if you have ever been around small children in general, you have seen the epic battles for toys play out. We often laugh watching kids gritting their teeth trying so hard to tear a toy out of the white knuckled grasp of another child. For this reason, my cousin and I always got the same presents for Christmas. Yet there was always a reason to want hers or she want mine. The thieving of toys begins basically as soon as a child is coordinated enough to do so. This fighting for what everyone else has never ends, we just do it differently. Instead we starve ourselves, get plastic surgery, buy expensive clothing and makeup, go to élite schools, and focus on working up the ladder or industry. We try so hard to be like (fill in the blank). Even musicians have to compare themselves to other artists to try and sell themselves to new audiences. Who you are, is unique to who God designed you to be. Everything you do is what he empowered you to create. We aren’t meant to blend, be the same, or alter how he made us. Not only do things get dark in a hurry, but we also reject the creativity of God when we reject who he made us to be.
I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (NIV) Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous--how well I know it. (NLT) Psalm 113:14
I use to spend all of my time and energy trying to change myself to what I should be, rather than embracing who I was, who God wanted me to be and had created me to be. I let this state nearly swallow me whole, and a quickly found myself in place of self-hatred. Comparison left me feeling like I would never measure up. I would never be petite enough, smart enough, Christian enough, creative enough, good enough. Finally, the Holy Spirit had enough.
Art and painting is something that I really enjoy, so I use to take a few art classes as electives while in college. I had a phenomenal instructor, but he was driving me insane on this one piece. I had spent dozens of hours on this project, and he forced me to start it over three times. I was beyond frustrated with this lack of appreciation for my effort at minimum or acknowledgement of my creativity. That is when it hit me. I was doing that very thing to God, if not more so. By hating myself, and how he created me, I was rejecting him. Not totally of course, but a very big part of Him. The very first thing we learn about God in the Bible is that He is not just creative, but strategic, specific, intentional about every detail, and proud of it. He takes pride in what he has created, so should we.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. Psalm 139:13
Something shifted in me. I grieved the frustration and pain I must have caused by rejecting who my Father had made me to be. Shifting my mind to one of thankfulness was not an easy task. For every negative thought, I had to give 3 positive. It took time, but I live in a completely new state. I experience joy in such a pure way, and live every moment in freedom, unafraid of what people might think as I embrace every part of who I am. Even the hard, not so beautiful, and just downright quirky/weird parts. Discontentment will destroy your life. It will be the wedge in your relationships, evident on your health chart, and control you. I love who God designed me to be, I am content, and blissfully free. You can be too. Accept yourself, love yourself, and you will find that people will actually enjoy you more. When you accept yourself, that love radiates, and love is contagious. I get more complements now than when I was a size 4/2, and trying to hide all my flaws. People love genuine people, it is refreshing. Do not get caught up with the obsessions of trends that fade in exchange for everything you could be if you would just embrace it.