When I was younger, I had a fairly low self-esteem. I felt awkward, and most of the time ugly. My parents certainly did everything they could to tell me and show me that I was beautiful, and intelligent. But I always felt that since they were my parents, they had to feel that way, that they were biased. I really don't know what caused this low self-esteem. I was made fun of a lot in elementary and middle school (by boys and girls). I was often told that I was weird and ugly. The interesting thing that happened though was that in spite of how I saw myself, I sure was stubborn and confident in my beliefs. I could talk to anyone about my faith and nobody could sway me on that.
This low self-esteem lasted till I got to college. I really came out of my shell in college and excelled. Although I believe it was my husband who really helped me to see myself as I do now. I was a whole person when we met and had a fairly good self-esteem at that point, but when we started dating I became an even better version of me.
So why am I telling you this? Well... as I was laying in the dentist chair this morning, getting my teeth cleaned, the song "Try" by Colbie Caillat came on over the speakers. You know that song right? It's about women constantly questioning themselves because of the way they look. Well it got me thinking. Obviously I've heard that song a lot on TV or on the radio, and I liked the message of the song for the young girls of today. But today, it got me thinking about my daughter.
I was thinking about how the way I see myself will ultimately teach Sweet Toddler P. how she should feel about her own self-image. I immediately asked myself how do I feel about myself now? Obviously I used to feel awful about myself... but do I still project that in any way? I believe I have a healthy self-image, and I am fairly confident... but I have my days where I might not be so confident. There are some days I need my husband to reassure me (and he does, man do I love him). I realized though, those days that I need that reassurance, maybe I shouldn't let my daughter hear me questioning my body image.
Obviously Sweet P. will have days where she questions herself, and I want her to be able to come to me and her father for reassurance. But I also want her to know how to be able to turn around, look herself in the mirror and say "I am beautiful, inside and out." I want her to be able to take those thoughts and push them out of her mind, knowing that she is special, she is loved and she has a purpose.
Yes, her father and I will be there to tell her how beautiful and intelligent she is, but she needs to inherently know it as well. As she gets older, we will try our best to show/tell her that she has a plan and a calling. We will continue to tell her that there is noone else in the world like her; and all I can do is hope and pray that she sees herself that way. That she sees herself in a healthy way.
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