My husband asked me an interesting question the other night. He asked “Why is it okay for women to call themselves ugly, fat, gross, or other deprecating terms?” And, I really didn’t have an answer for him. I commented on how women get sent a lot of messages that they aren’t “enough”. They get sent messages that they aren’t “good enough”, “beautiful enough”, “talented enough”, “smart enough”, “rich enough”, “well dressed enough”, “busy enough”, etc. He asked again, “But why are all these messages listened too? Don’t women know that they are truly beautiful just as they are?”
I spent a long time contemplating this last question. And I think I have an answer.
Women are the heart of the home. We are. As the heart of the home, we nurture our children and teach them about gentle things. We help them develop their spirituality and humanity. And because of all this we are in a powerful position to influence how the next generation grows, develops, and matures into adults. And, our ability to shape the world is amazing – whether we are mothers or not, we still affect those around us in this way as sisters, aunts, and friends. We are the givers of love to those around us.
Now, the enemy of goodness doesn’t want loving, nurturing, self-confident, happy women. The reason for this is that the enemy of goodness doesn’t want peace, love, contentment, spirituality, or goodness. He want’s chaos, hatred, envy, spite, discontentedness, anger, discord, societal unrest – basically the destruction of all good things. As I said, he is the enemy of all good things.
So, what a great plan . . . get the hearts of the families, the hearts of the homes to feel chaos, hatred toward themselves, envy of others, spite, discontentedness with themselves or spouses, anger with children, themselves, or spouses, discord, and unrest. People can only give out what they have. If the hearts of the families are filled with all these negative feelings then that’s what they can give out to their children. And so, the work of chaos is continued – the children and husband receive lessons in chaos and self-deprecating assessments.
And his plan is working. There is such an aura of comparison created by this plan that now it is expected of women to have low self-esteem – because women just aren’t enough. Not only that, but women are expected to joke about their low sense of worth. Sometimes, even husbands fall under this trap and instead of being supportive and loving to their wives – they begin to compare and degrade as well.
I am lucky. Every day my husband tells me I’m the most beautiful woman in the world. And it really helps to hear that positive message. Some days, it’s hard to let myself believe it. I know what I physically look like. I’ve had five children and gained more than 30 pounds from when we got married. I also am lucky to get four hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. That changes my physical appearance. And yet, he still tells me, and shows me that he thinks I am the most beautiful woman in the world. He is seeing my true beauty.
So, I challenge myself to accept his love more and listen to what his message is. I challenge myself to give myself honest compliments and find ways to fill up with love so that I can give that love out to my children and husband. And I challenge myself to compliment my friends and not listen to the messages to compare my weaknesses against their strengths.
Will you join me on this journey to embrace our true beauty? Together we can stem the tide of comparisons, and replace it with supportive compliments. We can help each other feel beautiful in our own skins. We can embrace our bodies as the wonderfully amazing creation that it is. And we can created loving, supporting, caring communities and homes for our children, our neighbor’s children, and everyone’s children to grow up in. We can do all this because we are all truly beautiful and the world is filled with the most beautiful women. Let me help: You are Beautiful! You are Amazing! You are Smart! You are A Good Mother! You are Enough! Now, believe it.