I have opportunity to speak with many people about the struggles of life. Often, at the very root of it, is a false belief of “I have no value”, “I am worthless”, or “I have nothing to offer”. Women, particularly beautiful, gifted and kind women, struggle to see their beauty because it feels prideful to see it. This belief causes depression, ruins relationships, and stops them before they get to the starting line.
I’d like to offer a word picture that is a mentally beneficial place to stay in terms of a healthy self-esteem. Picture yourself as one ray coming off the sun and God as the ball of fire. When we can see ourselves this way, we can acknowledge the uniqueness of our ray, while recognizing the beauty of it is coming from the ball of fire. The ray’s purpose is to bring light and heat to the world. Each ray is a unique expression of the ball of fire and therefore one ray cannot compare itself to any other ray. Every ray is vital, because if there were only one ray of light and heat to the world, it would be a very cold, dark and colorless world. It also allows us to celebrate every ray.
I developed a certain mantra in my later teens, which I believe has served me well for many years; do what I can, with what I got, and move on. It has helped me to not take myself so seriously. It’s not good to hide my ray underneath a shroud of worthlessness waiting for the world to discover it. But it is good to take whatever natural qualities I have been created with and develop them. I am to study well, foster hobbies, mature character, nurture health, and dress for success. And then shine my ray (which stems from the ball of fire) to light and heat the world around me. It therefore, becomes less about me, and more about seeing how God shows up and does amazing things. When my focus isn’t about me, as much as loving the world around me, it somehow comes back to give me a healthy self-esteem.
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So, if you are looking to others to find acceptance and validation, you open yourself to an insatiable vortex that can never be filled. You also open yourself up to be manipulated and coerced by those who also have an insatiable vortex within them. There will always be some who don’t want what you have to offer. There will be others who ridicule and demean what you have developed. Your self-esteem takes care of itself as you use your gifts and talents to light and heat the world, but not if you become someone else in order to find approval. Remember, Jesus WAS perfect and there were those who hated him, so you have to figure you won’t be able to please everyone.
Psalm 139 is a beautiful psalm which speaks to how God is intimately acquainted with you, having formed you in your mother’s womb. And in Eph. 2:10 that God created you for good works. It was the intention of God to create you specifically.
1 Cor. 12 shows that we are individually members of a body, with unique gifts. We are not individuals apart from others, but we are individuals in concert with others. But, when you try to find your identity through effort to appease others in relationships, work, appearance, possessions, or reputation, you are not offering your identity but you are allowing your identity to be stolen.
You also don’t have to be the most talented, the smartest, or the most dynamic person on a given subject to be able to offer it to others. You can’t compare, because you have been placed in a particular time, in a particular place, in a particular setting to heat and light your world. Accept the fact there will be others who are more attractive, wiser, have more talents, and have insanely dynamic personalities. Be inspired by them. Then, move on…to love the world around you.
If you know someone (or ten someones) who might struggle with feeling worthless or just a lack of purpose, would you consider sharing this with them to encourage them. The world needs their ray. The world needs your ray.