“I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know (ooh oh)
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe (I), oh I believe (I)
What You say of me (I)
The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity, (ooh oh)
Song by Lauren Daigle- You say is the name of the song. She is really good please do yourself a favor and check her out.
I can relate to these lyrics so much, and I think most of you will too. I have been thinking a lot about beauty (what it is ?who defines it?why does it matter?). In my early twenties I had serious insecurities and it showed in the way I let others treat me. The sad thing is I didn’t even realise it. I read a book called Authentic beauty by Leslie Ludy, lets just say it shifted my perception about beauty. It so happened that at the time I was heart broken and really needed God to put my pieces back together.And put them back together he did and gave me beauty instead of ashes :D(I love my my God )
During that season of my life I realised I had to unlearn everything society including my own family had taught me and start learning who God says I am.
This is what society taught me:
- Your worth is determined by other people(false)
- Everything you do to improve yourself is for others i.e men (false)
- Beauty is the length of your hair or the shade of your skin(false)
- Beauty is the shape and size of your body (false)
- Being beautiful is a competition (false)
So my Indian friend from KZN was telling me how when she was born, her family told her mother that she would be dark because her ears were darker than the rest of her face. I was surprised that this was the case in the Indian community as well.There is even an Instagram page called browngirlmag where brown skinned Indians embrace and appreciate other brown skinned Indians.
In the black community we go as far as congratulating new parents for having “yellow bone” light skinned child, as if it is an achievement. Both my husband and I are not light so I was not trying to have light skinned children, it just happened that they came looking a few shades lighter than us. So please don’t compliment me as if I have dodged the death sentence for darkness. Here is the thing being brown skinned is not some hereditary disease you must pray does not get past down to your children. Your skin color is determined by you genetics and exposure to the sun. By virtue of being born in an African country you will definitely be exposed to the sun and your skin color may change from what it was when you were born. To insinuate that the child is beautiful only when they are light is insane and just shows just badly brain washed we are. Who decided lighter is beautiful? When Hollywood stars inject their cheekbones and put fillers in your lips it is beautiful but when you are born like that you are a baboon. Is it because even after “freedom”our oppressors voice still echoes in our minds? chanting you will never be enough.
Growing up I believed this lie mainly because both my aunt and my mom are lighter than me so they would get compliments about how beautiful they are and people would just notice that was not so bad looking when they were not there with their light skin (for comparison). Needless to say this made me wish was lighter. Don’t get me wrong they are beautiful but so am I, it is really not a competition. I am my kind of beautiful and that’s okay. There is no need to put down others to validate others. We need to proactively educate our daughters this truth so their generation does not repeat our mistakes.
Yes mainstream media has set the standard but it is up to us to change it. It is not going to be easy but it has to be done. A few years back we took back our right to love and embrace our natural hair with its kinky – curly coils and the media followed suits.
When you decide to lose weight, may it be because you want to be healthy and you want to change for yourself not anyone else. Your beauty is not dependent on your size. I know a few beautiful ladies who are not a size 32 , they are a joy to be around , they are smart and have beautiful. The weight issue deserves a its own blog post, I’ll talk about my journey after two babies.
How cool is it that the same God that created mountains and oceans and galaxies looked at you and thought the world needed one of you too.”
I know I have used this quote before but I feel the need to emphasis the beauty of being different from anyone else. Your mere existence attests to the need the Almighty God saw on earth and knew only you could fulfill. You had to come as you are (shape/length/size and skin color). He looked at his creation and said it was good.
As a woman I belong to God and myself first before anyone else, what I mean by that is before I was a wife or mother I found my worth in who God said I was. Think about it before I was even a certain race or someone ‘s daughter I belonged to God and I was enough. The roles I play do not define me, yes they have shaped the woman I have become. I love being mom and wife, but who I am as an individual is important and this is why; If God forbid I stopped being Sweet- One’s wife I should continue with life and if I never had children that would not make me less of a person.
Psalm 139 verse 13
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
This psalm played a significant role in the renewal of my mind. I started understanding that nothing is hidden from God even the thoughts I have about myself are not a secret to him. I can’t imagine what he thinks every time I believed the lies society taught me over the years. Today my prayer is that you will look at the mirror and say ” Great are the works of your hands “.