We have called ourselves words like these: “I’m fat. I’m weak. I’m worthless. I’m a failure.” All of us have been guilty of this at some point no matter who we are. Imagine, though, if you called your best friend fat, weak, worthless, or a failure. Honestly, you probably wouldn’t be friends anymore. Why are we so quick to judge ourselves so harshly then?
Our society today is so focused on successes and achievements that determine self worth that it’s causing us to lose focus on what’s truly important. If you were told you had one more week to live, most of those things that were so important before no longer matter anymore. Feelings such as happiness, love, and a longing to explore the unknown would become the priority of your life. I believe that when that happens, people truly begin to live for themselves and not for the validation of other people. Once there becomes pressure or standards that should be met, that’s where our internal criticism begins to take charge.
Think about it. That test you got a low score on won’t show how caring of a person you are. That extra weight that you can’t burn off won’t show how much joy you bring to others. That job you didn’t get doesn’t show what an amazing parent you are. The list could go on and on. The most important people in your life are those who don’t care about the small things. They’ll love you no matter what for who you are as a person inside and not for your outside achievements. Once we realize this, so much weight of the world can be lifted off of our shoulders as we can begin to experience the world the way it should be.
Obviously though, this is all easier said than done. However, we can all work towards living the best life for ourselves and do the things that we thoroughly enjoy even if we aren’t the best at it. And if we make mistakes, so what? We live, we laugh, and we learn from it. The Bible says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:13-14). Essentially, God made you the way YOU are, not the way other people want you to be. He also loves you no matter how imperfect you are. In fact, nobody’s perfect, so we shouldn’t expect anyone, including ourselves, to be.
So next time one of those harsh words pop into your head when describing yourself, stop and reflect on who you are living your life for. Most likely, you would be living for the validation of other people in society and not for YOU.