If you've ever struggle with accepting yourself as you are, you're in good company.
For years, I struggled with feeling like my "current self" was far from good enough.
Deep down, I felt like I was missing that "something" that my peers seemed to have and/or desired to see in others.
Longing for acceptance, I became a girl who:
- Looked to others to tell her who she should be and what she should do with her life
- Conformed to the expectations and standards of others in order to "fit in"
- People-pleased her way out of conflict and tried to make others happy in exchange for friendship
- Chased after achievement, hoping career success and a "Pinterest-worthy" life would win her validation and happiness
- Strived after excellence and "ideals" to prove herself worthy
- Accepted society's standards of beauty and believed her physical appearance contributed to her value
But I am no longer that girl.
Today, I am confident in the person God created me to be.
Don't get me wrong, I am far from perfect.
There are plenty of days I struggle with thoughts and feelings that want me to buy into the fact that I'm insignificant and not enough.
However, the difference between the girl I once was and the woman I am today is that I no longer believe my worth or significance is something to be earned.
I'm not driven to perform for others to prove that I am enough.
Instead, I choose to put down the masks and show up each day as "me" (all of me - faults and all).
Each day I choose to opt out of the masquerade, knowing there's no need to earn my way to significance through Perfectionism, Achievement, People-Pleasing, Physical Beauty, or other masks of identity.
I reject the lies that tell me I'm not good enough by turning to God and relying on Him to tell me who I am.
The Unmasked life has helped me care less about what others think of me.
Heck, I've learned to care less about what I think of me.
Today, I place my confidence and identity in what God says about me.
And He says I'm beautifully and wonderfully made. He says He's created me for a specific purpose and has grand plans for me.
The same is true for you, too, Friend.
So, you can go ahead and put down the crummy masks.
How did I begin opting out of the masquerade?
Well, for me, it wasn't any brave act of courage on my part. It was more like a forced-hand surrender spurred on by a life-altering ruin.
The ever-striving race toward my "Should Be" self led me straight into the throes of a life-threatening eating disorder. After years of struggling in secret and suppressing my shame, I eventually found myself at rock-bottom.
I reached a point where I had two options:
- Continue to run from my problems and allow my eating disorder have its way with me
- Put down those darn masks, own up to my mess, and confront my shame head-on.
I chose Option 2.
Interested in the Unmasked, dirty dets?
Read on to hear more about my "undoing." The ruin that felt like it would destroy me. But ultimately, freed me to be the person God created me to be.
My "undoing" has been a long and arduous journey.
Man, has it been jam-packed full of excrutiating battles, heart-break, and a whole bunch of soul-searching.
But I can honestly say that all of it, even the extreme hardship, has been entirely worth it.
Well, because the journey helped me:
- Learn to put down the masks I had relied upon for years as sources of identity.
- Deal with the shame, limiting beliefs, and lies that had caused me to pick up the masks in the first place.
- Learn to seek God as my source of identity and choose to listen to His voice over all the other voices (including my own) telling me I'm not good enough.
Ultimately, my journey led me back to me: the person God created me to be.
When I started putting down my masked armor and exposed my brokenness, God was able to restore me back to wholeness and self-acceptance.
Today I know there is no need to take up any masks. I choose to believe God when He says I'm beautiful and wonderful in His sight.
I hold onto the truth that I am accepted and loved by God, just as I am.
So, I'm gonna spend the rest of my days confidently rockin' out as my Unmasked Self.
Will you join me?