Just Because You're Not Where You Want To Be, Doesn't Mean You're Not Making Progress

Just Because You're Not Where You Want To Be, Doesn't Mean You're Not Making Progress

The journey is still underway.
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A few days ago, I had one of those days. You know what I mean, right?

I mean one of those days where I can’t stand how I look. One of those days where I stand in front of the mirror and pick out every little flaw that I dislike about myself. Things that I wish I could change. I’d be lying if I said that the list was short.

I stand there and compare. Well, she has a slimmer waist. She has clearer skin. She probably doesn’t go through this exact same thing.

I can’t help it. I try my hardest to combat those thoughts but they approach far more quickly and deadly this time than they did the last.

We all get this way, don’t we? We all know that there are things about ourselves that we wish we could change. That’s why we make New Year’s resolutions, isn’t it?

We want to be kinder. We want to eat healthier. We want to give more. We want to get in shape. We want to drink more water.

There’s this never-ending list of characteristics that we wish we could possess. If you’re anything like me, your New Year’s resolutions are long since gone (if we’re being honest, did we ever even begin them?), and the judgmental little devil on our shoulder is speaking louder and louder and the days go on.

SEE ALSO: Don't Feel Like You Have To Rush

Something was different when I had yet another one of “those days.” As I stood there, staring at my imperfections in the mirror, I felt this message be laid upon my heart.

“It’s possible to desire change without degrading who you are right now, in this exact moment.”

It was overwhelmingly clear to me in that moment. I was sitting there, completely tearing myself to shreds, focusing on the journey ahead rather than how far I’ve come.

If I look at where I used to be: a shattered, incomplete girl who turned to razor blades instead of God to fill the father-shaped hole in her heart, I can’t help but be proud of the young woman looking back at me in the mirror.

I was so broken. I was a mess. Homeless. Failing classes. Crying myself to sleep at night. Having panic attacks during the day. In endless counseling. Battling the demons associated with divorce and abuse. Depressed beyond measure.

But now, I am so much more. Five years can do a lot to a growing girl. I’m happy. In love with God and the life that He has given me. I’m healed. I’ve found my home.

Sure, there are things about myself that I wish to alter. Things that I WILL alter. Not because I am less than, but because I know that my journey isn’t finished yet.

There’s something so powerful in acknowledging that just because we have room for improvement doesn’t mean we are any less as people.

If we’re being honest, we have to have that drive to become a different person. If we didn’t, we’d be stuck in this endless cycle of complacency that would eventually drive us to insanity. We have to have goals. We have to want to be the absolute best version of ourselves as possible.

It’s natural to have a desire for change - for growth. We should never self assess and find ourselves content with where we are. We should always strive for better. To be better. To love better. To serve better.

If you need to glance back and realize how far you’ve come, then by all means, DO IT! It’s important to remember where you came from in order to remind you where you’re headed. It doesn’t matter what she looks like or what he is good at. Your excursion to a new you isn’t finished yet.

Just because you’re not where you want to be, doesn’t mean that you are any less. You are more. You are so. much. more.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things. If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity towards this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you, if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Telling Yourself You Are Beautiful Will Make You Even More Beautiful

You are you, and that's what makes you beautiful.

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As a woman, there is a lot of pressure on having the perfect body image. Long legs, tan skin, a flat stomach, the list can go on forever. From pictures that we see in magazines, tv, and so on display only a small percentage of people who can achieve the [from what society thinks] is the perfect body type. I know when I've looked in the mirror, the first things I draw attention to are the things I am most self-conscious about, my stomach, my legs, and my jawline are just to name a few.

When I was younger, I would go to Bible camp every summer. I always learned a lot about myself during these times and would consider them "some of the best days of my life". The days were filled with positivity, Gospel, and building self-confidence. Out of all of the great things I learned while my times at Bible camp, there is one thing that stuck out to me the most.

I remember specifically one night, we were talking about body positivity. We are all our own worst critics, and how most of us think that we aren't beautiful ourselves. My camp counselor gave us a task that seemed quite odd to do. She said that we need to go in the mirror, look yourself up and down, and then in the eye and say, "you are beautiful".

Everyone got in line to the mirror and started doing so. Some girls had a hard time saying it or laughed at themselves saying it. I know when I went up to the mirror, it was hard for me to say it out loud that I am beautiful. At the time I was in that awkward stage of puberty where you kind of look like a kid, but kind of looks like an adult and your body is all disproportionate from growing/developing. Least to say, it was rough. But looking myself up and down in the mirror, seeing all my curves and edges and then saying "You are beautiful" to yourself is absolutely liberating.

Still to this day if I ever feel down about myself, I look in the mirror and tell myself that I am beautiful. Everyone is beautiful and unique in their own way. We don't need someone to tell us we are beautiful, you just need to tell yourself that you are beautiful, and you WILL shine brighter than you ever have before.

You will not believe how much your outlook on life improves when you tell yourself you are beautiful, and you are in every way, shape, and form.

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