In one of my previous articles, I spoke about the issue of being self-conscious from an early age. It still haunts me in my everyday life. It doesn't matter how many times someone tells me I look pretty or how I'm not fat, because, at the moment, I have to believe it too. If I don't believe it myself, no one's opinion will count.

I wanted to write about this issue again because I think it is so important and it is relevant to so many people.

It scares me to have kids in the future because I don't want to have to watch them go through heartache or question their self-worth like I often did and do. I don't want them to look at themselves and see something wrong, something that they despise.
I'm scared that I'll see and hear their being self-conscious and I'll weep about it in secret. I'll sob to my husband, asking him why such perfect gifts from God think anything wrong of themselves.

In relation to that, I know that each one of us sees each other differently. I know that my parents see me as their beautiful child. I know that my boyfriend sees me as his beautiful girlfriend. I know that others see me in a different light too. But why is it that I, myself, don't always see myself in the same light? I often see the things that are wrong with me, the things that I can improve, but neglect to see the sides of me that people love or gravitate toward.

The first instance I had of feeling heartache from another person's self-conscious views was seeing my sister grow up and experience high school. I recall walking in the bathroom a few years back and saw the full-length mirror turned toward the wall. My sister had just come out of the bathroom from taking a shower, and I asked her why it was that she turned the mirror around. She told me that she frequently turned it around because she doesn't want to see her reflection. She didn't like looking at herself. I lost it. I remember trying to silently hold in my reaction as she walked away. There was so much hurt in my heart when she said that.

I've cried over that instance my times. I've tried since then to make sure my sister knows how beautiful she is. To make sure she knows that she is valued, that she is worth it, and that she is perfect the way she is. She still doesn't believe it yet. I hope that one day she'll look in the mirror and realize how debilitating being self-conscious can be and see that she should begin to love herself no matter how many days she feels like it's impossible.

I hate that we've all gone through this, some more than others. Although I still struggle to love every part of myself every day, I've begun to take steps toward loving myself. Sometimes that means wearing crop tops, other times it means wearing a tighter dress. Each time I do it I feel self-conscious, but I know that I need to learn how to love what God gave me.

We only have this life to live and wasting it on hating our bodies is not the way to live it. Screw being self-conscious. Wear that crop top, girl. Wear that tight dress, that shirt, those pants, whatever it is that you so badly want to wear but are scared to because you can't let others see that side of you. You are so beautiful. You are so worth it. You are so valued. Please see that, that's all I ask. Loving yourself is so liberating, so gratifying. Try it.