I recently posted this picture on Instagram, I guess you could say it was my way of "coming back" after my little hiatus these last couple months. Posting this picture was pretty hard for me, which I know some may say sounds silly, but it was. In this picture I'm not wearing an ounce of makeup. My acne scars are in full view. My freckles are uncovered. My skin tone is uneven. I have never once posted a picture, at least not one this close up, without makeup on. But despite the fact that I knew these flaws were fully visible, I felt so confident in that photo. The day I took it I got up and sipped my coffee getting ready for my day. I picked out my outfit, washed my face, brushed my teeth, and set up my phone to watch a video as I sat down at my makeup table. I started pulling out my primer and my favorite foundation, then looked in the mirror.
I wasn't pressed for time that morning, in fact it was my day off. If anything I had more time than most days to cake my face if I pleased. But for some reason on that day I looked in the mirror and I had a thought I didn't used to have often. "I look pretty good," I thought to myself as I gazed at the faint freckles that covered my nose and my peeling (slightly) tanned skin. So I got up and l went outside, took a couple selfies, and went on with the day.
So where am I going with this? Today I want to talk a little bit about the idea of feeling confident vs being conceited. Since I took that picture this idea has been floating around my brain. I've never been good at accepting compliments, and I'm even worse at complimenting myself. Why? Because I don't want to seem conceited or full of myself. I don't want anyone to ever believe that I am doing something for the sole purpose of boosting my own ego. So I've always remained very humble. And even saying that, I feel the need to say, "and I don't mean that in a conceited way, or to compliment myself at all..."
But that's so wrong. The idea that we walk through life afraid of acknowledging our own beauty and greatness is ridiculous. And I don't think I got that until now. As I look back at my life, as a teenager and pre-teen, I never really considered myself un-confident. But was I actually confident either? Did I actively tell myself "you are beautiful"? No. I don't think I told myself that once in high school. I became so caught up in my fear of looking conceited in the eyes of others that I convinced myself it wasn't okay to recognize my own beauty. I convinced myself that I wasn't the compliments my friends, family, and sometimes complete strangers gave me. If I agreed with them, I would be self-centered, I would be conceited, I would be living a life that contrasted with my entire life purpose of serving and loving others.
And that, my friends, is where I truly believe I went wrong. I was a hypocrite. I've always preached about kindess, about being an inspiration in small ways, but I wasn't practicing that mentality with myself. When I talked to anyone else I would openly aknowledge their God-given natural beauty and talents, but when I looked at myself I didn't do the same.
So what I want to leave you with is this: It's okay to love yourself. It's okay to be confident in your looks and your abilities. Being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind to other people. You are beautiful, inside and out, and it's completely okay to realize it.