choose beauty: a love letter

this post, a love letter to myself, was originally shared 832 days ago {that’s like…two years right?} and i couldn’t think of a better time to re-share. i decided to participate in the choose beauty blog linkup hosted by the lovely thoughts by natalie and the challenge is to share about true beauty and what that means to me, how i’ve learned/am still learning to love and accept myself and my body and more. i’m guessing i’m not the only gal who has wrestled with negative thoughts about her body and excited for the challenge and opportunity to share about beauty with other bloggers and with you!

the ironic and inspiring part about this letter to myself from two years ago is that these lessons and struggles are still very real to me today. i still struggle with self-acceptance, thinking i am beautiful and remembering beauty flows from the inside out. what i will say is this: i am truly amazed at how god has worked in my life over the past two years and how i’ve learned to slowly love myself and body for where it is right now. it’s definitely a “work in progress” for me, as most things are. one of my very favorite parts of this letter is my hope for all of you reading this today: “may today be the day you stop hiding in shame and start frolicking in grace.” when we learn to love ourselves and view ourselves as worthy and loved and accepted and beautiful, we can truly live in freedom. beauty to me means freedom.

thanks for reading and enjoy your wonderful weekends! xo

dear andi,

this letter recognizes the journey you’ve been on. a journey of self-love, self-discovery, self-acceptance. with your journeys, you’ve learned to count your blessings, embrace life and value yourself as a person.

loving and accepting yourself doesn’t always come easily. yes, certain days it feels very natural to wake up and be cheerful and positive but times come when you are ruled by voices in your head. girlfriend, you need to stop that. Instead of being ruled by these negative, discouraging voices, be ruled by peace. be ruled by grace.

sometimes anguish comes from your own hypothesis that other people’s hypothetical hypotheses about you matter. it doesn’t! its’s way too easy to overanalyze what other people think about you, and in turn, you end up feeding into the negativity. wouldn’t it be easier to just not worry what other people think about you/say about you/feel about you? for all you know, they are saying absolutely wonderful things about you. why would you assume the worst?

your physical “imperfections” make you unique. you have the ability to radiate goodness, joy and kindness; why be held down by fear and insecurity? This post will remind you the difference between shame and grace.

 if shame say’s I’m defective, grace tells me i’m valuable. shame’s greatest weapon is the fear of judgment. grace’s even bigger weapon is the relief ofunconditional love. shame says that because i am flawed, i am unacceptable. grace says that though i am flawed, i am cherished. shame claims i must be perfect to earn the approval of others. grace claims i am accepted regardless of seeming imperfections.

recognize the voices of shame and consciously turn them down. start seeking purposeful, positive, life-building grace.

it’s easy to beat yourself up from past mistakes and please, just stop. move on. close that door and move forward. it’s time to start afresh and anew. Don’t live life in the past; it’s time for you to begin. some of your favorite lyrics: “today is never too late to be brand new”

when God created you 22-something years ago, he knew what he was doing. your body was a plan. every single detail from the top of your head to the tip of your toes was strategically and lovingly placed there. you were KNIT  together (psalm 139:13) you were not placed on an assembly line or just placed on earth. stitch by stitch, loop by loop, you were created delicately.  you were created delicately. you are a masterpiece. 

andi, may you come to terms with who you are and that your body, job, friends, status, location do not define you. may you live your life laughing and loving. may today be the day you stop hiding in shame and start frolicking in grace.  you were made to sparkle, shine, live life. you were created for a purpose; you are FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made.

love, andi
{originally publishedaApril 15, 2011}

This is part of the Choose Beauty Linkup — an ongoing series that focuses on topics related to beauty—what real beauty is, what makes us feel beautiful, how we pursue lasting beauty in our lives, the roots behind our body image issues, etc. Through our posts, we’ll share thoughts, experiences, inspirations, challenges and more with the hope of changing the voice about beauty that we’re hearing in our culture today. Join the conversation by hitting “click here to enter” below.

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