By Teri Worten
Are you an African American woman? You're beautiful.
Are you a Latina woman? You're beautiful.
Are you a Asian woman? You're beautiful.
Are you a big woman? You're gorgeous.
Are you a small woman? You're gorgeous.
Are you a woman? You're beautiful. Be yourself.
In today's world of the perfect size and the perfect hair and high fashion, it can be difficult to accept yourself and take pride in the beautifully unique creation you are. However, as single moms, or even single women (or for even married women!), there may not always be "someone" around you to remind you how lovely, talented, beautiful and elegant you really are!
Realistically, legitimate self esteem generates from within a person and has very little to do with the exterior or "outside" world.
That means that a woman could have a loving mate that lavishes her with gifts and compliments and still have a low self image. We have to learn to esteem ourselves by learning to love ourselves for who we are and regularly expressing that affection. There are several ways to embrace and love yourself, one is to enjoy being alone. There are so many women who consistently need people around them. They never learned the quiet confidence of just being alone without being lonely. I've even stretched myself to enjoy an afternoon movie with just me not feeling alone, or that someone is "missing"- just enjoying some time with myself.
Another way to enjoy you is to eliminate the unconstructive self talk. For instance, when you make a mistake or blunder, don't come back with a self-defeating comment.
"I can't seem to do anything right!"
These statements work to deplete our self image and they do so gradually. Instead, be patient with yourself or as I heard a minister say today, "be gentle with yourself". As a substitute, reaffirm that you are indeed human and you are improving every day. The next time you make a error, try to say something like:
"That's an ooops" (then smile, mistakes aren't fatal!)
"Next time I'll do that differently."
"Look out folks, humanity shining through."
I have heard that the best way for the brain to eliminate a thought or process is to replace the"wrong" thought with a positive or preferred one. So, begin to retrain your thinking in the direction of encouraging and optimistic viewpoints.
Likewise, begin to notice and be aware of your beauty. As a replacement for of looking into the mirror and noticing only the wrinkles under your eyes think to yourself how pretty your eyes are. Tell yourself you are "all that and a bag of chips" and that any man would be blessed to be able to share a lifetime with you! Tell yourself that until you believe it!
Remind yourself that you are God's unique, lovely daughter and that you have a dazzling future, with an awesome destiny. Remind yourself that nothing can hold you back or keep you from succeeding. You've survived so much! You've made it this far in your journey just so you can look back and praise God and yourself for making it! (In the proper perspective, that's not pride.) You know, a weaker woman would have caved under the pressure you've endured, but not beautiful, wonderful you! You're strong. You're a survivor and you need to remind yourself often!
Again, self esteem is about self. What you perceive yourself to be. If you think little of yourself, others will too. Even worse, your children will begin to see your negative self image and begin to manifest it in their own lives. You don't want that.
So, go for ityou're allowed to love yourself as God loves you. And you know what else? You might even find someone else that wants to love ya too!
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