For the majority of the 26 years of my life I struggled with my self-image which led to low self-esteem. Throughout high school I did everything I could to try to lose weight and be amongst my tiny-bodied friends. I didn’t achieve this goal in a healthy way; I decided to simply stop eating. The negativity brewing in my mind fed me thoughts of disgust towards my weight and a deep sorrow planted its roots within me about never being good enough or pretty enough.
After years of fighting this inner battle I came to learn the amazing creation I am and how perfectly I was created. It truly took me twenty-six years to start to love myself. Just earlier this year I was still struggling with my weight and the woman that stared back at me in the mirror. Over the past few months, I’ve focused on speaking kind words to myself and focusing on self-development so I can improve my thoughts, be a better and kinder woman for myself and then to share this journey with other woman who need to hear it.
Woman was created as the great crescendo at the end of creation. God had created land, animals and man but he still felt something was missing. It was then that He created Woman and entrusted us to be the ezer kenegdo to man. This Hebrew word cannot be translated directly but is similar to helper or help meet. This word is used 21 times in the Old Testament. It’s used twice to describe woman, 3 times to describe military assistance and 16 times to describe God. How remarkable is this! That the word used to describe God in a situation when a lifesaver is needed for Israel is the same word God himself uses to describe woman! This truly shows how God interprets a woman and her power and strength to help in this world; that she is meant for so much more than just being a woman – she is meant to be a lifesaver!
If the Great Creator has such a vision for every woman, how is it that we lose track of that vision so often? When I looked in the mirror in the past I saw a young woman that was never skinny enough. The harsh words and things I would tell myself I would never think about saying to anyone else but for some reason I thought it was okay to speak to the woman in the mirror that. I saw a woman full of pain that was deeply rooted in her past and the doubt and fear of beauty that she held within her.
Through changing my thought process and being more aware of my thoughts I have been able to change my perception of myself and actually develop a love for myself. This is something I know many women struggle with – self-love. When I look in the mirror today, I see a woman that cares about her health and lives in partnership with her body. I see a woman that eats well and works out because she knows that is the correct way to develop her body and not abuse it with diets and malnutrition.
Today I see a woman that, through many dark moments in her past, is now strong and has a pure understanding of just how important she is and that she has a purpose. I see how speaking kind words to myself about my body and actions impact me and I make a great effort to always speak positive words and remind myself of my strength and that I’m loved so deeply by those in my life and by God. I see a woman that knows she will always persevere and is never alone. I see myself as an ezer kenegdo; a name and strength so unique that only we women can possess it.
As difficult as it can be, when you look in the mirror, see yourself as the strength that got you to where you are today. Look and see that you are still standing; still surviving and living through each day. Start speaking kind words to yourself and be more aware of your thoughts and how they affect you. You are the crescendo of creation…when the symphony grows in sound; vibration getting louder and everyone then holds their breath awaiting that one last great note; that one last note of beauty so profound…realize that they’re holding their breath for you.