I suffer from a few insecurities; I mean, I think we all have them. There are things about us, from the level of intelligence to physical appearance that we are not so confident about. Mine, in particular, has to do with looks. I love food, and hence I’ve struggled with keeping weight off. It is as if with each passing year, I keep adding weight and refuse to workout because it doesn’t interest me. So my physical build is far from what people would call fit, or maybe even sexy. Then again, it could be all in my head, and it is not easy being vulnerable, but I also need this message.
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The reason why I have been insecure about the way I look, not my overall look, just some certain parts of my body, is because of the past hurts I’ve experienced in relationships. Some of the relationships I’ve been involved with, in the past, were verbally and emotionally abusive. And I’ve worn those insults, like a cloak all these years, that even when people compliment me, I sometimes doubt what they say, because it is not a language that I am used to.
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Because the abuse mostly came from men, when a possible relationship didn’t work out, I often attributed it to the way I looked, especially when they ran off with someone I thought was more attractive than I am. I was busy watching TLC the other day, and a woman had a physical condition, but her husband cared less about her physical appearance.
In fact she had the ailment before they got together and they had been married for 12 years, before filming the show. I was blown away by the way he appeared to love and care for her. In the midst of that, I started doing a lot of thinking about insecurities, why people have them and their connections with relationships, then I came to the realization (well by the wisdom of God), that it was because people really did not look to God for validation; we’d rather get that from our fellow humans. And when they projected what they felt about us, to us, (possibly out of their own insecurities) we often took their words as bible.
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”
From this passage of scripture, we can tell that we are not supposed to focus on our outward appearance alone, because that will pass away, it is what is on the inside of you that matters the most. When people get married, it is not their spouse’s looks, which keeps them together, but what they have on the inside of them. By watching the couple share their story, I knew it was nothing that had to do with physical appearance which kept them together; it was way more profound than that.
If you meet someone you are interested in, and you can’t carry out a meaningful conversation with them, in no time that friendship/relationship will fall apart because nothing is exciting about you, or you guys together. So you slowly drift apart, with you wondering what happened. That is why we should spend time developing what is on the inside of us.
Read books, travel, watch interesting things, which spark conversations in your mind, spend time with God, because He gives you His wisdom which makes you sound intelligent, even when you don’t know anything. Spend time with people who will challenge you to think differently. Our culture these days focuses on the outside, more than the inside. That is why girls spend a lot of money on cosmetic surgeries, just to look “better” and feel confident.
But there is no amount of surgeries, that can fix insecurities because they emerge from somewhere deeper. Even men, spend a lot of time acquiring material things, just so they can impress, impressionable women. But if you are looking for something that will stand the test of time, it will take more than your looks or what you can offer someone physically.
I am reminded of a story in the Bible, when Samuel went to anoint a king in the house of Jesse and as soon as he saw Eliab (David’s older brother); he thought he was the one! But God stopped him from anointing him saying—“do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature (guy was hot!), because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Now this will preach! Because we often as human beings are first attracted to what the person looks like on the outside, and when we discover that there is no substance within, it becomes difficult for us to let go, because of a whole lot of things, including insecurities like, who else would want me?
What Truly Matters
In a conversation with my cousin one day, I was trying to convince her about getting to know a guy, who happened to be Igbo, and she didn’t want any part in it, for reasons which included his strong Igbo accent. She asked me—Evi can you date a guy with that kind of accent? I was like yea!! I did in the past, not only did the guy have an Igbo accent, he spoke pidgin English all the time, which irked me in the beginning but I got used to it, as I got to know him better.
This guy was educated and very smart! And also works for one of the top engineering companies that there is. He was also a nice guy, who rarely got upset, and that was why I fell for him. His character trumped his looks and accent, for me, in that situation. A couple of days later, a friend of mine also asked me a similar question, she said—"would you laugh at me, if I dated a guy with an Igbo accent?" Where are these ladies meeting these Igbo guys by the way, so I can grab me one! (I kid). But anyway, I explained to her, that it was the heart that mattered the most, just as God pointed out in that passage of scripture.
It took years, maturity and diverse experiences for me to get to this mindset that I have today, there was a time when all it took for a guy to get me were his looks and if he had a job. (I was shallow back then I know); but once we got into the thick of things, there was no substance to hold us together. The relationship quickly became all about the physical, because we had to somehow make up for what we were missing intellectually, and when I did not please them physically, the way they wanted to be pleased, they went ahead to abuse me emotionally—“you will never be good enough.” Or verbally—“you are dumb!”
Of course, that did a number on my self-esteem, until I began my relationship with God, who slowly built me back up. But from time to time, those insecurities still show up, because hey, I’m human and my love for food won’t let me be great! (Haha) But I have to continually remind myself that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I am God’s masterpiece, and He took time out to create me, and I have so much more to offer someone, more than what I look like on the outside.
I am also reminded that I am not the only one in the world who suffers from such things; even people who I would even say are way prettier than I am, sometimes question the way they look, and I’m like girl! Are you crazy? Have you looked in the mirror lately? Wish you could trade eyes with me cause, there’s complexities in complexions, but your skin is glow (ing) like diamonds… no that was Beyoncé, but you catch my drift.
I think society has a part to play in this as well. We are often bombarded each day on social media, with images of what standards of beauty should look like, but the word of God begs to differ. It is what is on the inside of you that you spend time developing, which will shine brighter, even more than what you look like on the outside. That my dear makes you beautiful!
So when those insecure thoughts pop up, just give yourself a quick pep talk, reminding you about who your Daddy is, and who He created you to be, then put on Brown Skin Girl and jam to it, appreciate the way you look, and enjoy the life God has blessed you with! Ciao!
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What are some of the insecurities you have and what steps are you taking to work on them? Leave your comments below, also remember to like, share and subscribe, never to miss an update on Let’s Talk Nation.
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About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer, and content creator on Letstalknationblog.com. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform––Let’s Talk Nation––to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.