I’m not very good at receiving compliments. I’ve never been good it. If you were to compliment me, you’re likely to hear a quieted, murmur something like, “uhh…yah thanks…” If you were to ask me about my identity or self-image, you’re likely to hear some evasive, nondescript version of, “I guess I’m pretty.” or “I think I’m healthy?“
It’s a fairly skewed perspective.
I can’t trust my own perspective of myself though. I’d be nuts to believe everything I thought in the uncertainty of my heart. My daily emotions would leave me unhappy, broken and just plain confused.
Instead of leaving my identity up to myself, I have to rely on something or someone else (this is where the compliments kick in). I can get a self-esteem boost from hearing a fantastic compliment about my style or my hair or my personality. It honestly feels great…until you don’t hear those compliments often. Then this happens: “Oh, no one has complimented me or told me how great I am, so I’m unsure of who I truly am.” The compliments fail.
(Photo by Ty Carlson)
So, take out the compliments and where is your self-esteem at?
Let’s check the mirror. Depending how we look and feel, a mirror can be a nice judge or a terrible one. Recently, I discovered my cracked mirror that was resurrected several months ago, has been reflecting a cracked image of me. Literally. After months of checking the mirror casually, glancing at my outfits, deciding which colors look best together, I find out the broken parts have affected the rest of the mirror. This so-called “reflection of me” has been tacking on a few extra inches to my width! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I pushed the glass back together and saw a body different than what I was used to seeing.
If I can’t count on compliments and can’t count on mirrors to tell me who I am, where will I turn to?
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.” Ephesians 2:10
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God.” 1 John 3:1
“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” Song of Songs 4:7
Turn to the truth of who you are, not what this world or your mirrors or your friends are telling you. We are so much more than our own opinions.