I have a friend, Stephanie, whose outer beauty is always on point and whose inner beauty is even more on point. She’s the kind of girl whom you can tell all the guys love. Why wouldn’t they? She’s beautiful, kind, smart, and funny! If you pay attention, you’ll find that most girls like this are surprisingly insecure just like us “normal” girls. (there’s no such thing as normal. We’re all beautiful and we all face our own insecurities.) Stephanie is one of those girls who builds up a wall, but does a really good job of pretending it doesn’t exist. in fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve been that girl,i probably wouldn’t know she’s built that wall. Because I’ve made it a point to look for “the wall” after finally breaking down my own, I’ve had the sneaking suspicion that she was hiding behind a wall since I met her. You know those girls in teen movies with tattoos and piercings who have tough exteriors, but end up being the most loving and deepest characters in the whole story? That’s who Stephanie is. She’s got tattoos and had piercings with long dark hair and dark clothes with a wall around her. Behind the wall though, a wall she’ll slowly start to take down if you show her that you care, is a broken girl whose seen so much negativity in this world that she finds it hard to hold onto the one thing we all need–hope!
The biggest obstacle keeping her from hoping is herself and her insecurities. From the little things she has done and said during the conversations we’ve had I’ve assumed her walls were built more from insecurities than anything else, much like the walls I had built up around myself, but I was surprised nonetheless when she unexpectedly send me a long (for her) text message about it. I was even more surprised when she asked me what I thought she should do about it. At the time, I did answer her question, but because I was caught off guard and also distracted (waiting for a dentist’s appointment) I didn’t really answer the way I would have liked to answer. Now that I have time to think and because it goes well with what I write for this blog, I’d like to answer now.
Part of her question was, “Do you think I should fix myself?” No, I don’t think you should fix yourself! There’s nothing to fix! However, I do think you should redirect your focus. Insecurities are the result of negatively focusing on weaknesses and things you can’t change. If you want to “fix” yourself, make it a practice to say something positive about yourself and try focusing on the things about yourself that you do like. Also, think of the positive counterpart of your negative thoughts. when I was at the depths of my worst insecurities, I focused on my hair and the color of my eyes, because they were the only things I never hated. I started to wear a lot of pink (which is why I wear so much now–I’ve just gotten used to it), because people had always complimented me the rare times I had worn pink before. On a deeper level, I realized that one of my biggest strengths was being a loyal and caring friend and it was because I knew how it felt to feel alone and broken, so I decided to focus on other people. I started to watch people’s body language, I listened to their voices, and read their eyes–eyes really are the window to the soul.
I could tell you what I think your strengths are, and I will if I ask, but in order to overcome your insecurities, you need find what you think your strengths are for yourself and focus on them. When looking for your strengths, you will likely need to give some things up and it will be painful, but after a while, it’ll also be worth it. I’m a hopeless romantic, but my biggest insecurity was being single when it seemed none of my friends were, so there was a stretch of time when I just had to stop thinking of romantic movies, and reading romantic books. I even had to force myself not to want a boyfriend for a while. Now I’m still single, but I’m okay with it. I listen to love songs, watch movies, and read books. I can even laugh and make jokes about being “forever alone,” because I don’t think it’s true, but even if it were, I’d be okay with it. I didn’t fix myself, I found myself. You don’t need to fix yourself, you need to find yourself.
I wanted this to be a blog post because every girl needs to know she doesn’t to be fixed, she just needs to be found. She needs someone who sees her for who she really is and not for who she pretends to be. She also needs to love herself for who she is and can be instead of hating herself for who she might have used to be and who she’s not. And here’s the thing, there isn’t ever really an “old me/you,” there’s only me and you and life brings out the sides of us we haven’t really known before. Who we are no is’t “new;” who we are now is renewed.
P.S. Nobody’s perfect!