12 December 2012

The laughter of the world is merely loneliness pathetically trying to reassure itself. -Neal A. Maxwell

Self-confidence is a funny thing. It's ironic the whole phrase is aimed directly at self-confidence, yet we are so quick to discover our confidence through what other people may think. Self-confidence. Definition? Assurance: freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities...

If self-confidence is something we need to develop ourselves for ourselves, why are we so completely adamant to let others define it for us? Self-confidence isn't what we feel about ourselves, but how others feel about us, and we let them have that power; we let them make that decision. 

This isn't to say all people rely solely and directly on others opinions. Some rely on the face they see in the mirror, or the number they see on their scale, or the clothes they see in their closet. Others rely on their feelings of loneliness throughout childhood, or the mean words of a girl in high school, or the kind of love they have received in the past. For whatever reason, we have come to believe that our past determines who we are, the love we have received is the love we deserve, and the imperfections in ourselves, ultimately determine who we are. If these things my dear friends, are what define us, the way we feel about ourselves will destroy us.

For myself, as a twenty one year old girl, I have flirted with each of those sources in hopes of validation. I too, have betrayed myself, only to appease another's opinion. Why do I do that?

Lately - I have come to realize more so than ever - that no matter who I'm looking at in the mirror, it will only be that; a reflection of my exterior. I might be having a great hair day, and I might have a super cute shirt on, but I will never be able to satisfy the worlds high expectations, and once you let go of that feeling of desperation to do so, you will be exalted. Once your only sense of security comes from what your Heavenly Father and Savior think of you, which in return, results in how you feel about yourself, you will be freed, in every sense of the word.  When I get on my knees and talk to my Heavenly Father, that is when I catch a glimpse of myself, and not as an imperfect, mortal twenty one year old girl, but as an eternal being and daughter of God.

I absolutely believe we should take care of ourselves on the outside, the best possible way we know how. In fact, I believe in large part that is something that makes womanhood so wonderful, but do not let it consume you, do not let it take over, and do not let it take precedence of what really matters. I, from personal experience, have discovered buying a church literature book instead of an extra pair of shoes, has brought me more comfort. I have found that the extra ten minutes spent in front of the mirror every morning, is much more rewarding if I pull my scriptures out instead. If I come across a girl who isn't quite 'up to par' with Hollywood's ideas, I have found that if I look inside her eyes and see her light, I walk away much better than I would if I were to point my finger, and thoughtlessly say something insensitive and certainly not Christlike. Girls can be so ruthless.

To live in the world but not of the world... right? It is easier said than done, but if that is our goal, if we truly desire to live that way, we will receive the help we need, and certainly, it would help us to develop the self-confidence we so often wish we had. The Lord works from the inside out is a true sentiment, and I have come to deeply love and appreciate those words. What if we each believed that? Well, I can only imagine it would be a much prettier place to live.