Typically, a softcover on a book is soft, bendable, and flexible, but is more susceptible to harm versus a hardcover. I feel God has designed us women with softcover hearts, which is why I chose this name for my blog. We are designed to be understanding, comforting, caregiving, emotional (can I get a witness?!), but also, our hearts are sensitive! Our sensitive hearts help us to better love on people, which is a blessing, but can be a brutal thing to put up with, especially in our time. This world is putting serious pressure on us women day in and day out. We try to cope with our own personal battles as though we have hardcover hearts, which leads to us burying a lot of our feelings/ emotions, which ends up effecting our demeanors to the extreme. Even though we tend to bury our issues deep down, it doesn’t change the fact that we ARE hurt and we ARE insecure and we DO have struggles. If anything, the deeper we plant these issues within ourselves, the more they will become engraved into who we are. Something that I’m currently working on is facing the baggage that I’ve gathered when I tried to hardcover-heart my past issues.
For me, my big battle has always been dealing with my image. It’s the little everyday things that I would bottle up over time – hot models on magazines, degrading music on the radio, superhero movie trailers, Facebook adds, sexy music artists/celebrities… you get it. We are constantly surrounded by this intense pressure to meet a certain status quo – p e r f e c t i o n.
So, how do we live with this?
As an anorexic survivor, something that literally was the determining factor between life and death for me was how I changed my outlook on things. Think about it – we are being pressured to be perfect, which is IMPOSSIBLE! Let that sink in! We are beating ourselves up over the fact that we can’t have flawless, perfect bodies. This is a totally unrealistic burden we are allowing ourselves to carry. Take a look at this vid, and you’ll understand more of what I mean:
I think one of the most important decisions a woman can ever make is deciding to love herself. In Mark 12:31, it states for us to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” OUCH! If I’m criticizing myself to the point that I can’t even look at myself in the mirror without getting angry, how can I effectively love my neighbor?! This is our calling, and for us to answer the calling, we have got to come to terms with the idea of loving ourselves!
I cannot write on here that I love every little thing about myself, because that would be a lie. BUT, I’ve had to figure out what makes me feel better about myself so I can actually cope with living in this crazy world, as well as being able to better love my neighbor. Here are some of the things that have helped me personally:
- Recognizing the perfection that I see on magazines is actually F A K E.
- Realizing that even though those models are making me feel insecure in my skin, they are broken people, and have their own battles that they’re dealing with. They are probably just as insecure as I am.
- Exercising. No, I don’t obsess over this and I don’t have time to workout 3 hours every single day. But, I bike/run 3-4 days a week, and it makes me feel better because I know that I’m doing what I can in the midst of my crazy schedule to be healthy.
- Choosing a part of my body that I feel confident in. For me, that would be my crazy thick head of hair. I get a kick out of the fact that every time I walk into a salon I get this response, “OH MY GOSH YOU HAVE THE THICKEST HAIR! I’VE NEVER FELT HAIR THIS THICK!” It makes me giggle, but it’s a curse in the summertime. ;P
- Choosing to still eat my comfort food, but not overdoing it. I used to absolutely love pizza, but I would never allow myself to eat it during my anorexic days. I would only eat it when I was forced to, which ended up only being three times over the span of three years of my life. Now whenever I eat pizza, it makes me happy, because I know that I’m recovered and I can eat it without feeling guilty. That doesn’t mean I stuff my face with it, but when I’m going on a pizza date, I’m grabbing that pepperoni goodness!
- Lastly, and most importantly, I’ve had to work to keep my focus on God’s calling for me, not the world’s calling for me. God’s calling for me is to love my neighbor as myself, not to achieve a perfect bod.
What may help you to love yourself might look a lot different than what I’ve had to do for me to love myself, but I hope this gives you an idea of where you might want to start. Whether your issue is depression, anger, or insecurities, I’d encourage you to come up with at LEAST six ideas on how to love yourself more. Then, put them into practice – Honestly, it helps, and God requires it from us.
Embrace your softcover heart and the body that protects it ❤