March 7, 2012

I feel pretty, oh so pretty

I’ll never forget the first time I saw the film West Side Story. I was around nine years old and my grandpa rented it for me during a weekend I was staying at his house. I think I watched it on repeat for the next 48 hours, dancing around singing along to every musical number, especially Maria’s famous song “I Feel Pretty.” I pretended to be the gorgeous Natalie Wood, swirling my skirts and stirring up gang warfare as a response to forbidden love.

natalie wood

That’s not really the point of this post, but feeling pretty is. When is the last time you felt pretty (or handsome, if you’d prefer)? Based on my observations and the things I overhear, very few of us ever feel truly good about ourselves, or at least our looks.

“I’m so ugly. I’m fat. I hate how I look. I’m the least photogenic person I know. I haven’t liked the way I look in 20 years. I don’t believe it when people compliment me.”

I’ve heard different people make each of these comments this week and it makes me so sad. Even sadder is the fact that they believe these things are true about themselves. If you’re reading this post to see what steps I will outline as the solution for this problem, I fear you’ll be disappointed. I don’t have a quick fix solution because there isn’t one.

We judge ourselves harshly in so many ways. We are often our own worst critics. At the end of the day, do we take stock of instances where we might have shared a kindness with someone or brightened his day? No, we hate ourselves for eating a piece of pie AND a slice of cake. We beat ourselves up for failing to accomplish every task on our never-ending lists. We think we aren’t good enough because our house/car/life isn’t as nice as the next guy’s. And we continue to believe the lie that we are not enough.

The only way to change this is to change our belief. In order to feel like you are a certain way, you must believe you are that way. I can’t tell you how to do this. I just know that it is possible. I love the Bible verse that says “For his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” (Luke :45). If our hearts are filled with love and compassion, it shouldn’t be too hard to speak compassionate, loving words about ourselves. {Funny, this still feels hard sometimes}.

heart speech bubble

How do you deal with this in your own life? Do feelings of being “good enough” plague you or is this something you’ve long ago figured out. I’m just curious to see where y’all are on this topic. If you have something to say, please leave a comment. If you’d rather chat privately, feel free (as always) to email me at southernbellesimpleblog AT

I’ll leave you with another favorite verse of mine, one that always helps give me some perspective on what I believe is really true about me (and you!). 

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; And my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13 & 14