Fun House Mirrors: Is that Really Me I See? The Battle of Low Self Esteem
Low self-esteem is a very real and a very serious issue I know all too well. Looking in the mirror and feeling inadequate is more than just an external feeling, it’s a feeling that starts internally and begins to manifest itself outwardly. When looking in the mirror, it gives you the same distorted view of yourself like looking in the mirrors at a fun house. The cause of low self-esteem may be different for everyone. For some it’s because perhaps they grew up poor and didn’t have all the latest and most trendy clothes as their peers, perhaps you were overweight and the other kids made fun of you, maybe you were bi-racial and you had trouble being accepted by either race, or perhaps you may have been raised in the church and the other kids referred to you as a church kid so they isolated you. In my case I grew up extremely thin and taller than most of the other girls my age so I was referred to as Olive Oil. I was often told I wasn’t as pretty as my older cousins. Being extremely thin and being a “church kid” I didn’t fit in with most of my classmates.
For years I was able to hide my feelings of inadequacies but at some point the band-aid falls off and we are forced to deal with the issues at hand. As an adult my issues of low self-esteem changed from being really thin to being overweight. I quickly learned to camouflage my extra body. But it still didn’t help me feel better about myself. Many people find it hard to believe I suffered for many years with low self-esteem. The response is always the same: you? Why you’re beautiful. But having low self-esteem is not about how you look on the outside it’s all about how you perceive yourself on the inside. I was playing Candy Crush and the Holy Spirit gave me an unction to write about this topic. In writing this blog it is my prayer people will understand some of the behaviors of low self-esteem and be delivered and set free in Jesus name. These behaviors can be extremely dangerous if left unchecked. My purpose is to help others experience the peace I felt when I learned to love myself and became comfortable in my own skin. Just as God was able to help me overcome God is able to help you overcome! Let’s take a look at some common issues with low self-esteem.
Low self-esteem causes us: 1. To always need the validation of others to thrive. We believe by having the approval of others it means that we are important and valuable but because we don’t really believe that about ourselves the feeling is only temporary. The need to become validated has the same effect as a drug addict constantly chasing a high. We will never have the complete satisfaction we’re looking for until we believe within ourselves we are as great as people say we are. 2. Have a series of broken relationships. Because we have not yet learned to love who we are we tend to bounce from one destructive and unhealthy relationship to another. We tend to lean towards those that usually don’t respect us and they are usually someone who is dependent in some way. Our thoughts are by being an enabler that shows we are needed and again give us a temporary feeling of satisfaction. We have put them in a position of dependency so our thoughts are they will never leave. 3. Confusing sex with love. Because someone has sex with you doesn’t mean he/she loves you. In the moment it may feel great and he/she may be telling you all the things you need to hear. But when it’s over you’re back to the same feeling of brokenness and emptiness. Often times in these relationships we settle for just being the bedroom buddy. We feel like a piece every now and then is better than none at all. 4. Settling. Ladies I will address this to you. Because we have such a poor view of ourselves we are willing to settle for a man that really only needs you to cover up his alternative lifestyle. And because you feel like you don’t deserve better you settle for being nothing more than his roommate and occasional arm candy. Or you settle for a physically or verbally abusive relationship just to say you have a man and you’re not alone. But being in a relationship with a person that has no respect for you and doesn’t love you for you has the same affect as being alone. Men: you will often settle for a woman that you know is only using you for what you can provide to her. You will settle for her mistreatment, disrespect, & demand for more because you feel as if you don’t deserve better. She strokes your ego long enough to get what she wants and as soon as she has gotten all she can get from you she’s on the next sucker. 5. Teach our children to have poor self-image and the constant need to seek validation. Our children imitate the behaviors they see. If they see us always needing to please others, obsessing about our appearance, needing others to tell us how great we are our children will do the same thing. (Especially our daughters). Whether we thin our kids are watching they are. They may not vocalize what they see but their behaviors will demonstrate it. 6. Women: We tend to have unnatural relationships with our sons. We begin to put them in the place of the man we wish we had so rather than treating him as a son we begin to treat him as a mate. This one is especially dangerous because if it is allowed to fester it could lead to incest. It is important to understand your role as a mother vs. your desire and your need to be loved by a man. 7. Depression. The constant feeling of rejection may cause isolation and self-pity. It will cause you to feel you are better of dead than alive. It will cause you to believe no one loves you and no one would miss you. This is a lie from the pit of hell! Know that you are loved and loved very much! You are loved so much God sent his only son to die on your behalf (John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” 8. Belittling others. We will often lash out at others & belittle others to make ourselves look better than them. By tearing down others it gives us a momentary satisfaction that we are better than our target. But again this tactic has a short lived satisfaction. Again we chase a high by finding another target. 9. Clingy and needy. The constant need for validation requires an entourage of yes man. People that will always be yes man. Our personal cheerleaders if you will.
10. Manipulation. Playing on the emotions of others to get our way. It provides a false sense of being important even though what was just done is classified per the bible as witchcraft. These are just a few examples. There are a lot more. One of the ways we can combat feelings of low self-esteem, insecurity, and poor body image is to understand and know what the word of God says about you.
Psalms 139:14 “I will praise You, for I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE, MARVELOUS ARE YOUR WORKS, and that my soul knows very well.” Understand God created us all to look different, speak different, and we have different personalities. He created us to be individuals. Once we understand he created us all a designer original we won’t obsess about being a carbon copy of someone else. He created you to be you! Learn to love yourself! Once you have mastered loving you, you will master loving others, you will master allowing others to genuinely love you without any strings or gimmicks attached.
If you are someone that struggles with low self-esteem you can be free in Jesus name! Dear God my father I pray for every person reading this blog battling low self-esteem. From this day forward let their lives never be the same! I declare and proclaim they will be free from every mental defect that causes them to believe they are not fearfully and wonderfully made. I declare and proclaim they be free from every thought of not being valuable or effective! You have created them with a purpose and for a purpose. Let the mind of Christ be with them and compel them to walk in their destiny and their purpose. I come against all thoughts of suicide and depression that would try to over take them! I come against every generational curse of dysfunction, low self esteem, thinking of doubt and unbelief, fear, inadequateness, feelings of despair and not being loved. We speak peace and your love be in their hearts and minds. I declare they will live out their destiny! I declare your presence be with them in such a way all they see is you every time they look in the mirror!
Mirror confession: I am fearfully and wonderfully made! God I am who you say I am! No more living each day seeking the validation from others. But I am validated because you validated me. I will not live my life by man’s opinion of me but I will live my life by your word. I am created in your image and in your likeness and I will live my life as such. You have created me with a purpose and I will be effective and active in pursuing my purpose. God you sent your son to die for me and he nailed all of my imperfections and flaws to his cross. I give those flaws to you. I walk in your will and your plan for my life. I am fearfully and wonderfully made!
I pray this blog helps you overcome low self-esteem. If God could help me over come he can help you too! Be blessed, be encouraged & keep pressing! Love you Miss Sherell xoxoxoxo