Several months ago I was asked to take pictures for a small group of women. Most of the day was spent doing what I love to do - telling their story through pictures. At the end of the day, they asked me to take a series of individual portraits to be used for their marketing bios. The result was an eye-opening experience for me and one that I haven't stopped thinking about. So, I feel the need to share with you.
I set up my strategic location away from the group and they made their way to me one-by-one. Most of the women I had met previously - at least in passing and you must know is that this is a group of women that are beautiful in EVERY way. Definitely on the inside - but to me - on the outside too. I spent a minute explaining that I have to get close because of the lens I had with me for the day and that I know it would be a little uncomfortable, BUT I promised to do my best to capture them...what came next was unbelievable...or perhaps too believable...
EVERY SINGLE LADY had negative self talk. Out loud. Talking them selves into taking photos. Trouble smiling. Awkward laughs. Sucking in stomachs. Asking if the double chin was showing. Asking if their arms looked fat. Could I see their mascara running. Did the smile look too fake. Did their hair look frizzy. Could I see the greys. Sweaty palms. Deep breaths. Hearts racing.
And so I began to think...OMG...this is ME! This is exactly what I do. The woman I see is so different than the woman every other person sees. But in this moment - who I see is the only one that matters. I wanted to (and tried to) offer comfort to each woman - but at most I was met with strong resistance...and I couldn't blame them...I would've (and have) done the same.
I left that day thinking about the experience and afterward delivered some amazing photos...and guess what? I don't think one person liked their individual portrait. Okay, maybe one...hahahaha...but this really got me thinking...and so, I began the project to #lovemyselfmoretodaythanyesterday. I have forced myself to take and share a selfie on most days (day 42 posted today) and it has been quite a journey.
I believe selfies are usually for people who enjoy looking at themselves or who are begging for others to comment on how they look - well, neither of these are my truth. In fact, I prefer to hide. I don't even want to see myself. Most days, I actually even try to avoid mirrors. Over the past 42 days, I have really searched for that woman everyone else sees. I'm trying to see her. I can honestly say that there are photos I've taken that I wonder "WHO IS THAT" because I didn't know I looked like that. So, I will continue FORCING myself to take my own pictures and #loveMYSELFmoretodaythanyesterday
So, what do I want you to learn from all of this. I want you to LOVE YOURSELF. Each day, I want you to look at yourself with the love I have for you and even more...I want you to see you through the eyes of your maker. I want you to know and believe that you are a Masterpiece. You are perfect. You are His creation. You are made in His image. You are beautiful. You are LOVE. You are YOU!