The Good, the Bad, and the Not So-Lovely
I think for as long as I can remember, there have always been parts of myself that I wish I could change. Somedays I wish I could be more extroverted, others I wish I wasn't so loud. Sometimes it's physical things that I want to have more control over, and other times it's my emotional or mental responses to life's ups and downs. Regardless of what 'aspect' of myself it is that I'm focusing on, I always manage to find some reason for why I fall short.
Especially when I compare myself to others.
For all the times that I've been too shy, I've found myself wishing I was more like my sociable, easy-going friends and family members. When struggling with an anxiety-inducing perfectionism at work, I find myself envious of the coworkers who seem to go through the work day relaxed. Nearly every flaw I think I have, there's usually someone in my life who seems to be the bright, shining opposite.
Maybe you've felt that way before too. Maybe you've also had days of looking at yourself in the mirror- internally and externally- and silently comparing yourself to others.
Perhaps it's a physical thing? 'So and So' is great at all sports and athletic activities and I feel winded from just the stairs.
Maybe it's emotional? 'So and So' seems so positive and chill all the time, while I'm struggling with anxiety and depression.
Or maybe you love yourself wholly and completely and this entire post is irrelevant (if so, then good for you- keep doing what you're doing!)
But for those who do struggle with their flaw(s), I'm hoping I can give some encouragement. Recently, I read something that changed my perspective on how I should view the parts of me I don't like or wish I could change.
Our flaws are just one side of our strengths.
Okay, yes, that sounds like an oxymoronic statement. Flaws usually are the parts of weakness in an otherwise strong object. And sure, if we give in to our flaws too much and allow them to consume us, it definitely becomes a problem. But think of flaws this way:
If you struggle with feeling like you're too introverted and quiet (me), consider the fact that you are probably an excellent listening ear and encouraging presence for your inner circle of friends. When you are with someone else, more likely than not, you give them 110% of your focus and make them feel loved and special. Now, you may not be throwing internet-breaking Gatsby parties or starting up conversations with strangers, but that's okay. Because that's just not your area of strength.
Or, for another example, perfectionism tendencies that fill you with stress and anxiety. When you take away its power of total control, what are you left with? A strong work ethic and a person who cares deeply about all of their tasks. Someone who an employer or coworker or friends can rely on and know that when they take on something, they give it their all.
These are only two examples but hopefully you get my point. Too often we all focus far too much on the flaws we see in ourselves by looking to others who have entirely different personalities and talents and compare what we see. Suddenly something we were blessed with becomes a curse because it doesn't seem as good as so and so's thing. But you weren't created to be just like so and so.
Every single person has been created specifically and carefully by God to be exactly who they are. All the strange quirks, talents and even 'flaws' were given to us to create the awesome person we are now. And I know how hard it can be to love yourself 100% when you can see the hidden parts of yourself that others don't even know about. But remember how loved and amazing you are.
There has never been and never will be someone like you again. Every part of you is perfect for who you are.