Yeah, growing up I was called all that and more. Why? Because I was a bit chubbier than the other kids. I look back at pictures of myself and think, “I wasn’t fat. How could children hurl such ghastly names at me?”
But they were kids, not that this is an excuse, but many of them grew up to be well-adjusted adults. “Kids will be kids,” they say. Yeah, I guess.
I’m not one of those people who walk around whining about crap that happened when I was a child. However, I’m quick to admit, those insults formed a negative self-opinion as an adult.
Self-loathing is an awful, repulsive burden to bear, yet so many of us wear that mantle every day. Oh, we don a smile and are quick to laugh, but if some of us were to be truly, 100% honest, we’d tell you what we REALLY think of ourselves:
That’s funny, because I don’t think you’re ugly at all. I think you’re beautiful.
“You don’t even know me, man.”
True, but God does, and He created you exactly as you are. He made you, and below I offer one writer’s discoveries about God’s never-ending love for us:
“You even formed every bone in my body when you created me in the secret place, carefully, skillfully shaping me from nothing to something. You saw who you created me to be before I became me! Before I’d ever seen the light of day, the number of days you planned for me were already recorded in your book. Every single moment you are thinking of me! When I awake each morning, you’re still with me. (from Psalm 139, emphasis mine)”
That being said, however, I still struggle with the old self-loathing thing. Here’s a poem I wrote a few years ago, once more displaying my heart on my sleeve:
“God, I Hate That Man”
By Rob Weddle
God, I HATE that man in the mirror
And self-hatred breeds when the image gets clearer
Bloated, gray and balding, skin sags
Stretch marks, bent back, scars and eye bags
A picture that sits on my desk at work
It’s me at 19 with an arrogant smirk
Standing by one who would be my wife
The joy of my heart; the love of my life
But the kid in the picture (the one with the smile)
What lessons in store, what a long, grueling mile
Swelling with anger, depression and pride
Thank GOD for the young woman there by his side!
The mirror was kinder in my younger years
But the man I see now is less driven by fears
The one staring back at me has a great life
Two wonderful children; a fantastic wife
God help me not hate the man in the mirror
And may I accept him as Heaven draws nearer
For this man’s more simple to love by a mile
Than the kid in the picture…the one with the smile
The man I am now has faith like a rock
And finds simple laughter in my daily walk
Kinder and funnier, with anger at bay
Braving life’s trials like a prep school ballet
God, you love them the same, I know
But I love You more every day as I grow
So I promise I’ll try to love me like you do
And let love and laughter skew my worldview
Love and laughter…
THAT’S the order of the day, brothers and sisters.
I mentioned “the young woman there by my side.” That’s Laura. We met in 1985, were married in 1987 and are still going strong. Love is a beautiful thing, and when I look into her face, as well as the faces of my children and grandchildren, I know I’m blessed, and YES, maybe even a beautiful spirit.
You are, as well.
No, you’re not ugly at all.
You’re beautiful, just as you are.
“Let your true beauty come from your inner personality, not a focus on the external. For lasting beauty comes from a gentle and peaceful spirit, which is precious in God’s sight and is much more important than the outward adornment of elaborate hair, jewelry, and fine clothes (I Peter 3:3-4)”