I hate the word "hate" ..... but I really hate having my picture taken. I thought becoming a photographer would be great. Free pictures. No. I still have to be in them, and still have to get someone that can kind of make me look like a normal person. I let my 10 year old son take pictures of me today for a head shot because I wanted to do this post. It took about 8,726 pictures, and here's what we got from it. Not at all what I would have shot, but this is how he sees me (plus a bit of Photoshop on my part ... see, can't even let go...)
Growing up I was in a lot of photos. I guess my parents thought I was cute? I was even in some print ads, movie previews, and more. It was fun at the time. But then I grew up. I realized who I was. Or, actually, who I thought I was. Was it really me, or what I believed was me?
Who am I?
Who are you?
My mom hated having her picture taken. Even to this day, I have no recent pictures with her. The last picture I can recall with my mom was back when I was a toddler. My mom is turning only 58 this year.
And, well, here's our last picture together.
So, what would an insane, crazy person do? Well, well ..... this .....
BOOM! I now have a picture with my mom. And, because of this, she will probably disown me.
In my life group class at church on Sunday, we talked about what gets passed down from generation to generation. Well, I believe picture taking is one. I was never told to not have my picture taken. I was never told I wasn't good enough. I was never told I am ugly. I was never told I am fat. So why don't I like to have my picture taken? I don't know. Why do I think that I am not good enough? That I am ugly? That I am fat? Could it be because that's what I saw growing up? Accolades, yet hatred of photos? And is it my fault, or can I blame it on genes?
Well, both. I could blame it.... IF I wanted to. But I have 4 kids. Do I want to pass this crap to them? Heck no. I teach my kids to love each other, as well as themselves. I teach them to be kind and love everyone, no matter their differences. I teach them to love themselves no matter what, because God has already made them perfect, the way He wanted.
But - monkey see monkey do. Right? If I talk bad about myself, and if I don't want pictures taken, what will my kids learn from that? We worry about our children, but are we passing on our issues to our children?
I need to embrace me.
You need to embrace you.
If we want this next generation to grow strong and confident, we need to love ourselves, so in turn, they can see to love themselves.
I implore you to stop.
Stop talking down to yourself. Stop hurting yourself. Stop thinking badly about yourself.
and .... START!
Start loving yourself. Start embracing yourself. Start being a light and an influence to your children. Start realizing that you have been made who you are for a reason. You were made perfect in His sight.
And as I type this, I am also talking to myself. I try so hard to not let my kids see these insecurities. I want to be strong. I want to be a role model. And, sadly, at the age of 34, I still want to feel pretty.
As I try to help myself, I want to challenge you to work on this with me. Get in the frame. Have pictures taken (NOT just selfies). Your kids see you as their parent. Their parent full of love. They don't see our imperfections.
And know this, when the Lord calls us home, none of this matters. Let's start learning to love so we have more time to live.
I am flying to Illinois the week. None of the above even matters the slightest. My grandpa's kidneys have shut down. He met with hospice today. I will be flying up there to say goodbye this week. He left me a message a few days ago telling me he loved me, and that he truly appreciated all of the letters and pictures that I have sent him. Friends, this. This is it. Nothing else matters. Get it right. Get it right with yourself. Get it right with your family. And get it right with Jesus.