Wednesday, December 16, 2009

No More Apologies

OK, so you got my angst-ridden teenage story in a nutshell last week. (Finally for the girls who have been patiently waiting for part II!) So where do we go from here?  If so many young women suffer silently, not knowing what to do about their inferiority problems and loathe to admit that they even have one, are so easily offended by those who would want to help them and yet badly want help, who do they turn to and what becomes of them?

I don't know about you, but every little girl I have ever known loves dressing up in her mommy's clothes, clunking around in her high heels, trying on her lipstick and pretending to be a beautiful lady.  Loving beauty and wanting to be feminine is programmed into each of us to one degree or another.  As we grow, people, circumstances, our own worries, fears and expectations shape our behavior and self-image.  That's what happened to me.  That little girl never left me, just got pushed into a corner and told to be quiet.

Breaking out of my old insecurities meant finally embracing the fact that if I felt I was a woman of value and beauty in my character, what was wrong with trying to let it show externally? I wasn't being irrational, superficial or unspiritual to love feminine things.  That I didn't need a practical reason why I should wear these cute heels, other than I thought they were cute.  And that I didn't have to apologize in front of my all-male family that I wanted to watch a romantic comedy, even if I knew the acting would be lousy.  Funny that even writing this makes me kind of squirm with embarrassment, but as I've said, I'm a work in progress...

But one thing I have witnessed in both myself and in so many other women, is that though we may resist and insist that we are perfectly happy with the way we are, that "this is me" and "I'm just not the feminine kind," we all want to look and feel better underneath the barriers we put up for ourselves.  If God created us this way, we only harm ourselves to ignore it.  From the girls who go wild with suggestive clothing and promiscuous behavior to the ones who, like me, wanted to blend into the scenery with a dull nondescript appearance, they all have the same insecurities inside. Every one wants to be loved for who she is and seen as lovely and feminine, both inside and out.  

Encouraging friends have helped me to bring out that stifled part of me, and has made so much of a difference.  Loving who you are is such a trite cliche, but there is no other way to put it.  Knowing how God made you and wired you as a woman is all a part of that.  Being surrounded with supportive women of God is key to all of this. That means loving suggestions, and loving criticism - laughter and the kind of compliments that only women know how to give.

I used to look around a room full of strangers and neurotically compare myself with the women I saw.  Now I very often see the familiar looks in the eyes of women who have the same insecurities I once had.  I want to tell them how beautiful they are and how they could have so much fun enjoying their beauty, but I dare not say a word, because I know how painful that subject can be.  Maybe they'll read this and start to see themselves through God's eyes.  I wish I had learned this a long time ago.  Better late than never!


Lily Torneros said...

Thank you for sharing this story, it is very helpful! The way you speak and present yourself makes you seem like such a stong and confident woman, it's hard to believe that you ever felt and went through all those insecurities. But to see how you overcame these insecurities and are still learning so much form them makes me admire you so much more. Thank you for sharing Mrs. Evelyn.

di_verma said...

Agreed ;0) thank you for letting us know your example. I am glad to be a woman, and I will enjoy being the woman God made me to be.

Interesting you mentioned the shoes ;0) There was a time that I even wore sloppy clothes, and I wanted everyone to see me as an activist, not so shallow. But I couldn't help but to notice other young ladies that dressed better. The truth is that by putting myself down, I wasn't helping anyone. The only way we can reach out to people is if they see in us something special, an inner sense of confidence and faith that overcomes it all.

Debora Anjos said...

So Thank God for having such great women of faith around me ;) -

Chris said...

I know you weren't fishing for a compliment, but just for the record I think, and have always thought, that you're gorgeous both inside and out. xxx

Evelyn Higginbotham said...

Thanks Chris! (Your check is in the mail!!)

Leeanne said...

I loved this story!!!
I think this story is going to help many youg girls going through the same insecurities!!!!
Thank's for sharing with us!!!

mbalenhle buhle radebe said...

thats so true, it make me wana cry, i was that girl and the truth is i was never happy, but i always seemed to utter the words; THIS IS ME!When really i just wanted to look good but afraid i would call attention. Wow 'feminin is good try it!'

Cindy said...

hello Mrs Evelyn,

Thanks for this nice post.

I am thankful to have our Big Sisters and Sisters and Pledges for being our source of encouragement. We are newbies but you love us. I'm thankful for Mrs. Ruth and Mrs. Delma even all the Pastors Wife and the future pledges here in Manila because they are being the means for us to grow, for us to learn.

Cindy from Manila

Alicia said...

thanks for this great story. We see this all the time but talking about insecurities isn't always the funnest topic.
thanks again!

Triana ! said...

Wow how strong and its true many peopl mostly women go threw this painfully and silently they go threw all this wow you show that we can over come because you did and its not inpossible.. thanyou