Self-Esteem Week Year 2 : Eliana



*Disclaimer: The content you are about to read is in no way meant to evoke pity or other emotions of that sort.  It is the hope of the author that the content will be a help to those who need encouragement.*
            To be honest, this self-esteem post is pretty hard for me to write.  The only way I know how to truly be a help is to be honest about my struggle with self-esteem.  I know there are people out there who have never had a bout with it, and to those people, God bless you.  However, I know what it is like to constantly battle with feeling substandard.  In fact, I am still in the process of healing.
            As I begin my post of encouragement, I will give a brief history of my struggle. When I was in my preteen years, I was awkward looking.  I was chunky with big feet, long fingers, and buck teeth.  To make a long story shorter, I was(am) highly critical of myself and that got me into trouble when I was in high school.  I constantly compared myself to others, thought they had it way easier in life because they were prettier so they were able to make friends, be more included and so forth.  It was during this time that I was close to a girl who was not a good influence and who I wanted to be like. She was skinny, bubbly, pretty, guys always liked her, and people were always around her.  This is when I thought skinny equaled pretty.  So, I barely ate and I tried to get as skinny as I could be.  Think this indicates problems with self-esteem, confidence, and self-image?  You are right.  During this time, I was doing great in school and involved in church. But inside, I was miserable and going through a dark time in my life.  When you are not comfortable with who you are and what you look like, it is hard to get along with others because you think they think horrible things about you but it is really your own mind that is messed up.  It was also around this time that I was always being talked to by authorities in my life because people would say I was snobby.  However, to me, I was not snobby.  I was shy and did not know how to conduct myself around people because I did not like myself so I figured they would not like me either.  Anyways, this all accumulated into nights where I would go to sleep on a wet pillow and a heart torn into pieces.  I did not know how to cure what I had done to my own self.
            This is only part of my story and most people, except my family, do not know about these intense struggles.  A word of advice-many of us do not know what people are going through just by looking at them and seeing them interact with others.  Some people that struggle have the ability to look okay on the outside but be in the midst of a tsunami in the inside.  I know because I am one of those people.  Now the point of this post is to help and encourage those who have these struggles.  The way I got through this storm in my life is PRAYER, the relationship with my parents, and those who cared about me.  Let me tell you, it is so very important to pay attention to the people you surround yourself with.  That is a major component of how you look at yourself.  We get our self-image from the mirror, ourselves, family, peer group, and most importantly, God’s Word. 

            One major area I would like to address that I feel most girls struggle with when their dealing with self-esteem is style.  For the Pentecostal girls still in middle and high school, I have seen the difficulty they have looking like a Pentecostal and being comfortable in their own skin.  The styles of this world are gross to put it nicely.  Do not be embarrassed or feel awkward when people stare at you and look you up and down because you are actually wearing clothes that cover you.  Just because girls who wear styles that are not modest walk around like they think they are something does not mean they have self-esteem.  Because they all look alike and do not have their own personal modesty and wear heels that are higher than their moral standards does not mean they have self-esteem.  Dressing modestly, being a godly lady whole heartedly exhibits self-esteem.  Continuing and practicing this increases your confidence in which God created you to be.  If you struggle with self-esteem, like I did, you must also increase your self-regard.  We all know about the armor of God that is written about in Ephesians 6.  As a woman, apply the armor of God to guard what you look at, what you are drawn to, and what styles are being promoted to you.  Style and fashion are areas that have been major influencers not only in the world but in the church.  What do your clothes say about you?   In my opinion, what a woman wears clearly dictates what she stands for, what she wants to look like, appear to be, wants to affiliate herself with, and how highly she thinks of herself.  1 Peter 3:3-6 tells us that our beauty should come from “…your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”  Who are we trying to please anyways? Each other?  No, we are supposed to be pleasing God.  On a side note, when I had low self-esteem and would attend conferences, I would very much feel like the ugly duckling when I saw all the girls dressed up and had their hair done all fancy.  I am a bun girl who is satisfied with a few curls here and there and does not dress to the nines.  However, I have decided that as long as I am comfortable, am clean and look as nice as I possibly can, nothing else matters because I am trying to please God alone.  It cracks me up to see girls sneakily trying to check each other out trying to see what they are wearing, etc.  So, anyways, to increase your self-esteem, try walking with your back straight, head held high, and confident in who God created you to be! A modest skirt, below elbow sleeves, modest necklines, modest shoes, and long hair is style.  That is self-esteem.  That is showing people just by how you dress and conduct yourself what you think about you and what you think about the God you serve and created you.  Modesty shows that you are not intending to draw attention to yourself but to who you are on the inside which is what attracts other people and God.  Inward attitudes, I believe, express themselves physically. 
            As I mentioned before, friends are an important aspect of self-esteem.  Be careful about who you call a friend.  I had to learn the hard way.  Ask God to bless you with the right friends who are like-minded and who will draw you closer to Him.  Show yourself friendly.  I went through many trials, tests, and times when I felt like I was all alone.  I cannot tell you how thankful and grateful I am for the friends God has blessed me with.  They have helped me in so many ways and one of them being my self-esteem.  Surround yourself with good people.
            One more major topic I want to address when discussing self-esteem is…guys.  Why is it that being pretty and attracting the opposite sex are the two biggest plagues of the female species??  Believe me, I am still trying to follow my own “preaching.”  Place your heart in the hands of God and He will place it in the hands of a man who deserves it.  Pray for a man who will draw you closer to God and who loves God more than anything.  If you do not love yourself, how can you expect the only person on earth who will know you the most intimately (besides your mom and dad) to love you?  What do you think God thinks, the one who created your every fiber, when he sees you degrade yourself and think negatively?  It is like when you give someone a gift you especially picked for them and think they would love it and when they see it they throw it on the ground, trample it, spit on it, roll it in mud and water all in front of you.  God made you for a purpose.  He created you with someone in mind who will love every part of you.  He gave you the gift of life to use it for Him, not to worry about what you look like and if you will get married.
            The pain and struggles I have gone through with self-esteem is kind of sad because they are all self-inflicted wounds, scars I have given myself.  Everything I have written in this post is to help you not do what I did.  If you do not like what you see on the outside, close your eyes and try to see from your heart.  Guard your heart.  Make sure your heart is clean.  Prayer works wonders.  Drawing close to God works.  Excel at developing who God made you to be instead of trying to compete with others or wanting to be what you perceive someone else to be.  We all have our own struggles.  Be yourself in God.  One of my favorite verses for self-esteem is Psalm 139:13-17, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you being I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  How precious to me are your thoughts, God!”  You are custom made by God.  How neat is that!  As you increase your self-esteem, remember that your goal is to be counted worthy.d
-Eliana Tarazon

5 comments

  1. My beautiful Peep! I cannot remember a time when you were "chunky with big feet and buck teeth." The little girl who loved to show me her new shoes has grown into a beautiful lady of God. Thank you for sharing your heart. Love you!

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  2. Peep! Oh, I remember :) Thank you for being such a great influence in my life, and a great example to me. I'm so glad I showed you my shoes when I was little...bonded us forever :D Love you too!

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  3. You are going to help many people with this post! Very good!

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  4. Great self-esteem post. I love my bunny! ;)

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  5. Sister Kendrick, thank you. I hope it does...there is hope when you serve a God as great as the one we do!

    Bunny, love you back! :)

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