On Wednesday of this week my boyfriend and I spent the day at a water park. I LOVE water slides (seriously, I'm like a 5-year-old when it comes to water parks!), and my boyfriend hadn't been to this park before (or any amusement/water park in many years), so we took advantage of a day he had off work to go.
It was a lot of fun and we both had a great time! But I noticed something throughout the day. My insecurities rose to the surface big time.
Walking around in a bathing suit all day, surrounded by everyone else in bathing suits, is enough to make most people compare their bodies to others.' In fact, even my boyfriend, when walking out of the changing room at the start of the day said he hoped he wasn't the only pale, hairy guy there! (Fyi... he's not that hairy... though he is on the pale side). ;)
As a woman, I found myself constantly looking at other women and comparing myself. She has a flatter stomach. She has a cuter body. She has bigger boobs. Whatever. Some women, I determined, I liked my body more than theirs... and others, I wish I had certain attributes of theirs over mine.
Why am I so focused on outward appearance??? This was the real question that came to mind as I noticed my thoughts that day.
As I kept my mental score card of "whose body is better than whose," I started to feel down. I felt the inner fear surrounding the whole thing. I started to feel not good enough -- as I would see other women I determined looked "better than" me. I had fears that my boyfriend would prefer them over me, or at the very least, that he wished I looked like they did.
Why? And will this ever stop? What's with all the comparing???
I also noticed women who I could probably figure out what their own insecurities would be with their bodies, but yet I thought they looked beautiful. For example, some women had wider than average hips, or bigger butts, or small breasts.... yet I looked at them and thought they were perfect.
They're perfect just as they are... so why not me?
Why is it so easy to look at other people, even those whose "faults" we can clearly see, and see past those "faults." To see the beauty and perfection there. Yet when it comes to ourselves, we focus on the faults and that's all we see?
Another thing I noticed is the women who I thought were more attractive, often had an air of confidence about them -- regardless of their body type. The confidence is what made them look so good, not necessarily how they actually looked.
So I made an effort to raise my own confidence level. To focus on my own desirable traits. And this did make me feel better!
I wish I didn't get so down on myself from time to time. I wish seeing someone else who I believe looks better than me didn't make me question my own looks and beauty (inner as well as outer beauty).
We're all beautiful. None of us are perfect. If I asked any of the women at the water park (or any woman) who I find perfectly beautiful, I'm sure she could be quick to tell me the things she doesn't like about her own body as well.
I also wish I didn't compare myself so much. Comparing only leads to heightened insecurity. There's no reason to compare anyway. It's like comparing one apple to another apple. We're all the same, but we're all unique at the same time.
Each one of us is the physical embodiment of pure love.
Have you seen the movie, Shallow Hal? It's been a while since I have, but what made me think of it is we often see what we want to see. What we see is a reflection of our beliefs.
(Briefly... in the movie, Hal dates a woman who HE sees as thin and beautiful (thanks to hypnosis), but who is actually overweight).
What I need to get better at is seeing past the physical appearance and focusing on the inner Love that is inside all of us. Also to stop comparing myself to others, and feeling like I have to be "the best" in order to be loved or wanted.