Every move I make is generally criticized by Daniel or Camila, or both. I tend to have to steel myself constantly to withstand the barrage that is always forthcoming. There are times when I get to just hang out and have fun with them, but there's always this underlying jealousy. I exist, and therefore I threaten their security. Nothing I do can change how they always watch for me to do something they can get mad about.
So lying awake at night, (because this is when I start letting myself "un"steel) I often times want to be around someone who I know won't do that. A knowledge that would soothe the pain. My pretty much constant wish is to be around people who don't look at me in search of my flaws.
Recently one of my friends mentioned struggling with appearance, with wanting to look how she would consider beautiful, with needing to fit that image.
That launched me into this thought train.
How can someone be secure in who they are and how they look? We're told that our value is in God; We're told that He made us and He sees us as His most wonderful creation; We're told that our value should not come from man.
I've heard doubts expressed about how God could see someone who's "under par" as beautiful. And then doubts about how that could make any difference in wanting approval from others.
My thought to that first one is simply that in order to comprehend a lot of attributes of God we have to comprehend that he loves us.
That one simple factor seems to change so many things.
The conclusion I came to while lying awake at night, like I mentioned above, is that in wanting someone who wouldn't look at my flaws, I wanted someone who loved me. Love transforms how people view things.
I'm not sure how to explain it... I guess that when I get to know a friend, when I come to love them, I don't see their flaws. I may be aware of them, but they're not what I look at. Characteristics that they view as ugly or as an annoying habit, I find I come to cherish. It's a part of them, and because of that I like that characteristic. Often it's our quirks that distinguish us from everything else, and those are the things our friends come to love us for.
When I think of God, and how he views us, I have to remember that he's aware we're imperfect, but he sees us through eyes of Love. He sees the way you think, the way you look, the way you act, and it makes him smile because it's you. He sees the way I think, the way I look, the way I act, and it makes him smile because it's me. Each physical feature, he sees as a mark that screams your name. We're one big fingerprint ;)
As for how we find our value in God and not others, I'm still working on that. One way I deal with that is simply to find people who place value in more for the way that God places value in me. That way they're not sending me a different message than God is, but reminding me of how He sees me. In the end though, we do need to be willing to accept how God sees us and not need our peers to corroborate that. I've felt that now and then, and the best I can tell, it comes from spending time around Him and reading His word. In knowing Him and finding a place in his arms, knowing he loves. I think the security of not needing the value of others comes when Jesus is our life, when nothing else does matter.