Monday, July 14, 2014

Lose the Weight of Defeat

Even as a child, I LOVED books.  Books were and have always been a part of who I am.  I have never merely been a reader, but a dreamer, an idealist, and a visionary.  Around age 6 or 7, however, I was mostly just interested in the pictures in my mom’s “grown up” books.  One book in particular was my favorite.  You may or may not have heard of it.  Its entitled See You at the Top, and it’s written by Zig Ziglar.  I was fascinated by the clever illustrations in this book and constantly stole it from my mom’s bookshelf to leaf through its pages.  I’m pretty sure my mom knew I was only interested in the pictures.  I mean, how many 6 year olds actually read self-help books?

Anyway, a week or so ago, I found the book yet again while cleaning.  Needless to say, I cracked it open and couldn’t put it down.  I’m trying to read it slowly to absorb every bit of advice Mr. Ziglar offers his readers.  One thing really stuck out to me today as I continued reading.  In this particular section of the book, Ziglar is discussing self-image.  Referring to people with poor self-image, he states, “Since they don’t like themselves, they can’t possibly believe that a member of the opposite sex could love them above all others.”  He goes on to say that these people “can neither love nor trust their mate because they neither love nor trust themselves.”  How true that is.  Even as I type this very sentence, I struggle with a terrible self-image.  I often belittle my own talents and abilities and choose to put myself down rather than lift myself up.  It’s damaging, plain and simple.

I’m certain that many of you share in my struggle.  The journey towards self-contentment and satisfaction with one’s lot in life is a truly difficult one.  We not only have to fight our inner demons, but we have to fight against the superficial values of the society we live in.  Be sexier, be smarter, be greater, wear this, don’t wear that, lose those five pounds… We’re constantly bombarded with messages that we aren’t good enough and that we have to change some aspect (or many) of ourselves.  It’s awful!  Not only do we hurt ourselves when we hold onto our poor self-images, but we also hurt those around us, those people that love us and see us as more than enough.

Just as Ziglar said, we can’t love others and make in a difference in the world until we let go of all that’s keeping us down.  I remember playing a certain song over and over when I was younger.  It was a song by Oh Sleeper, a heavy metal Christian band.  A few lines have stuck with me from the very moment I first heard the song...

You're worth more than the cheap words.
You see your body as beauty, but your pulse is worth more.


Why do we keep what holds us? Why do I keep what holds me down?
Lose the weight of defeat. It's time to stand your ground.

Those words truly touched me.  They have stuck with me long past my heavy metal days.  I’m worth so much more…  Why am I holding on to what’s only holding me down?  Why am I allowing myself to be crushed by the weight of defeat?  By the lies that tell me I’m not enough? 

Though it’s easier said than done, we can’t allow the weight of defeat to hold us down.  Josh is always telling me that we are victors in Christ, never victims.  It’s so simple, yet so hard to listen to sometimes.  When we are at our lowest, we tend to dwell in our misery, preferring to stay there rather than listen to words of encouragement.  What we don’t realize is that we’re only hurting ourselves further.  Only when we recognize our worth in Christ can we finally make progress towards changing our negative views towards ourselves.  I’m still trying!  I take steps forward and steps back, but I’m always moving further forward, bit by bit.

However, it wasn’t until I read that quote today in Ziglar’s book that I realized that my struggle with self-image doesn’t just affect me.  It affects Josh as well.  The more I cling to my negative views of myself, the more I hurt myself and my relationship with Josh.  In order for me to fully love and trust Josh like he loves and trusts me, I have to let go of the poor self-image and shake off the weight of defeat.  I can’t take steps forward if I’m constantly having to carry unnecessary weight.

In all our relationships, we have to first learn to love ourselves before we can love those around us.  After all, how can we extend unconditional love and acceptance towards others if we can’t do the same for ourselves?  Can we give what we don’t have?  The answer to both of those questions is obviously no.  If we aren’t happy and content with ourselves, we can’t be truly happy and content with others. 

From this ENTIRE post, if there’s only a few pieces of advice you take away, let it be the these:

  1. Take an honest look at your self-image 
  2. If your self-image is poor, try to eliminate negative thoughts and focus on at least three things each day that you do well or three things about yourself that you like (I KNOW you can think of at least three) 
  3. Surround yourself with positive people that build you up rather than tear you down or belittle you 
  4. Discuss your struggle with your spouse or significant other so that they too can help you 
  5. Research the meaning of love and focus on extending it not only to yourself, but to your partner, family, friends, and coworkers 
  6. Keep a journal or write a blog!  Not only is it therapeutic, but it is a healthy and highly recommended outlet for your thoughts, feelings, and prayers.

 If you have any recommendations to add to this list or if you'd like to share your thoughts on self-image, feel free to comment or email us at

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