Series Introduction: Self-Love
BY: NIKKI MICHELLE CHARNSTROM
I once knew a girl who never gave herself a chance. She was too caught up in the opinions of those around her to even realize the girl in the mirror staring back at her was just begging to break free. She hid herself behind layers of makeup and brand name clothes she couldn’t afford, but she made it work because the girls at school could.
Her shorts were always too short but it didn’t bother her. After all, that's what the boys liked… right? She was still trying to figure out the popular combover and how to use a curling iron. It was only around her friends she felt comfortable to let her true self breathe for a moment. But, really, she had no clue who she was. Deep down she was insecure and embarrassed, ashamed of the ways she couldn’t measure up. Cover up the acne, wear a tight dress, fake a sexy pose, take a picture, post it to MySpace. Repeat.
Can you recall a time when you knew a girl like her? I bet all of us could, because those lost teenage years are brutal and unforgiving. I was that girl, through and through.
When I look back at the girl I was in high school — no let’s be real, sixth grade — my heart breaks for her. She had absolutely no love for herself. Her worth was found in the attention from boys, who were just as confused (might I add), and the amounts of pictures she took with her friends. That little pink digital camera never left her side.
Eventually, I grew up and found room in my heart for the woman God created in me. Now that I’ve gotten to know her, I’m never letting her go. I admit, I still find imperfections in menial things, but nevertheless, my cup overflows with self-love.
As we step into February, a month dedicated to overly romantic acts of love, I feel it’s important to remember to shower ourselves with affirmations — and, while we’re at it, chocolates and flowers too. (I’m a big advocate for buying yourself things that make you feel special.) Whether you’re single, dating, or married, it simply doesn’t matter. Here on Crowned Chics, we vow to celebrate the women we have become and promise to show ourselves grace, even if we aren’t proud of our reflections at the moment.
True, unconditional love isn’t contingent on how your hair looks or how good you feel in those jeans. Loving you, deep down, comes from a place of acceptance and truth — knowing your Creator’s intentions come from a place of boundless, perfect love.
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!” Psalm 139 13-14 NLT
Nikki is the owner and founder of Crowned Chics. She lives in the warm desert of Phoenix, Arizona with her beloved family. If she's not ferociously clanking away on her typewriter, she's behind the camera capturing moments for her business Charnstrom Captures Photography.