Your insecurities will be a struggle for you for the rest of your life. That’s encouraging, isn’t it? It gets better, but it takes time and changes in your own life. I don’t normally tell the world (through blog land) what I’ve done to get to the place I have because most people think I’m crazy and are turned off by it. But…I’ll share with you.
In the beginning of our struggle to get through the effects of George’s porn addiction I was intensely insecure: always comparing myself. When I was given the two people he thought were more beautiful than me (that I begged him to tell me) I literally searched them online every day and compared myself, knowing that the only way I’d ever be good enough to him (physically) was through surgery. I hated that. I hated myself. And I compared myself constantly.
As George changed, his view of beauty changed (very similar to what Luke describes here). I know, now, he would rather have a modest, humble wife who loves God than a wife with the physical qualities his perversions once admired. That helped a tiny bit, but most of the changes in my insecurities happened through my own willingness to stop seeking a sensual kind of beauty.
What did I do? Well, first, I recognized my own pride. I realized that my husband’s porn/lust issues were not the source of my insecurities (only another arrow in the same wound). And I realized that insecurity is just wounded pride. Insecurity is nothing more than my prideful expectations or desires not being met. I wanted to be the most beautiful woman in the world to my husband. Literally. I didn’t want him to even think another woman was attractive in any way. I didn’t want to be the standard for his view of beauty, I wanted to be the only beauty to him. It’s impossible, but I wanted it. I didn’t even care about inner beauty at that point. I was purely focused on being outwardly alluring in the ways “the other women” were. Even his appreciation for the beauty of nature bothered me when I was at this point. I truly wanted to be the only physical thing he thought was beautiful.
So…I got rid of makeup. I knew it was a mask in my life. I knew it was an idol. Something I needed to feel good about myself. I didn’t intend to get rid of it forever, just long enough to no longer need it. But when I stopped wearing it my heart started to change. I realized how beautiful inner beauty is and how fake the beauty of this world is. I wanted more inner beauty. I haven’t worn makeup since. I don’t write much about this on my blog because I don’t want other women to feel they need to do the same thing. I know it’s extreme. But it’s what I, personally, needed to do in my own life to get over this.
But, even with makeup out the window, I still had issues. So, being the extreme person that I am, I said, “Lord, I don’t want to be focused on outward beauty at all. I want to be beautiful inside and never be noticed or admired for what I look like.” I got rid of my entire wardrobe so that fashion could no longer be something I used to “feel good about myself.” I have one skirt that I wear every single day. I literally wear (mostly) the same thing every day of my life. (Now, I don’t recommend this to anyone. This is just an inside glimpse into the extreme measures I took to get over my own issues. Please, search your own heart and don’t ever feel like you need to follow in my footsteps.)
Do you know how much this has changed me? When I go out I don’t think about other men or women looking at me, because I don’t spend time trying to look like something worth staring at. I don’t stare at other women anymore, wishing I could be like them, because I’m not focused on my outward beauty anymore. I know God made me beautiful. He makes all women beautiful. But I no longer focus on it. We have very few mirrors in our house and one thing I want to do (when time and $$ allows), is make all the mirrors have an image of Jesus on them so that I can only see my reflection by looking through Jesus.
I don’t want to be a woman who spends her life searching for a physical beauty that’s never going to last. I want to enjoy aging and love every gray hair that comes my way. I don’t want to focus on diets and losing weight and fearing what another pregnancy might do to me. Instead, I want to devote my life to others and never be concerned about what I look like. Now, I don’t walk around looking like a homeless person. My hair is brushed, my skirt is beautiful and feminine, and my shirts are not George’s old t-shirts. I dress like a woman — I just happen to dress like a woman who has only one outfit. :) Saves a lot of money too!
So, this has changed me immensely as far as insecurities go. I don’t watch TV or movies. I don’t stare at magazine covers in the grocery store line. I don’t allow tons of images to be put into my head that will make me jealous. So when these things do come into my path, they don’t make me insecure anymore. My battle with insecurities is just as much of a battle as his battle with lust. We will always have temptations to be jealous or lust (both are coveting another woman in some way), but we can choose not to give into those things and we can choose to do things that will prevent those temptations from happening as often.
That’s what I’ve one. As extreme as it is to some … it works for me. I’ve finally come to a place where I am content to be ME. And I love the freedom in it.
Now, who knows what path you need to take to get to this point. God will lead you. Be willing to let go of your pride in ways you just don’t want to. Humility does not come without a little humiliation. Seek humility and rid your masks. You’ll find great freedom in being less concerned with your outward beauty and more concerned with being beauty in everything you do.