Guest Contributor: Caitlin Edwards
Today I want to talk about kindness, but not in the way you’re thinking right now. I want to talk about being kind to yourself. This is something I’ve struggled with for a long time.
I have 3 small children, and my body changed drastically. I gained a lot of weight and struggled with my self-image. When you look in the mirror, what do you think to yourself? A short time ago I thought mean things about myself. I would call myself fat, chubby, ugly. It became my inner voice. And I don’t know about you, but my inner voice becomes my outer voice over time. I started saying these things out loud. Having an impressionable 6-year-old daughter, this was bad. I finally realized that this was going to affect my daughter in the way she looked and thought of her body. I did NOT want my daughter feeling and thinking that her body was less than perfect. I wanted her to believe the things that I was teaching her. That she was divinely made. That she was perfect the way God made her. That no matter what, she is loved (yes, even by herself!). How could I teach her those things when I didn’t example them myself?
I saw the need to change my way of thinking. It was critical. To correct my way of thinking, I started small. Every time I looked in the mirror, when I thought “ugh, I’m so fat.” I would stop myself and say in my head “You’re beautiful the way you are.”. That started changing my inner voice. I realized that I had housed in my body, 1 child. And then again, I grew 2 children at once. Obviously, my body was going to change! Those stretch marks became badges of honor, the extra pounds didn’t matter anymore because I realized I had 3 perfect children that my body made!