Not so very long ago, the thought of doing a layout like this - all these photos of my face out there for the whole world to see - would have elicited a SNORT, a raised eyebrow and the comment, "I don't THINK so!" from my lips. I couldn't stand to see pictures of myself, even if they were taken while I was all dressed up and attending a special event. Baby pictures, yes. I was a cutie and am not ashamed to admit it... Teenage photos, no problem. I had a shapely figure and was fairly attractive, although I didn't think so at the time... But my ADULT pics? Ugly - with a capital UGH!
So what changed? For the past year or two I have been using more photos of myself in my layouts. Why? Why am I now more tolerant of those photos? Why do I go out of my way to take a bunch of self-portraits in the wee hours of the morning, of all things?! Well, part of the reason for my increased tolerance is AGE, I think. I'm about 10 months away from turning 50 and people tend to mellow out once they hit middle age. But that's just a small part of the reason...
The main reason why I can take the photos that I used to loathe - and have FUN doing it! - and include them on layouts for everyone to see, is that, little-by-little, I am more accepting of myself - not just the photos. The more I grow in my Christian walk and in my relationship with CHRIST, the more I am able to see myself as GOD sees me. I am loveable because HE loves me. I am precious because I am HIS Princess. I am valuable because HE values me. I don't always understand it when He tells me these wonderful, affirming things, but I accept His LOVE and day-by-day, bit-by-bit, I become more accepting of myself.
AND I HAVE FUN BEING ME! *highlighted words are also highlighted in my original journaling