by: Rikayah Crawford
The girl that you see to your left in the picture was a bit chubby, insecure, and did not understand her inner beauty. That’s the girl who tried to take her own life.
The confident young woman you see to the right is the exact opposite. In that picture I understand that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I now understand the love I have for myself from within overflows into my outward appearance. Loving yourself is what’s hot. But obsessing over your appearance is not.
The world we live in today has shattered the authentic meaning of self-esteem and confidence. It has been dismantled by the misconceptions from the media, peers, celebrities (and really good filters.) The theory of “what’s hot and what’s not” has invaded the impressionable minds of young girls. As a result, many young women have referred to self-esteem as “feeling good” about themselves while others equate esteem to arrogance, conceit and egotism. Damned if we do and damned if we don’t take a selfie!
Often times we embody the reflections and opinions of those around us. It’d be nice if there was an instruction manual for how to overcome the tough times and judgments of others. In my life I’ve had lots of those tough times- hardships in my relationships, insecurities around other women, and ultimately the contemplation of committing suicide.
There was a moment in my life when I hit rock bottom due to the overwhelming insecurities I felt about the way I looked and interacted with others. I had allowed the opinions of others about me to become my reality. Worst of all, I had blamed every problem and insecurity on myself. I was so hard on myself. Every day I struggled to look in the mirror.
It was the morning after the night I attempted to take my own life that I realized that I wanted more for my life than so much attention to be on my physical reflection. And it was clear I survived that dark night for a purpose.
If I wanted to be successful, it had to begin with the renewing of my mind and making changes from within rather than analyzing so much about my exterior.
My parents always told me, “Rikayah, every gift that God has blessed you with and everything that you go through is not only for you but for you to share with someone else.” I didn’t see it at the time, but now I see how my story can help other women who might be able to relate to body image, depression and suicide.
By surrounding myself around positive and uplifting people and focusing on my inner beauty it enabled me to pick myself back up and begin again. As a result of focusing on my inner self, the rest of me started to transform, too. Today I love the skin i’m in, without a filter, without comparing myself to others, and truthfully without giving a damn about what others think.
Even though I have endured some heavy stuff in the short time God has granted me, I know I have a purpose and I plan to live out. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, please encourage them to seek help TODAY. It’s never too late to transform your mind.