You Really Are Beautiful, Even If You Don't See It Yet
I went to high school with this cool chick named Carisa Downs. Over the past few years, I've "watched" (via social media) her grow into an incredible worshipper, lover of God and people, creative photographer, and leader of her generation. Carisa and her husband Ryan are the kind of people who LIVE to make this world a better place. Last week, Carisa shared a completely raw, transparent moment with her Facebook followers, and I believe you'll be impacted by it too. I'm so glad she agreed to let me share with you. Let me know what you think of her story in the comments below!
And now, Carisa.
When I went to my first year of supernatural school, I expected to come home with a better knowledge of miracles and how to see them in my own life. I didn't know that one of the most noticeable miracles I would see the summer after graduating would be my own newfound self-love. Since I was a kid, I've been terrified of being seen without makeup, which was always a small thing for a lot of girls and a lot of my friends, but for me, it was really terrifying. One of my biggest fears before I got married to Ryan was the thought that he would be waking up to me unedited each morning, even though I knew he loved me unconditionally. How much more afraid I was of being seen by people that I didn't think would love me unconditionally. Internally, for years, I truly believed I was ugly, and I woke up everyday with the subconscious thought that if I didn't try to help myself, then people would be more likely to notice how ugly I actually was. There have been times over the years that I've asked Ryan, "if there was one thing you could change about me, what would it be?" He would respond each time, kind of sad/kind of concerned, "just your self-confidence."
"Internally, for years, I truly believed I was ugly"
This summer however, unexpectedly, I've been finding that I wake up already feeling complete without additives. I find that I actually want to leave the house and be seen exactly how I was made. I find that I don't feel the compulsory need to cover things up that used to make me feel insecure. Putting makeup on has become an uncommon occurrence in these last months. About a month ago my dad asked me what I was thinking about while I was staring into space, and I realized as I tuned back in - I had been thinking about how beautifully I was made. Huge change.
I don't remember the last time I took a selfie, especially without Ryan in it, but today I thought about how much I've grown, and I smiled, and I took a selfie - I didn't take 100 like I most definitely would have 5 years ago, and when I looked at it I smiled at myself like I was proud of the girl I saw. Yesterday someone dropped by my parents' house, and when I opened the door (something that probably would have made me feel sick before, if I was undone), this person said to me as they walked in, "I think you look so good without makeup on." Before, I would have dismissed that compliment as sheer politeness, but yesterday for the first time I felt the compliment go all the way in, and I said to her, "I receive that," because I really did. There was a time that I thought that my insecurities were more like humility than pride, so I chose them and kept them. Now I'm finding that I'm a lot more free to love people when I'm not constantly stuck in condemnation about myself. My outer appearance hasn't changed, but my inner world has.
I like to ask myself before I post on social media if what I'm about to post might benefit someone else, so I'm hoping that if you're out there reading this and you've been trapped by insecurities too, that you might find hope that things can change. I was always told that my insecurities about my appearance would only increase the older that I got. I'm here to say that that doesn't have to be true. You really are beautiful, even if you don't see it yet.
- Carisa Downs.
So what does Carisa's story say to you? I'd love to hear your thoughts about this topic. Leave me a comment below.