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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the fairest of us all?
As children, particularly girls, we grow up dreaming of being a princess, a queen, a fairy, anything our mind can conceive, and our heart can believe. We see ourself as beautiful and lovely; inside and out. It is true you know, every word of it! So when do we stop believing? Why do we crush our own aspirations and visions of what we can become? As in times past, society demands we chase the illusive ‘perfect look’. Why should we search for the fountain of youth! Do you want to spend your time, resources and talent that way? Don’t we honor women such as Mother Teresa, and yet focus on the latest styles and trends? Have you ever wondered, what are we sacrificing, when we demoralize our self, because we choose NOT to see, to recognize our own inner beauty, and the exquisite uniqueness that is divinely ours? I have a story of a woman, a stranger actually that I never did meet, who has not forgotten this gift we each are given at birth. 

Are there habits that hinder and keep us from our true potential? I have some ideas of what is holding us back that I would like to address:

“I’m Sorry”
I’ll bet the first words I formed as an infant were “I’m sorry”. I apologized for everything from the sun coming up in the morning, to my friends shoe laces coming undone. Do you do that? I don’t know why, or where it came from as it only damages our own esteem

Here are suggestions of why we apologize – for everything and everyone:
     A – Relieves our conscience even if it had nothing to do with us – which makes no sense at all.
     B – Covers all bases of possible failure, thus anticipating disappointment.
     C – For some reason we think we need to ‘own’ problems in the world from poverty in every corner of the planet to all the injustices done. We cannot possibly change all the bad, and doing this just bogs us down and halts our progress.
     D- If our kid/teen/adult child does something wrong, make them take care of it to the best of their ability; it is not for us to make everything go away that could make them feel uncomfortable, that is how they will grow as an individual.
    E – If friends or family have a temper tantrum and it is not because of anything we did seriously wrong, or had control over, it is not ours to take on. We do not have to apologize to alleviate their bad attitude. It only makes us resent that person when we say we are sorry just to make them ‘happy’.
    F – If we feel our place in any relationship is not secure, saying ‘sorry’ continually for everything that happens, does not make it better. Find a more healthy way to strengthen the relationship.
Remedy: Of course, DO apologize when we have been unkind, offend or harm. AND

REALIZE it is GOOD to have an opinion.

It is RIGHT to have a preference of one thing or another.

If someone does not agree, you can ‘agree to disagree’ you do not have to apologize for your thoughts, views and beliefs.

How many kijillion times do we say yes when we really are thinking, I would rather test land mines than do _______.
Why do we do that to ourselves anyway?
     A – We don’t want to appear mean or selfish
     B – Maybe, just possibly,  they really do need our help

     C- I can sleep sometime later, like in a casket (the eternal rest idea)
     D – Others will think I’m weak if I can’t do____like others are doing – I mean geez, just look at all they have on pinterest, on facebook, their family is perfect…the list goes on and on of what they ‘appear’ to be able to accomplish.

Remedy: Yes, we absolutely need to stretch and grow. However, moderation and using a few of the brain cells God gave us would be a help here.
Give yourself a pat on the back for ALL the good you do and the service you provide.

“I am the worst at __________”
How many times do we permit our insecurities and anxieties to lead us in our decisions and actions?
Hhhmmm, let me count the ways, except the number may be longer than any computer could hold.
Our list could include:
     A- I can’t do that because he/she is so much better at it already and I don’t want to appear incompetent
     B- I don’t have the experience, the knowledge, the background, the family name, the money, the_____the list is endless here.
    C- I’m frightened to try because I might fail and then, and then what? Really, then WHAT? That is how success comes; it is through failing and working through the solution to finally be triumphant and a winner.
    D- The WHAT could include: people will laugh, they will bring it up and I will be embarrassed. Keep in mind, they probably won’t remember next week anyway.

 Remedy: We cannot give others confidence, or show them an example of greatness, if we are not willing to step up and demonstrate how it is done.
If a loved one tried something, and gave it all they had to succeed yet it did not go as planned, are you going to ridicule and tell them to never try again?
NO, of course not, that would be ludicrous, so why do we do it to our self? Good question don’t you think!

 “Body Bashing & Comparing”
Oh, there’s the rub, for probably every single human being that has ever walked this planet.
Being a bit self absorbed can be an excuse, or cause us to be selfishly preoccupied.

Here is a short list of why we might do this:
     A- We allow the media to tell us what is ‘beautiful’ or ‘desirable’
     B- Foolishly, or without realizing it, we ignore our own strengths in order to focus on our weaknesses
     C- Do not truly understand our worth and value as a human being
     D- We want others to approve, instead of seeking divine approval
May I share an experience here?
 Some years back, the company my husband was working for, took a group of us on a trip. I was sitting on a lounge chair by the side of the pool in my swim suit and a cover up. A towel covered my very white legs, and all the while  I was feeling incredibly conscientious of this-and- that. Then I began to mentally compare myself with all the other ladies there; naturally I only saw their positives and all of my flaws.
About that time a woman and her husband came to the pool. I could not help but watch her, because immediately she gave the impression of self-confidence, and her demeanor was amazing.
She did not act as though, ‘I dare you to make fun of me’, you know the mean-girl attitude, or that she was putting on airs to overcompensate. She was so incredibly comfortable in her skin, that she was indescribably beautiful. Physically, she was very average looking and not a small or even shapely woman. However, without one word, you just knew that she was profoundly grateful to even have a body, and to be at that pool with her husband.
I watched the couple for a few hours. I was mesmerized by this woman who visited with other people at the pool in complete comfortableness; she exuded that spirit of loving yourself for what you are. She radiated a belief in her value and what she had to offer. It was easy to tell as I watched and listened, that she was a kind and generous woman by her comments and the way she talked. It was never with airs and not even one word of comparing herself when she talked to the women who were, should I say, who more stylish than she; she was just simply genuine and good.
Lesson to be learned
When we realize that dwelling on our shortcomings, and comparing ourselves to others successes, or their physical attributes, it is completely selfish on our part.
Why? Because we are only thinking about our self, and not how we can be of help or be of small service to another, as our focus and energy is on our perceived flaws.
Hopefully our desire is to buoy up and inspire others, yet, when we distract our self with our drawbacks (which really are not even reality), we have put up a blockade that impedes the quiet whispering direction of how we can relieve or comfort another human being.
Remedy: Do not let yourself be distracted with supposed drawbacks. Do not put up barriers of fear or insecurities – when they are in face simply superficial and fleeting fads anyway.
Make a list of your FIVE most favorite things physically about yourself
And FIVE of your top personal skills/talents/traits.
Let us be grateful for what we are, what we have, and what we can become. There is nothing  more POWERFUL or BEAUTIFUL than that.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.


  • Keri says:

    Ohhh, I am guilty of the “I’m Sorry”s! My husband has actually complained that he can’t stand it when I say it. I’ve tried to be cautious but still fall victim to it. Thanks for the wise advice.

  • Lori @ A Bright and Beautiful Life says:

    This is really inspiring. You have a gift for stating truths with a bit of humor thrown in so it doesn’t seem so harsh.

  • Melissa M says:

    When does your book get released? Loved your post-I have met so many women who do this, and wondered why they say they are sorry all the time- almost out of habit?

  • Nicolette says:

    Such a thoughtful post full of great advise. So many of us are so hard on ourselves. I love your idea of making a top 5 list for ourselves. Thanks for joining the Mommy Mixer this week.

  • Britni says:

    I am guilty of always saying yes to everything because I don’t want to miss out on something, I need these tips. Thanks for sharing on the weekend re-Treat link party!
    Britni @ Play. Party. Pin.

  • Nicole says:

    I wonder if that woman knows how much of an impact she had on you! Thanks for linking up this post with Let’s Get Real!

  • The story of the woman at the pool is very powerful. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  • Branson says:

    It is definitely easier to be hard on ourselves than to recognize what is great about us. 🙂 Good reminder to focus on the positives.

  • Guilty, Guilty, Guilty………but I’m working on it. I say “yes” so much that I end up volunteering for my kid’s activities too much rather than actually spending time with them. That has to stop. I bashed my body into an eating disorder when I was in high school. I really thought 100 pounds was too fat. I’ve come to realize that I need to stop the bashing if for no other reason than for my daughter. She needs to learn to love her body and I need to teach her. I can’t do that if I’m being critical. The woman at the pool sounds amazing. We had an ederly lady at our church who I joked was like a young girl in an old-lady body. She wore very outlandish hats to church each week and made sure to talk to as many people as she could. She was amazing. I always said that I want to be like her when I grow up. She certainly did not waste time worrying about her wrinkles. She was too busy spending time with people and focusing on what really matters most in life.

  • Thanks for posting on The Four Seasons Blog Hop! I have tried to add it on social sites but the url won’t work for them. This is what I am copying from yours I am not sure what is wrong except that there is no .com on the address. Just an FYI. Please let me know if I am not doing something correctly! Thanks Sandra

  • Jenny Layton says:

    What a beautiful post! Love the story at the swimming pool. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I love the example that woman showed to all of us!

  • Hello Carrie:
    This post is beautiful! I absolutely loved it!!!! Thank you so much for the wonderful reminders.

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