Don't Change Yourself, Change Your Perspective
Tonight a saw a movie called “Arthur’s Christmas.” For those of you who spend more time reading blogs than watching commercials, it is the animated version of Elf, starring Will Ferrell. Witty, charming, and beaming with Christmas spirit, this “children’s” movie reminded me of a very adult lesson.
After making a difficult choice, Arthur’s father (Santa) doubts not just his decision, but himself. Insecurity combined with a little self loathing, leads Santa to his son’s work space decorated from top to bottom with precious trinkets portraying Arthur’s loving perspective of his father. For Santa, seeing himself through Arthur’s eyes made him see himself differently, and it changed everything. I knew just how he felt.
During a brief moment at a gas station in Phoenix, a sixteen year old girl pumping gas on the way to her boyfriend’s house found herself on the road to self discovery too. I’ll never forget that day. I was in a rush, still nervous about driving, and anxiously zipping about trying not to waste one minute on the road that could otherwise be spent with my first boyfriend until father time tore us apart for the sake of making curfew. I hopped out of the driver’s seat in one of those spaghetti-string sundresses made popular by America’s sweetheart, Rachel Green. The Arizona sun streamed down in the form of dirty blonde highlights dancing through my long wavy hair. As I cut through the pumps, racing against time and Circle-K patrons, I bumped into a man who gasped with surprise, “Oh my gosh! You’re beautiful!” Believe me, I was more shocked than him. I squeaked out a befuddled, “Thank you?” And hopped back into my truck flattered, never to forget that day, nor the first time someone told me I was beautiful. If I could see myself the way that man saw me, then maybe I could believe it, and if I could believe it, then maybe I could be it…beautiful.
Seeing yourself through another’s eyes is a frighteningly wonderful experience that invites us to change into who we already were. Inside of that person who got lost in the trenches of life, torn up by the shrapnel of criticism, knocked down by the weight of defeat, is someone beautiful, worthy to be loved; someone who was already there. Sometimes all we need to do is take a moment to see ourselves through another person’s eyes.
For some of you it may be your mother, father, grandparents, or spouse, but no matter who you are there is always someone who sees the best in you, someone who motivates you to rise to the occasion, someone whose love transforms you into a better version of yourself. If you are lucky you may have many wonderful people you can call on when life takes a turn for the worse, but if you’re not, you are still blessed because you always have God. When He looks at you He says without surprise, “Oh my gosh, you’re beautiful!” (Psalm 139:14), and you know what? You are.