July’s theme is “We are free to choose, and willingly accept the responsibility for our choices.” This has been heavily on my mind the last few months as I’ve struggled with trying to make a perspective change in how I view myself. If you read the article from May, I shared about some of my insecurities and how I sometimes have a tendency to tear myself down. I also struggle with allowing situations or circumstances to influence how I define who I am.
I know I’m not alone in this, as many women and men alike struggle with recognizing their infinite worth and that of humankind. Too often we choose to deprive ourselves of self-love in fear of vanity or pride by instead neglecting ourselves and being our last priority.
This is often unintentionally done. I’ve noticed the pattern in my life of failing to recognize my worth most when I’m let down, disappointed, rejected, or experiencing failure. Sound familiar?
Life experiences which can blind us to seeing our worth are perhaps losing a job, being betrayed by a friend or loved one, having your heart broken either by death, separation, a broken relationship, or a friendship which fell apart. Trials come in many forms and the pain we feel, the burdens we experience, and the self-hate we develop keep us from seeing the value within ourselves.
We can be stuck in this pit of learning to accept and care for others, yet fearing to love ourselves. We forget our self-worth until we consciously choose to remember.
I struggle with depression which can be magnified when I’m under a lot of stress, especially that of an emotional nature. I recently experienced a great heartache when the man I loved left me for the arms of another woman. To say I was devastated is an understatement. The betrayal and rejection felt through this experience led me to lose sight of my value. I believed being left so cruelly meant there was something wrong with me, that I had no value. I shared this on my Instagram.
Joseph Sher, owner of Eagle Photography LLC. and a dear friend of mine, shared his wisdom by sending me the following message:
In November 2017, the painting “Salvator Mundi” sold for US $450.3 million dollars. It’s crazily expensive but someone sees its value because it’s created by Leonardo da Vinci. Its value was given and determined by its creator alone. It doesn’t lose any of its value even if someone who has never seen a painting fails to see its value.
You were created by God. You are valuable not because of who you are, but because of whose you are.
Someone who doesn’t value you doesn’t devalue you, because your value is intrinsic. If someone doesn’t see your worth maybe he’s too poor to pay for it. You are more valuable than any painting because God’s painted you in His image. God signed his name on you.
You are beautiful, classy, you matter, you are worth it, you are seen, and you belong. You were created for a purpose in life. That purpose may or may not include that person. Seek and fulfill your Godly purpose in life, then you’ll truly be alive.”
Joseph’s message is true for all of us. The creators we believe in may be different, yet the simple truth that the being we worship as a creator invested in making you, me, and mankind is an immediate measure of your worth beyond all humanly measures.
In talking with Joseph, he shared about working with his clients, especially his brides, when they struggle to feel beautiful. He said:
“In my 15 years of being a professional wedding photographer, I have worked with lots of brides. I quickly noticed a pattern that emerged. Despite the fact they are all beautiful in their own ways, these brides almost always said they were not beautiful, or not beautiful enough.
I didn’t know what’s going on in their lives, I didn’t understand why they struggled with feeling beautiful, whatever gave them the self-doubt, whoever was critical of them, ignoring them, rejecting them or treating them cruelly …
However, once I started working with them, using my creative system developed over the years, they would tell me I made them feel comfortable. Because they felt comfortable, they in turn showed their beauty in a natural way. During the engagement shoot or soon afterwards, they’d tell me I made them feel like a million bucks because I gave them confidence, and they would cry tears of joy when they saw their pictures. When they showed their pictures to family and friends, they’d be beaming with pride.
These are the same brides who only moments earlier struggled with self-doubt, but seeing their galleries now felt confident and beautiful, maybe for the first time or the first time in a long time.
I decided this is the gift I wanted to give to all my brides…”
Joseph’s mission to inspire others to find their confidence has reached well beyond his bridal clientele. I had the opportunity to model for two photo shoots with Joseph this last year, and my confidence soared. I went from awkwardly trying to pose, feeling uncomfortable with my smile and weight, to having the strength and confidence to just be natural in my environment, letting him create a masterpiece from my life. He truly is an artist who’s changing lives every day.
Joseph says he wants to offer “an intangible gift through tangible photographs” to his clients showing that they are beautiful enough, classy enough, they matter, they are seen, and they belong. His message is simply, “You’re worth it!”. Our challenge is only to choose to believe in this message. You are worth it.
Written by Kaloni Jensen of Big Ocean Women, in partnership with Joseph Sher of Eagle Photography LLC.
Photo Credits: Eagle Photography LLC.
Source on the Painting Sale Information: https://www.invaluable.com/blog/most-expensive-painting/