I have wonderful friends. I have some I am lucky enough to see regularly and others that I only get to see every so often. Just recently I was blessed to be able to meet up with friends, some of whom, I hadn’t seen in years. Before we met up I wondered what they would think of me in my now middle-aged body. Then I realized they wouldn’t care what I looked like on the outside since real friends see you from the inside!
What do I mean by this. Well think about your friends. Have you ever picked one because they looked like they were the right size and their skin was clear and they had nice hair - probably not. My guess is you picked the friend that smiled at you and laughed at your jokes and disliked (or liked) math as much as you did. Or maybe they cheered you on when you were learning to climb the rope in junior high, or helped you redo your resume when you wanted a job after the kids started school.
I have a lot in common with some friends, not so much with other friends, but they all have one thing in common: they support me and accept me as I am. They accept my intensity, occasional sadness, and love of dance, lame jokes, and obsession with Marie Kondo’s techniques. They accept my inside qualities. Not one of them has ever commented that they really like me since my colorist does such a nice job.
This ability to see ourselves from the inside is important when we are struggling so hard with accepting our outside. It reminds us of what is truly important in life and how little others really care about our outsides (and if they are so worried about our outside that is THEIR issue). Sure we might appreciate our friend’s new cute top or earrings but that isn’t why we like them. I encourage you to write a list of things you like about your inside. Do this on a nice day when you are feeling happy. If this is really hard ask your friends to share what they like about you. Put this list somewhere so when you are really feeling crappy about your outside you can remember all the wonderfulness of who you really are.
Although our culture seems to be obsessed with superficiality and creating a bunch of people that all look like each other on the outside, I encourage you to remember that what makes you so special is the wonderful mix of who you are on the inside.
written by Sarah Gold, MS, RD, LDN
Sarah Gold is an intuitive eater, dietitian, chocolate lover, and dog lover,