WORDS // OLIVIA APPLEGATE
This letter is for the girl who is told she is beautiful, but cannot see it for the life of her. It’s for the girl who is heartbroken over the absence of her first real love. This is for all the girls that cry in the shower and lay awake at night, restless with achy hearts.
I know you. I’ve been you. Some days I am still you. I have felt both love and heartbreak so deeply. I have been both confident and insecurely timid. I am the girl who allowed someone to determine the condition of my heart. I let that someone be the sole source of my confidence, only to feel broken and worthless when he found someone better.
The thing is, when we allow one person to be our identity, we give them full permission to wreck our lives. Lost and in confusion, we look at the girl who was the “better” option. We compare our flaws to her beauty. We convince ourselves that it was our fault he lost interest. We weren’t pretty enough. We weren't happy enough. We weren’t confident enough. We feed ourselves lie after lie until we are filled with insecurities, overflowing with self consciousness.
This letter is for the girls like me, who cannot walk into a room without noticing all the “competition”. We see the beautiful, happy, independent women that we wish we were, and envy them. Somehow, we think that by eating less, coloring our hair, buying new clothes or seeking attention, we will be content. We think it will fill that empty void in our hearts where confidence should be.
We are constantly being told that our hearts are what’s important, when our hearts are our biggest struggles.
Growing up, we have all been taught that it’s not appearance that matters, but inner beauty. And while that is true, it somehow leaves an unsettling feeling to the girls that struggle with deeply rooted insecurities. These girls, myself included, know that jealousy is not beautiful. We understand that being envious is not a good thing to be. We are constantly being told that our hearts are what’s important, when our hearts are our biggest struggles. These aren’t issues that can be fixed by a cliche quote. These aren’t problems that can be solved overnight. These are way deeper than surface level.
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
Don’t glamorize brokenness. Don’t be content with discontentment. If you start to believe them, the pressures of this world will smother you into depression. I have seen it, and I have felt it. But our God is a God of redemption. He is a God of forgiveness, and a God of love. He will take your struggles and turn them into something beautiful. He will take your brokenness and make you whole.
The more you focus on Jesus’ love for you, the easier it will be to see yourself in that same way. It all comes down to love. So love the boy that broke your heart. Love the girl that made him stumble. Love the family member who doesn’t love you. Love even the most unlovable people.
“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39
PHOTOS OLIVIA APPLEGATE // LETTERING SAM PALENCIA