My dear friend Aly shared a video on Facebook. It shows a forensic artist sketching women how they describe themselves and then how another person describes them. Then at the end, the women are shown the two sketches. In each case, the woman described herself as less beautiful than she truly was, emphasizing her imperfections. In each case, the other person's description was closer to the truth. The women then talk about how the way we see ourselves impacts our relationships, our work, our happiness. It ends with these words, "You are more beautiful that you think."
This video touched me. Aly shared that her husband had shown her family that video and then commented, "What if one of these women would have simply responded with, I am a child of God? How different would their portraits have turned out?"
How different would our lives be if we really felt that and remembered that each day?
This is something dear to my heart, because if I had one wish as Relief Society President, I think it would be to help each woman to really see herself for who she truly is...a beloved daughter of God...and to see how much potential she has to do good in this world.
I have a CD that I really love by a group called "One Clear Voice". I love every song on the CD, but this reminded me of one particular song entitled "See Things My Way." (This was written by Jeannine Lasky, Tyler Castleton and Julia Audretch).
Here are the lyrics:
I see you sitting there
With your head in your hands
How could anybody see inside
And pretend to understand
Doubting if a single heart would ache
If you simply slipped away
But when I look at you
I know the truth.
I see a strong and steady rock.
I see the anchor to my soul
I feel the hope you bring
The peace you leave
Wherever you go
I see a warm and faithful friend
Who listens to me time and time again
And I know if you could see
Oh, you'd believe
In the difference you make
If you could see things my way.
It breaks my heart to watch your eyes
Questioning your worth
Searching for an outward sign
Of praise that's seldom heard
I wish that you could look at your life
Thru someone else's eyes
'Cause when I gaze at you
It's an amazing view.
If only we could see ourselves the way others see us. Since receiving this call as RS President, many people have told me of some of the qualities they see in me... and a few times, I have been really surprised. There have been a few times when I have honestly thought, "Wow, that's not how I see myself at all." Sometimes others CAN see us more clearly...we are our own worst critic. But even better than seeing ourselves as others see us, it would be best if we could see ourselves as our Father in Heaven sees us. 1 Corinthians 13:12, "For now we see through a glass, darkly". We don't see clearly who we are or whose we are. I talked more about this in my post on the program "Beautiful."
When I was called to be Relief Society President, but before I was sustained, I went to the temple. I prayed sincerely to know who I should call as my counselors and to receive the Lord's strength. My prayers were answered so completely that there was no doubt in my mind that the call came from the Lord nor any doubt who the members of my presidency should be. Then as I went back into the dressing room, for just a moment, as I gazed in the mirror, I caught a glimpse of who I truly am, a glorious, beautiful, beloved daughter of God. I was overwhelmed by the spirit and the love that flowed into me. I felt strongly that the Lord was telling me who I was and thereby also helping me to see how beautiful and cherished each of the women in my ward are. As we develop Christlike attributes, we become truly beautiful...beautiful from the inside out and it reflects in our countenances.
In No Doubt About It, Sheri Dew said, "Ultimately we will become what we give our hearts to, for we are shaped by what we desire and seek after. If we love the Lord such that our hearts are changed, His image will fill our countenances. But if we love the world more, we'll slowly take upon us those characteristics. As Truman G. Madsen has said, 'At youth our face reveals genetics. At fifty, we have the face we deserve.'" I am not sure that it is 100% accurate that at fifty, you have the face you deserve...but I do believe that the more we love and serve the Lord, the more our inner beauty will grow and the more that His image will be in our countenances. And some day we will stand before Him and finally be able to see who we really are. President Ezra Taft Benson said, “Nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father (in Heaven) and how familiar his face is to us.” Then we will know that we are created in His image and we will truly understand how precious each of us is. But as we study, as we strengthen our faith, as we love and serve others around us, we can be given the blessing of catching a glimpse of who we are.