By Jeff Shinabarger:
Soon after joining Facebook, my friends started tagging me in pictures. Whether I liked it or not, I got tagged. I didn’t like it.
It started to become a joke. Friends would tag me, and I would un-tag myself. Tag. Untag. Tag. Untag. Close friends of mine all knew how the photo tagging feature frustrated me, so they would make sure that I was clearly tagged more than my share just to push my buttons. My wife, Andre, posted family pictures and each time I explained what a bad picture I thought she shared.
Two years went by in which I thought I looked horrible in every picture. I remember one of the last times this happened with Andre. She showed me her latest picture, and again, I responded that it was a bad picture. She loved it. For some reason, emotion overwhelmed me and it finally broke through. I broke down into tears of frustration and embarrassment.
It hit me. It wasn’t the picture that was the problem, it was me. I didn’t like me. I didn’t like how I looked. I didn’t look good enough. My hair wasn’t right. My teeth weren’t white anymore from too much coffee drinking. My face was getting a little wider from not working out. I have a constant wrinkle between my eyes. I critiqued every element of myself.
This started a long inward journey toward a much healthier view of myself. I had developed some horrible habits over the years. I looked in the mirror and missed what was good. I had a constant editorial eye toward the real me. It was time to silence the editor, and listen to the Creator. The truth is that my unique contribution to humanity is too important to see only the veneer of my façade in a photo. I missed how unique I am. I wanted a faux me, which in the end offered a fictional contribution to a real world. I was created to be a gift, presented and shared. I am me and I am enough. No more, no less, but enough.
Once we start wrestling with living comfortably and even confidently in our own skin, we start to find others walking the same path. My friend Katie is one of the people who inspires me to embrace all of who I am without apology.
You are good enough. Let me repeat: You are good enough. You and I both need to believe that we have more to do and become, and in this process we will begin to find the truth: we are good enough.
Jeff Shinabarger is the author of ‘More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity,’ which will be out in March from David C Cook. He is a social entrepreneur, experience designer, cofounder of the Q event, and creative director at Catalyst. He is also the founder of Plywood People, an innovative community addressing social needs through creative services.