Self-Image and Attitude

Have you ever wondered why some people turn heads when they enter a room? Because they arethe most beautiful or magnificent? Then, why don’t all people of the same category turn heads? And – a more difficult question – why do some people whom society would deem merely average also turn heads? The answer this time – it’s the presence. Attitude rules! It’s the confidence that counts. Their own perception of themselves breeds a positive attitude that is inviting and contagious.

My husband made a reply to me one day when I fell into the trap of comparing myself to another that has stuck with me. He said, “Don’t be so insecure. It doesn’t look good on you.” What he meant by this was to remember who I was. I was his wife, the mother of his children. Do not be so foolish as to think that he had chosen second best for himself. And, I am lucky because he reminds of this each and every time I fall into this line of thinking that I “so affectionately” call the Rudolph Syndrome.

If you remember correctly, Rudolph was given a special gift. He had the shiniest nose of all the reindeer. This could have made him feel “puffed up” or conceited, because he was special. But, instead, he allowed the other reindeer to cause him to feel ashamed of his gift. It wasn’t until the weather (the circumstances) caused a need for his gift that he truly felt special about it. The other reindeer “never let him play”, because he was different. They made fun of him! He allowed the others to make him feel less than the rest. When we begin comparing ourselves, we allow others to pull us down with them. What is your “Rudolph gift”? What is your teen’s “Rudolph gift? Is it the same or similar? It is our job as parents to find these gifts and make the most of them for yourself and your teen. Remember who you are! Whoever you are, you can count on being special to someone. 

One of my favorite stories is from my daughter. I am human and have all those other insecurities with which we all fight. But, one day, when she was about five, we were getting ready. She looked at me and said, “Mom, will I look like you when I grow up?” At that time, she looked so much like me that I had to be honest. I replied, “Yes, honey, I’m sorry, but you will.” She threw her hands up as if in a cheer and said, “Yes!” That was the biggest compliment I have ever received. She loved me enough to want to look just like me. 

This love is most important as Rudolph taught us. When Rudolph accepted his nose and loved himself, others did as well. Now, lest we forget, we know that Rudolph was a fictional character. Still, the moral of his story is so significant for us today. Because he accepted himself right down to what others considered his faults, he “went down in history”. We cannot love others fully if we do not first love ourselves.

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