Below is a blog written by a client of ours. We are sharing because we support her journey and we love that photography has helped her in such a positive way
Yesterday I was able to see my photos from my photo shoot and I cried like a baby. Here’s why… Before I took the pictures I tried talking to myself to get mentally ready for what was about to take place. I didn’t believe in what I was saying. I thought that if I think about the way that I wanted my pictures to look, and no matter how much I believed, how horrible they would look. That maybe some of those lies what I was telling myself would come through in the pictures. My whole life I have had people around me to tell me either I was ugly or pretty, most of the time it was ugly. I got picked on a lot because they said I was fat, black, and ugly. The three worst things to be in America. I always looked to them for validation for my beauty. I thought that if they could see and since so many people were saying it then it must be true. Since then my appearance has changed but honestly, my state of mind stayed the same. People would tell me that I looked good and that I’m pretty, but I didn’t see it. I’m thinking, they are just trying to make me feel better. They think I have low self-esteem. I have always had a great personality. And have always been crazy and “fun” to be around. But always have had a deep feeling that I’m still that ugly ass fat person from back in the day. I was scarred mentally.
I have never believed that my face was my face. I’ve taken thousands of selfies and usies, and I would always think that dang that’s a pretty picture but could still not convince myself it was me! AND I TOOK THE DAMN SELFIE! Mentally I was messed up for real. I would always post them online and attach catchy phrases to them, people would like them but I still was in disbelief.
It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized that wow, that’s me. I am beautiful! All those years that I spent looking for validation from the world was a waste. I didn’t need to look for something that was already there. I have spent my life looking for acceptance in the pretty world. I have been waiting for something that I would never get because the world is selfish and cares about itself. I have given and begged and pleaded with people for what I thought I needed.
I have made a damn FOOL of myself!
I prayed for a veil to be removed from my eyes for the longest but one was never there in the first place. I prayed for him to show me what other people see in me. I prayed for the wrong things. The blessing that I got yesterday was what God had been trying to give me for a long time. I ignored all the signs. I went through thickets and thorns to try and get it, but had to end up turning around every time because I got tired of fighting. Yesterday God gave me my forgiveness.
In the past it was hard for me to forgive people for what they had done to me and the nasty things they said and it took years of prayer, meditation and patience for me to be able to do that. In the midst of all of that I never stopped to think of all the bad things I had told myself and all of the verbal, and emotional stress I had put myself through. I had torn myself down so low that there was nowhere else to go. So I just sat at the bottom of my empty well. With all of my ugly thoughts and feelings. I gave demons a place to live. I continued on with my miserable life and made everyone around me happy and never wanted anything more for myself because I felt unworthy. I felt like I didn’t deserve it. And I didn’t! How stupid of me to wait for someone else to try and convince me that I deserve better. How stupid of me to try and wait for someone to love me because of how I treat them and I treated myself like shit. How STUPID!!
Sometimes we want what we aren’t capable of understanding and handling. So God has to position us and take us through things the long way for us to realize the truth and beauty in what he wanted us to see that we really needed “this” all along. We think that we know it all. What we think we know is not always what it really is. We ask for things that we already have and either second guess the things that we really need or dismiss it all together.
I never asked God to help me to forgive myself for being such a bad person to me. I got that yesterday. In the form of a picture. I was able to see who I am. Who I had always been. Who I never told myself I was. I saw the woman whom I never acknowledged. Whom I never cared about. Whom I always judged. whom I always pitied. Whom I always lied to. Whom I always abused. Whom I always neglected. Whom I always put last and not first. Whom always waited her turn. Whom always accepted less than what she actually deserved. whom always gave and had nothing to give. The friend and never girlfriend. The side dish and never the main course. The spender and never the saver. I robbed myself of my own love and my own happiness. I was never able to let the hate that I had for myself go.
A picture woke me up. A picture made me change my perception of me. A picture changed everything about my life. A picture says a thousand words. A single picture.
~ Melissa Washington
To follow Melissas journey, go to her website at http://www.melissalwashington.com