You’re Doin’ All Right

It may take years to work on the deeper issues in your life, but the great news is every day you can make choices that will change the entire trajectory of your life. You can take steps to learn to respect and care for ­yourself—​­starting with your thoughts and small actions that display love for yourself. Let’s change our direction and take steps toward becoming women who live in the knowledge that we are loved. We must redefine beautiful. Beautiful is not a short skirt, a size 2 pair of skinny jeans, or a fresh face of ­makeup—​­it is who we are as women. Beautiful is caring for yourself and loving yourself well. Beautiful is taking the steps you need to deal with your past so it does not destroy your future. Beauty is something no man can take away from you.

Sister, you are worth loving, and I hope you start by loving and treating yourself well while you work on the deeper issues in your past. I want you to experience a moment like I did when I decided to stop focusing on my failures and loathing my appearance. One night my husband Michael took me to a fancy hotel, and I went to the gym to pound out a few miles to make my thighs at least feel a little smaller. Unfortunately, it was one of those gyms with a ­ceiling-​­length mirror directly in front of the treadmill (incentive to run faster, I suppose). I hated looking at myself in that awful mirror under the fluorescent lights, and thoughts of ­self-​­loathing swirled . . . until I couldn’t stand it anymore. I jumped off and nearly fell to my knees. After I caught my breath, I looked in the mirror and thought long and hard about who I’d become. Slowly, I smiled. “You’re doin’ all right,” I said, almost in a whisper. I made a truce with my thighs that day, deciding to stop hating them. Instead, I promised to lovingly remember all the beautiful places they have taken me: villages in China, deep creeks in the Georgia woods, and gracefully down the aisle toward my groom.

Taken from Real Men Don’t Text by Ruthie and Michael Dean. Copyright © 2013 by Ruthie and Michael Dean. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ruthie HeadshotRuthie Dean is a book marketer at Harper Collins Christian by day and a writer by night. She and her husband Michael call Nashville home. Their first book, Real Men Don't Text, will be in bookstores in the Fall of 2013. Ruthie writes a relationship blog for women at www.ruthiedean.com