how we perceive ourselves is not often realistic.

Here is a shameless mirror selfie because something happened to me when I put on this shirt that happens to me somewhat often actually, and it makes me think.

Back when I went through Holy Yoga training, part of what we would receive at Immersion was a Holy Yoga shirt, so they needed our size. It was described as a women’s cut shirt, and being a busty lady myself, and about 11 weeks pregnant at the time, I ordered an XL. I don’t like tight shirts, so I wanted it to fit more loosely.

I don’t think I even unfolded it at Immersion. Women’s cut shirt usually give me anxiety because they’re usually tighter than a unisex or men’s shirt (can I blame the patriarchy for that?). I brought it home and hung it in my closet. Nearly nine months had passed and I had yet to put it on. So yesterday, when I was looking for something cozy to wear with my grey joggers, I went looking through my T-shirt’s and saw this.

I’m kind of weird about my clothes, i has already put on my joggers, and being that they’re a little on the loose side, I wanted a shirt with a bit more structure and fit to it. So when I came across my Holy Yoga T-shirt, I decided to finally try it on.

As you can tell from the picture, it’s not fitted AT. ALL. It’s actually kind of loose and baggy, and probably unflattering even (which whatever, I’m practically in pajamas, it’s fine, I don’t care).

This happens to me all the time with clothing. Because I want my shirts to not stick to my body, I tend to size up. Which most of the time, I think means I need an XL. But 99% of the time, a Large would have been way more appropriate. So, why do I do this?

Because my perception of myself is skewed. I think I’m much bigger/wider/fuller than I am. In reality, I’m quite average, honestly. I’m fully capable of wearing Mediums, I’m just not comfortable, so I don’t. I’m beyond feeling the need to wear uncomfortable clothing to impress anyone, I wear whatever the heck I want to wear – which is why I’ll keep wearing this Holy Yoga shirt even if it’s too big.

But I think this is true of a lot of us in a lot of ways. Sometimes we’re not as funny as we think we are, or vise versa, funnier. Sometimes we’re smarter than we give ourselves credit for, and other times, maybe not as wise as we think. One persons impression may be that they are unattractive, but to someone else, they might be a ten, you know?

And I think we, as Christians, need to be extra cautious when we tread into the territory of assessing our own holiness… because a holier-than-thou attitude doesn’t look good on anyone, but thinking too lowly of ourselves may tow the line of assuming we’re beyond grace. None of us should think too highly of ourselves, the Bible itself even cautions us so. But we also should never forget just how precious and loved we are in the eyes of our Creator. I know there is much debate about using the concept of “worthiness,” and while I am not, on my own, worthy of what Christ did for me, He determined I was worth going to the cross and worth saving. It wasn’t me that made me worthy, but it was His decision to sacrifice Himself for me that tells me He sees me differently.

This has had my head circling this idea for days; that how we perceive ourselves does not often align with reality. It has me re-evaluating the things I think about myself, and even the way I think about others.

In what ways have your perceptions of yourself been challenged?