Learning to recognize worth

Seminar focuses on self-perceptions

Jesus says I am saved, cherished, free, precious, loved the way I am, accepted, a man of God, made in His image, a new creation.

Sticky notes scrawled by student visitors with these descriptions decorated the last wall of the Student Care Office’s “Expressions from the Inside Out” exhibit.

Designed — Students were reminded of the dangers of poor body image during the three-day exhibit held in the Student Care office.

The exhibit focused on media-influenced self-perceptions in today’s society and sought to counter them with biblical truth. The event was held in the Student Care Office on Wednesday, Feb. 23 and held through Friday, Feb. 25.

“The whole goal of the event is to promote awareness,” senior care officer Cara George said, “To let students, faculty and staff walk through and become aware of these issues and how (some of them) can even develop eating disorders and how to work through them.”

The exhibit was a walk-through event that worked through the skewed self-perceptions engrained into individual minds by society, starting in childhood and stretching through maturity, that eventually culminate in negative thoughts and self-loathing.

The last stage of the event displayed God’s view of people and His desire for their view of themselves. It also offered tips for physical, mental and spiritual health and featured useful book titles such as “Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free,” “The Masculine Mandate,” “He’s Looking for a Bride and Get Out of That Pit.”

“I hope that the attendees will be able to take a personal look at their own lives, and I hope everybody takes a look at what God’s Word says and is able to say, ‘Am I believing any of these lies of the enemy?’” George said.

The last table of the exhibit featured piles of helpful information for those dealing with issues like eating disorders, severe disordered eating patterns, body image, self injury and suicide so they know where to get professional assistance.

“I hope that it will provide good personal reflection, but also, if there’s anyone who struggles with a more serious issue I hope that they would be challenged to get help,” George said.

Freshman Liberty student Amanda Baird enjoyed the exhibit and found it instructive.

“I think everybody should stop by and see it. It’s really nice and creative,” Baird said.

Student care and conduct worker Mark Misiano helped to work and set up the event. He said that it was important that Liberty openly address this issue that so often goes unmentioned because it affects everyone. He felt the event was “really sobering for people.”

“People are realizing, ‘I don’t have to feel this way,’ which is really exciting,” Misiano said.

The event drew a considerable response from students. According to Misiano, during one 30 minute interval he was stationed at the door, more than 50 people attended.

“Classes, dorms and prayer groups are coming (to the exhibit) together,” Misiano said.

For more information on similar events or how to get assistance with identity problems addressed at the event, contact studentcare@liberty.edu.

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