Why are those words so hard to say? Why is it that the person who deserves our love the most, ourselves, get the short end of the stick? Why can’t we take a step back and see what those that love us see? Are we so blind that we can’t see the good that is inside of us?
I think those are all relevant questions to the everyday life of a woman. Every day we stumble out of bed, into the bathroom. We walk blindly by our mirrors, taking our customary morning pee break. Come on, don’t look so surprised! We all do it! We head back in the general direction of either the mirror, or the bed. Catching our image out the corner of the eye, sometimes we turn with a look of disgust. Sometimes we can’t look ourselves in the eye. Sometimes a smile will tug at the corner of our mouths, almost reaching our eyes. Then it diminishes, remembering who it is we are looking at. Sadly, sometimes there are harsher thoughts that go through our mind as we stand there scrutinizing ourselves in the mirror.
So this I am writing to you. To the weary mom, with her tiger striped belly. To the struggling teenager, trying to find her confidence and self in every day life. To the woman, any woman… every woman. This is for you. To maybe help change those looks of contempt, disgust, and loathing… to looks of love, pride and joy. It won’t happen overnight, I can attest to that, but if we are constantly making steps each day to love ‘ME’ it will just get easier each day.
You’re beautiful. You have to know this. You have to learn this. You. Are. Beautiful. Inside and out. Top to bottom. Every inch of you. You are beautiful. I know, I know… easier said then done. Trust me, of all people… I know this. I have walked the long road of self doubt, hatred and loathing. Sometimes getting to the point of feeling that it just wasn’t worth it anymore.
Let me stop there. It is always worth it. YOU are always worth it. NEVER think you aren’t. If by chance you are at that place in your life, pause… take a step back. Breath. Whether you are breathing through tears or pain, just breath. You have to understand that the world wouldn’t be the same without you. You have to make your mark. You can’t just give up, before you get your chance to. I almost did. Twice. Those were some of the darkest times in my life. They were some of the rockiest and most precarious times for me, as a young woman and as a wife. I made the choice to try. I decided that it was worth the fight and struggle. I am so thankful I did. If you’re there…. if you find yourself feeling utterly alone. Feeling like you just can’t go on, please… don’t give up. Find something, someone to cling to. Find help. You’re worth it. We all want you too. We all need you too. More often then not, we’ve been where you’re at. We’ve all been there. Help is ok. Help is there for a reason. Use every last beautiful shred of strength you have left, to reach out.
The hurt does ease, the pain does diminish. With time, all things are possible. I am living proof of that. I am proof that someone can struggle tremendously, physically and emotionally, and finally come to the realization that I am beautiful. Really. I am beautiful. All 5′ 9″, 260lbs of me. Every curve, every stretch mark, every scar. Everything. Did I get here overnight? Hell no. Was it easy? Noooo. Did I do it? Yes. I did. 34 years later, and I can look myself in the mirror with a smile and tell myself that I am beautiful. There is nothing more empowering then the ability to do that. You give yourself the power to forgive… you. You give yourself the power to love…. you. And there is NO ONE in this world more important than you.
Ok, I already hear people…. *rolling eyes* …..people saying how self-centered that statement is. That you are NOT the most important thing. Listen, I can argue with you all day long. It is a matter of opinion. What you have to understand is that, as women, wives, mothers, teachers, nurses, whoever you are… we can’t love… we can’t give love… until we love ourselves. Sure we can try, but how much you can love others is limited by how much you love yourself. Again, my opinion, but that is something I have learned from experience. To be able to love wholly. To love without limits. In order to do that, we HAVE to love ourselves. You ARE the most important thing in your life, and you have to take care of you. You MUST take care of you.
To the weary mom, you are beautiful. You earned your tiger stripes, whether a few or a lot! Every aching, exhausted part of you is beautiful. You are the example for your daughter(s), you are the heart of your family. Yes, you do thankless jobs, but you’re doing it fabulously. You are the epitome of strength and courage. You face each day, cleaning up multiple messes, drying tears, kissing boo boos, doling out hugs, feeding multiple “starving” mouths. You do it all. Stay-at-home mom, work-at-home mom, working mom. You are all beautiful. You don’t deserve anything less than to feel beautiful. You don’t deserve anything less than looking at yourself in the mirror and smiling. You don’t deserve anything less then the joy that comes from loving yourself. Remember, you’re not alone. We’re all in the trenches, fighting each day, fighting ourselves, fighting the world. Imagine if, for one day, you gave yourself permission to love you. To accept all your flaws, to accept all the wonderful things that make you… YOU. Imagine how wonderful that might feel. Why not try? Why not, for one day, give yourself permission to love you. Grant yourself the moment… the joy…. of loving you. You ARE beautiful. All of you. I see it. I hope you can see it too.
To the tween/teenage girl…. this will be one of the hardest things you will ever do, but please… try. Listen. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Did you hear me? Listen…. carefully. You. Are. Beautiful. Did you catch that? No magazine, no tv show, no actress, no model has got anything on you. There is only one you. You are unique, exquisite, passionate, funny, loving… just to name a few. Sure you may feel chaotic at times. Yes, your emotions feel all over the place, but one of the most wonderful things you can do for that is loving you. Everything may feel amplified for you. Everything may feel, crazy. I am most certainly not saying being a teenager is easy, or drama free, but imagine how much easier your struggles would be if you had an ally. What if that ally was you? Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Having to simply reach inside yourself to find the strength and courage to face each day. To look yourself in the mirror each morning while you’re getting ready for class and KNOW that you are amazing. You are. You are beautiful and amazing. You have strength in you that you don’t even know that you possess. Why not give yourself the ok to use that strength? What an amazing gift that would be! To stand there, smiling at yourself… knowing you are wonderful, that you have a purpose, that you have a mark to leave on this world. Good, because you are and you do. You are what this world will become. You are the next generation. We need more young women like you. So please, be proud… be strong… be beautiful. Because simply……. that is what you are.
Listen, we all struggle. Did you hear that? We ALL struggle. We are not alone. Each of us with something different, but we’re all together. We trudge through our days carrying different burdens, different things we want to change, different things that drag us down. What you need to know is that in those moments when you feel like sitting down to cry, when you just can’t take it anymore… sure you can cry, a good cry can feel wonderful, but after that… you hold your head high and look yourself in the eye. You challenge yourself to love you, to look deep inside you. Maybe you have to look into a place you’ve never looked before. Maybe, just maybe, you have a strength within that you didn’t know was there.
I wish that each of us could see what others see in us…. the people who have fallen in love with us. I wish for one day, we could look through their eyes and see what they see. I know that I have struggled for years to see what my husband sees. I am now coming to see just that. They love us regardless of what we look like, how we act, what we wear… they love US. They love us. Simply. Purely. They could care less if we have cellulite, if we forgot to pluck our eyebrows yesterday, if we have one to many rolls here or there, if we’re “too tall” or “too short”…. they love us from the inside out. We are beautiful to them, and really… shouldn’t it be just that simple. To be beautiful. To love you. To have the power to give the gift of love…. simply because you have given yourself that gift first. Imagine the freedom. The joy.
To each of you…. you ARE beautiful. You are strong. You are the epitome of a woman. Give yourself the pleasure of feeling that. Feeling what you possess inside. Feeling the joy that comes from loving you. I see it. I see it in each of you. The beauty shining through… through your exhausted body, your changing image, your lonely soul…. wherever you are at. I see it, I wish…. I hope… that you can see it to. That you have the strength, and courage, to see your beauty. To look yourself in the mirror next time and smile. To begin to see the glimmer of the wonderful soul that is you. Because loving you…. is the single most important thing you will ever do. Ever.
So from one Beautiful Me to another…… I am sending you a hug. I am sending you love. I am sending you the message that you’re not alone. That we’re all in this together, and that you CAN love you, if only you give yourself permission…..
…..because that is what makes you a Beautiful Me.
Pictures my husband took of me…. my Beautiful Me…