While we're all aware that looks aren't everything, we do spend a lot of time worrying about how we look. It's superficial. It's silly. It's only human. Especially in a society that places such a high value on it and bombards us with images of 'perfection'. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I still have my hang-ups. I've stood in front of mirrors and grimaced at my reflection. I've got parts of my body that I would change in a heartbeat. I've uttered the dreaded "does my butt look big in this?" (MOH, My Other Half, slowly backed away and hoped I didn't notice he was there). I've walked around despondently in my 'fat' clothes feeling dumpy and lumpy. I've said "if only I was...", "I wish I had..." and "I look okay, but...". I remember being told as a child that I didn't inherit my Dad's lean thighs and legs. So that means mine are just fat, right? When I was a teenager I was asked if I wanted a nose job. I never actually thought there was anything wrong with my nose...until that moment. Today I am a grown woman who knows a whole lot better, but I still catch myself looking critically at my nose or my thighs from time to time and wondering if only...
It doesn't make sense that I know I am the healthiest, fittest and strongest I have ever been in my life, yet old insecurities still lurk at the back of my mind and come back to haunt me with a vengeance. It's funny...and sad. The most telling was when MOH said to me "I wish you could see what I see."
Like the women on the video, I started to think about when I feel the most beautiful and here are some of those moments. I feel the most beautiful when:
- I have those 'MOH moments' - the way he looks at me, he brushes the hair away from my face, he kisses me and holds me close,
- I am laughing out loud,
- I am making others laugh,
- I give something to or do something for someone that brings them comfort and/or joy,
- My nephew smiles at me,
- The children of our friends and family call out an excited "Auntie M",
- I've finished a strenuous exercise session or completed a run (no kidding) - hot, sweaty, sore, tired but amazed at what my body can actually do
- I am singing at the top of my lungs and dancing around like I just don't care,
- I've achieved or done something I never thought I could,
- I am happy.
So in the spirit of learning to love myself just the way I am with all my heart, happy valentine's day to me! May I remember to cherish me and value me. May I be able to one day say with absolute confidence and pride, without any "if only's", " I wish's" and "but's", that I am me - imperfect, but perfectly so.
"Comparison is the thief of joy"
That's What She Said - Beauty and Body Image: http://youtu.be/0Lz6tYh4esY
Watch the video till the very end to hear an inspirational, heart wrenching poem that every woman who ever thought "I'm not that..." should hear.