I used to be able to count on the fingers of one hand, all of the times in my life that I had ever felt beautiful. I guess being a buck-tooth pasty ginger child with acne and chubby little legs didn’t really give me much option.
I can already hear some of my faithful friends getting up in arms over this. No No, don’t protest please, this is how I used to see myself. Something disgusting that could never be accepted as beautiful or even pretty by any stretch of the imagination. I had taught myself from a young age to be insecure about everything about myself that was different or imperfect. Sound familiar?
You have those days when you wake up and you don’t want to look in the mirror, you don’t want to be seen the way that you are. That part of you that you hate, you hide from people because you’re afraid it will make them love you less. It’s an absolute war in your head. We do it to ourselves, we like to streamline ourselves. By apologising for the things we least like about ourselves we invite each other to be ashamed for that which is out of our control. Sweet soul, you do not deserve to feel that way about yourself.
I’m not going to apologise for my body and nor should you apologize for yours, all it’s trying to do is keep up with my crazy soul and the life I choose to lead. I feel most beautiful when I am doing the things that I love like walking the length of the beach in my hometown, singing to a room full of people or just to myself and spending time with people who like me, just want to do their best.
Somewhere along the line I taught myself to believe that I should only love something if it is perfect and beautiful and there is absolutely nothing to be desired. Bullshit. You will never love anything in your life if you choose to believe that this is true. I used to wake up everyday and struggle not to hate myself. I struggled not to hate the milky colour of my skin and the way I was ridiculed as a ‘Ranga’ as I walked down the street. It manifested until I believed that I could never be loved, never be capable of what I wanted to do and never be allowed to like anything about myself. Now I have a new problem. I wake up everyday, a little bit lovestruck. I am overwhelmed by my heart’s capacity to love everything in its sight. I’m not at all concerned by the way it loves imperfect things for they are just like me. Everyone has their shortfalls, but believe me when I say I have never met an ugly person, only an ugly behaviour within a beautiful person (but that is a separate issue for another post).
In this day and age, we like to put our best foot forward and show people ourselves in the most gorgeous light possible. We are all guilty of this. This is how I end up in my bare-feet in the wet-grass with a face full of make-up and my sister’s magical photography skills to make you think I am some ethereal being (as shown above). Why do we do this? Because we are afraid if we are seen to be ‘ugly’ then people will use it as a reason to stay away from us. But I’m about to get very vulnerable and point out some of the times when I did not have my act together in the least. Am I afraid that this will change the way that the people I love look at me? Yes I am. Then why am I doing this? Hopefully if I show that I am unafraid of my imperfections, or that I have even come to embrace and love my imperfections, somebody somewhere might just do the same. And at the end of the day, if someone decides not to love me because of my body, then they have completely missed my soul.
Here are some of what I consider to be my finest moments. You have my permission to giggle- I certainly can’t help my laughter.
So you will see that I am not the most beautiful woman in the world. I don’t have it all together. I am by no means a supermodel but I shouldn’t have to be those things for somebody to love me. Nor should I have to be those things to love myself. A lifetime is a very long time to spend not loving yourself for the things you cannot change. As of late I feel the most beautiful I have ever felt in my life. Why? Because I am learning that beauty is not defined by the crop of curly carrot-coloured straw atop my head, not my snaggle-tooth smile or my chubby white legs. No, beauty is defined by who I am trying to be. And in case you hadn’t gathered, I’m trying to help you see that you are beautiful, so maybe it’s time you started believing that.
What I want you to know is that you are a beautiful person, yes in part for how you look, but wholly and truthfully, completely and utterly, finitely because you are you. Let’s love the souls inside the bodies and then we will love the bodies that take care of the souls so much more for what they protect.
Take care, you beautiful soul