The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
I lied to my kid. Last week she asked me if I felt beautiful. It was a simple question but I felt conflict and chaos within the answer. To be honest, no, I didn’t feel beautiful, but I lied to her and said the exact opposite. “Yes, mommy feels beautiful.”
At five, she doesn’t understand the complexities of beauty and body image. I lied to her because I didn’t want to tell her that mommy felt fat, tired, and insecure. But here I go sharing all my stuff with the world again. I’ve been on the struggle bus lately and it stems from something that existed pre-Covid and is only amplified throughout a pandemic, which is de-prioritizing my own body and self image for others.
I’m a natural giver. It comes to me via my mama. I’m grateful she taught me purpose over popularity and gave me the strength to know my worth. But I’ve long worried and obsessed over body image and known physical fitness to be a challenge that requires consistency and compassion. Moreover, I’m almost never giving myself enough credit and wading through the worry instead of mustering the strength to stand vulnerable and valid. I need to invest in this process with as much love and devotion as I see fit to fulfill for others. Moreover, I need to be able to answer my kid honestly and enthusiastically next time the question comes my way. And should the question never come, I need to answer it on my own.
So I’m doing the right things. I’m enlisting my partner in crime to keep me accountable. I’m employing a nutritionist, workout regimen, and meditating on the regular. I’m also focusing on identifying what I love about myself and giving no time to the laundry list of insecurities I’ve acquired throughout the years.
Listen, the next time my kid asks me if I’m feeling beautiful I’m replying with certainty and enthusiasm. There’ll be no more lying to her. Most importantly, there’ll be no more lying to myself.
Stay well, love yourself something fierce, and know beauty is within.