Oh man, beauty! SO vast a subject, so many different thoughts!! First of all in my humble opinion, EVERYONE is beautiful, that seems like such a generic, run-of-the-mill, whatever, blanket statement, but, really! It’s so true, in fact one of my goals in life is to find the beauty in all of the people that I encounter, and usually I do a great job. For this post I would first like to touch upon my “beautiful” family, and then I’ll get probably what most people will think is too serious and dive into myself.
My mom, at 61, is one of the most beautiful women that I know, inside and out. Her selfless endeavors and non-pajama wearing, always ready to face the day, put together face, are inspiring and encouraging. However, her heart is where it’s at. It is strong and has a rock solid foundation on faith, beautiful.
My sister Juli, whoa! Stop the press, because beautiful is this lovely ladie’s middle name! Juli is beautiful in many different ways as well. I would say lately, I see Juli’s beauty radiating when people visit her and she’s playing hostess to accommodate everyone as well as when she is enjoying activities with her children and her Italian stallion super Dad husband.
My sister Kati (we’re going in birth order here) has a truly natural nurturing beauty that is unique to her and unlike anyone else I’ve ever known. Her beauty shines through in caring for her sons as well as caring for her over worked, under paid husband on a daily basis, even though she herself is overworked on many levels.
My sister Krista, whoot! whoot! Is amazing as well. Besides being a caring therapist, she is a beautiful person and is always thinking of others first and enjoying her relationship with her husband. She is a strong and courageous woman and has led many people in her adventurous life thus far.
The reason I touched on my sisters first is because they have played such a big part in shaping my views on beauty and how I feel about myself on a day to day basis, I mean basically they’re super heroes. For example, if I’m feeling down, guess who my first call is to? Kati, Krista, or Juli. I am SO blessed, because I have three best friends on call at all times to let me know how loved and how wanted I am no matter what. Sometimes I feel really bad that Ilah (my daughter) may never know the bond of a sibling, only because it seems like my life would be so much less full without my siblings (any only children out there feel free to tell me otherwise and lift my spirits on this issue in the comments section). Growing up with four girls in my family was really never hard for me or any of my siblings (at least to my knowledge), as far as comparing ourselves to each other or being jealous. I guess there were times when I felt like the “fat one” (to be blunt), but we probably all took turns feeling that way due to growth spurts and fluctuating exercise/eating habits. Anyway, bottom line is: my sisters rock, my mom rocks and they are so, so beautiful, and I just felt compelled to mention that. Onto me…
I grew up feeling outwardly beautiful the majority of the time. Along the way I picked up the habit of what I refer to as beauty validation, where I was constantly barking out negative comments to hear a good one from others. Though this behavior is not healthy, I believe it to be a common practice among girls and women. I never felt like I had to wear tight shirts or short skirts to get noticed and I never did, which I’m thankful for, even though there’s nothing wrong with that. I felt most beautiful when I was helping friends, exercising, or engaging in witty comebacks. I was strong and sensitive and worked hard. Inwardly, I struggled silently in what I felt like was a sea of monotony. I struggled with my relationships with guys for multiple reasons and to the naked eye it seemed like I was very happy in my dating, but for me it was like I was dying every minute. I was constantly upholding an outward appearance with no real connections to another person inwardly, mainly due to distrust and pent up aggression; in a word, fear.
How does this relate to beauty? Well, I had no self- esteem inside because all I felt like I was doing was hurting others and not being true to myself, so sad, so tough, so lonely, so Godless. BUT, long story mediumish, I made some mega mistakes, I endured extremely tough circumstances, I live with consequences from the past daily, but I am FINALLY extremely close to exactly who and where I want to be in life and that makes me feel beautiful.
I feel beautiful because I am living without fear in my relationship and I am FINALLY accepting the grace of our Lord and Savior. For a long, long time my biggest sin was saying, “no, I’m not forgiven. I’ve just messed up too many times, so nope! Jesus did not die on the cross for our sins”. That has been such a struggle for me, but I think it’s good to be repentant now and accept the fact that I’m a sinner just like everyone else and not beyond forgiveness ( I gotta be honest though, I’m super thankful for the story of David in the bible because in some way it just makes me feel better. I mean God LOVED David’s heart regardless of what he ever did).
Because I am now willing to forgive myself, I feel truly beautiful when I am outside in God’s perfectly created world, I feel beautiful when Ilah and I are together no matter what we’re doing, I feel beautiful when I hold David’s hand, and I feel beautiful when I am simply doing my job and helping people live their life to the fullest (I’m an OT). I am truly blessed by my family and support system.
Lastly, I just want to give a shout out to all of the women that have written on this blog for WHM. You are all wonderful people and I appreciated all of the raw honesty in the stories and testimonials, always a pleasure, have a wonderful summer 🙂
I am an Occupational Therapist for Advanced Home Care working with people that have been in catastrophic motor vehicle accidents, so mainly spinal chord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. I also run an autism program through the hospital. I have one daughter, a cat, a black lab, and a great dane. My favorite things to do are spend time with family, play with ilah (my daughter), have adventures with David, be active outdoors, listen to Ravi Zacharias (a new passion), play board games, embark on road trips, and read comics (a new hobby). I have two bachelors, my masters and begin the second half of my doctorate in the fall.