“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Am I beautiful? I think now I can say that I am. Oh not in a conceited, ‘love me, look at me everyone’ kind of way. No just for myself. I would not be judged a beauty in today’s world if we looked at outward beauty only. But I am not consumed with being or thinking myself beautiful. No instead I like and love myself…that is beauty to me.
And it has been a long time coming to accept myself as a beautiful person inside and out. When I started high school I was 5 feet tall, and weighed about a 100 lbs soaking wet with naturally curly frizzy hair that did its own thing. I wore tortoise-shell glasses (all the rage) which of course made me a ‘four-eyes’….or in other words an easy target for bully-types. And I had not blossomed yet, so there were no big stares from the boys.
We were and still are bombarded with messages of being beautiful, and trying to achieve an image of beauty that is outside ourselves. Add to that I was not outgoing, but instead a shy, introverted girl who was a dreamer in a sea of 3800 students. So I was content to keep myself to myself…not letting many people in.
Now some 40 years later, and many experiences under my belt, I am just beginning to accept me for who I am…and I am learning about who I am again. I think I was always trying to play a role in an effort to be liked or accepted never quite understanding that keeping these masks on would do more harm.
And although it is scary to strip off the masks, that is what I have done in the past 10 years. And it was not always easy being alone with myself. I had been learning in the last few years to be more accepting of others and not to judge them, but I had not given myself the same courtesy.
It wasn’t until I started listening to the messages coming from within, that I saw just how judgmental I was with myself. Being with those feelings and messages, has helped me to realize that I too deserve a break. I am only human. I am still learning, and will be for a long time to come.
I think the biggest lesson was when I could finally stop beating myself up for things I did or didn’t do, and finally accepted some self-compassion. The self-sabotage ended, and the messages were ones of self-healing. If I was trying to change a habit or incorporate a new healthier one, I no longer berated myself when I slid a little down the slippery slope. Instead I just got back up and started again. And it has become easier starting fresh each day.
The biggest thing I have done for myself has been to finally say, “I AM ENOUGH”, and really mean it. Warts and all….imperfections, bad habits, fits of temper…you name it, it is me….beautiful, wonderful me. I am really grateful for myself as I am. And as I feel I want to change things within myself, I do. Mostly to feel better, and be a better person…to be happier. And isn’t that what it is all about. Being happy in our own skins!
Here’s to this 58 yr old, 5 foot tall woman who doesn’t look her age….who is kinder and gentler with herself and others….who is having more fun, practicing healthier habits (as I must now)…who is still the introvert and the dreamer….a creative being who loves to tell stories and share them. She is my hero….I love her and I like her a lot….she is my best friend and fierce protector. She is beautiful and enough just as she is right now!
Special Note: The flowers shown here are pink lilacs. In The Language of Flowers, lilacs represent beauty and love, and pink represents admiration and appreciation. A perfect flower to herald the message of self-love and acceptance.
I leave you with more thoughts about acceptance and being enough. Feel free to download this photo and share.
All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015. Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.