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In a nut shell : I'm a wife, a full time working mom, a teacher, a Star Wars geek, comic book nerd, Disney enthusiast, hockey Mom, a decade long breast cancer survivor, and oh let's not forget such a happy, sassy, southern mess!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Life Lesson #90 ~ Beautifully You & You Alone

“You’ve got a beauty that’s all your own.”

Do you see it yourself? Do you accept you’re beautiful, handsome? Do you know how amazing you are? Be it an oddball, a nerd, a beauty queen, jock, bookworm, living with a learning disability or a genius. Doesn’t matter, you’re you and that’s all that matters. Colbie Caillat says it so well in her song ‘Try’, “Wait a second, why should you care what they think of you. When you're all alone, by yourself do you like you? Do you like you? You don't have to try so hard, you don't have to give it all away. You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up. You don't have to change a single thing.”

I often wonder why so many people compare themselves to others? Honestly it’s very bewildering as to why folks duplicate; mimic or even forge a copy of someone else’s life trying to pass it off as their own. It’s a bit perplexing isn’t it as to the reasons some feel the need to compete to the point of losing themselves? What’s happened to originality, being yourself, unique and beautifully you? When did it become OK or normal to put someone else’s skin on as your own? Why do some need to replicate another’s every move? I honestly wonder what is missing, what’s lacking in our lives. What has gone so defunct in our society causing so many not only to mirror but to live as a knockoff rather than an original?  Don’t we know, “true beauty is not of the body or the face, no it is a thing of the soul ~ of fire and air, breath and spirit, something brave and unafraid?” (Segovia Amil)

I’m truly blessed to have been brought up by a mother who not only encouraged my free spirit insisting I live an authentic, genuine and unedited life. I never lived in the shadow my beautiful mother; instead I lived beside her, learning from her.  We differ in many ways. She’s a blond, I’m a redhead. She’s a bit shorter and I’m taller.  While I am not my mother, I am definitely my mother’s daughter.  We are different in every way, and yet alike in so many others. I never felt inferior to my mom. I was loved, encouraged to be myself and allowed to be a misfit if I chose to be. One of the greatest gifts my mom gave me was not expecting me to be just like her. Instead she inspired me, influenced me to be true to myself and my undisputed calling in life. My mom is one of the most beautiful women I have ever known. Yet she is a woman who has never fully understood just how beautiful she really is. My mom is grace, she’s full of humility and she is one of the kindest souls you’ll ever meet. Because of my mom I was taught to be me, to be myself fully, not a copy but a full-fledged original maverick of sorts depending on whom you ask, an absolute nonconformist and your basic oddball. You know why, because “a beautiful soul is never forgotten.” My mom imprinted this very sentiment upon my heart. And I know this for certain; my mom and her one of a kind beauty will never be forgotten.

I guess you could say I learned from an early age, beauty was not necessarily something I saw in the mirror; instead beauty is something that grows inside of you, overflowing out of you. In the years since I was a little girl, I’ve come to have a greater understanding of that. You see,“Beauty is in the way you hold yourself. It’s how you treat people. The way you love. It’s self-acceptance. Beauty is in your soul. If you think you’re any more of a person because your face is nice you need a reality check.” The sad truth is in today’s age of social media and instant access; we see more photo shopped beauty than ever before. Many folks think they’re entitled to an opinion without any kind of fact. We assume, and we overthink. We become angry and why? Well because we’re challenged by those we are trying to compete with. We allow our own insecurities to become their fault when the truth is it’s no one’s fault but our own. Many times we end up discontent, almost hating those we feel are prettier or better than us even if they aren’t for no other reason than being insecure with ourselves. This is the thing we have to understand in the big picture of life and I’m paraphrasing here, “The beauty in your struggle is the fact that’s it’s yours. Embrace your truth, learn from your hardships.”

Growing up, watching my mom’s beauty shine from the inside out I not only witnessed real grace, integrity and originality, but it was planted inside my heart as well. I may be a screwball for thinking this way, but I have no desire to imitate, impersonate or duplicate anyone. I like being me, flaws, faults, imperfections and all. I’m not a beauty queen, I’m not better than anyone else and I do not claim to be. I love knowing I am different, that I am simply me. I am not my mom, my un-biological sisters, friends, cousins or aunts and so on. I am not in competition with anyone. The women who fill my life with their presence are uniquely themselves. I admire and appreciate their beauty, their individuality but I am personally content with who I am. Together, we add layers and diversity to each other’s lives. We have no desire to be the other, nor are we willing to take anything away from one another. We’re all so different from our jobs, to our education, our outside beauty and even our personalities. Competition is nonexistent, and why you ask? Simple, our differences complement each other; they do not intimidate or inhibit us from being ourselves. As friends and family, if we’ve learned anything as a collective, it’s this, “Be authentic. Speak sincerely. Listen thoughtfully. Act compassionately and love. Always love. What we bring to life becomes our life.”  If not, you’ll live a life of discontentment, never happy or fulfilled and always trying to convince the world and yourself you’re someone you’re not.

Life lesson #90 ~ be you. Be beautifully you and you alone. Go on dare to be different, to be unique and yes absolutely divergent. Psalm 139:13 says, “You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother's womb.” If this is true then why are we willing to kill ourselves, our relationships and to sell our souls for a phony, imitation and counterfeit version of ourselves? Stop where you are and take note of your surroundings, your life, your beauty and your own unique grace. Personally, “I wish to live a life that causes my soul to dance inside my body.” And my heart’s prayer is the same for you too.


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