This year has been a year of great change for me. Actually, it’s been YEARS in the making, but this year I made some difficult decisions and my life is very different as a result. I’m not ready to publicly share the details yet, but my quietness has been a result of a great deal of introspection, personal growth and grieving. These are things I want to do privately and only share when I’m ready.
As part of this journey, I am re-defining myself. I am creating new rules for living my best life. One of those rules I shared on my Instagram story a few weeks ago – I buy myself flowers on the regular and more often than not, I have fresh flowers in my home. Life is just too damn short not to enjoy the little things like fresh flowers.
Another new rule for my life is less self shaming and choosing to love myself more. I’m talking about loving myself wholly, completely and as I truly am. Years ago, I lost nearly 30 lbs after changing my eating habits and I was astonished when I would look in the mirror and see the same chubby self, 30 lbs heavier. I couldn’t see myself for who I TRULY was at that moment.
I failed to realize that I’d always been beautiful – and that what makes anyone beautiful is not simply physical – it’s our spirit, our being, our intention and our presence. It’s in how we treat and love others, our mannerisms, our sense of humor. Our beauty lies in how we live life every day from our own unique perspective. We all view this world through a lens unique to us. Appreciate that uniqueness of perspective about yourself and others. When you do that, this world becomes an exponentially more beautiful place.
So, when I saw this video pop up in my FB memories from years past – about how “normal” women had professionals do their hair + makeup, had photographs shot by a professional photographer and then retouched by a Photoshop expert as they would be if published in a magazine. They were astonished at the results – the photos hardly resembled their true selves. I literally sat at my laptop this morning and cried after watching that video again, years later. Why do we have it so incredibly wrong in our culture? I am sad for all of the women and young girls who think they have to be perfect in order to be accepted or loved.
I don’t wear much makeup. I do cover the grey in my hair, but I am pretty low maintenance when it comes to investing in my physical appearance. I rarely do my nails. I’m a take it or leave it kind of person. Either you see my true beauty or you don’t and that’s fine with me. I don’t feel ashamed about going out in public without makeup. Years of cystic acne that cannot be covered up by gallons of foundation will force that acceptance about beauty not being solely physical. I learned to let go of my dreams of physical beauty and perfection. No matter what drugs I took, how much I spent on products and dedicated endless hours to beauty routines – nothing would resolve my acne. The one thing that impacted my skin more than anything? Cutting out junk in my diet and focusing on healthy, nutrient dense foods. A healthy dose of living a less stressful life and learning to love myself (warts and all) didn’t hurt either.
I’ve given up on the obsession over my weight. I don’t own a scale. I honestly don’t know how much I weigh right now. I know how my clothes fit. I know what my body looks like. I know when I need to reign it back in and dial in my eating (I’m on the cusp of that now, actually). That kind of knowledge and self awareness is priceless. I have friends who are skinnier and more beautiful than me. Some of them weigh themselves every day. I am happy and that’s all I care about. I will continue to surround myself with loving, supportive people who love me for WHO I am. We all need those people in our lives. Those people are our tribe.
Who is your tribe? How do they help you live your most authentic life? What makes you feel joyful?