You ask “What of me is beautiful?” Then the God within replies, “Everything.” It’s time to love yourself…
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I have a little personal story to share today my sweet friends. So if you can join me, sit back and relax, and let’s rewind this ridiculous thing called “time” back many, many years to when I was in my early twenties and attending university. Back to a time when I couldn’t see any beauty in me, to a day when the term “love yourself” wasn’t about clarity, but vanity.
It was early morning as I stood in front of the mirror, turning from one side to the other, to see how I looked from every angle possible. I was only going to one of my university classes that day, and although I had no suitor to impress, for some reason it was important for me to ‘look good’. Sucking my stomach in, I placed my hands just so, in order to hide my hips from view and silently sighed, “How come I got stuck with this body?”
I’d given up on my outfit, and surrendered to the fact that I was never going to achieve Super Beauty, something it seemed every other girl had, but me. I leaned into the mirror to put on my eyeliner. I got frustrated at how my eyelids didn’t fold back right and how my eyelashes were straight and not naturally luscious like the television ads. My nose wasn’t straight and my eyebrows not full enough.
That’s it, enough! I slammed my make-up down, picked up my shoulder bag and charged out the door. By the time I arrived to the school grounds, I was convinced I would disgust everyone who saw me. In my mind, I was a fat, frumpy, ugly ogre stomping to class, making all the innocent villagers flee in sheer terror.
After what seemed like an eternity of sitting uncomfortably in a stadium-sized 3-hour class, it was time to head home. I remember that it felt like a dark cloud was enveloping my head; I was utterly dismayed at my fabricated misfortune of being a hideous creature. As I charged down the city street to my car, my unpleasant reverie was broken when someone quickly stepped to my right. I looked over my shoulder to find a homeless man walking next to me, who I had passed only a few feet before, trying to keep pace.
“Do you mind if I walk with you, just for a moment miss?” he asked me with a toothless smile.
I was so confused, “Uh, sure.” I snapped back, not having the keenness of insight or patience of kindness to understand his real motive. I didn’t look at him again, but I could see him bobbing along in my peripheral vision.
“I don’t often get to be near such a beautiful thing,” he mumbled, and then held his head down.
My chest welled up with a mixture of anger (What!? Are you coming onto me?!) and pride (Aww, what a sweet thing to say!); but I didn’t say a thing and just kept walking.
My new ‘friend’ saw me to the cross walk, bid me a very gentlemanly farewell, and disappeared back into the urban jungle from which he popped out of. I was still in shock from what had just passed, but it was becoming less of an angry shock, and more of a humbled one, as I realized that he simply paid me a compliment. He felt like he could brighten my day, and I could brighten his, and for just those few moments, he saw this hideous creature as beautiful. I never saw him again.
It’s time to love yourself, as you are.
As I reached my car, I suddenly stopped in my tracks. Somehow, amid all the clouds surrounding my head, I saw a very small purple wild flower growing from out of the dark and dirty concrete ground. It was gently waving in the soft breeze, as though silently wishing, hoping to be seen.
I pulled my shoulder bag off, and let it fall to the ground, as I sat down in the middle of the parking lot to stare at this little creature. Time slowed down; I could see every little detail on it: it’s tiny lilac petals, many of which were bent from being driven over; it’s yellow pollen, much of which had been swept away by the wind or carried away by bees; it’s sweet little green arms, so twisted from trying to break free from the concrete prison it was trapped in.
Without any thought, I said myself, “I don’t often get to be near such a beautiful thing“. And then I cried. After quite a few moments, I muttered, “What of me is this beautiful?” And the God within me replied, “Everything.”
I realized that little wildflower and I had a lot in common. There are countless flowers in the world, in all shapes, sizes, and colours – all gloriously beautiful with their scars and troubles. They will stand out, in their own way, in their own time. Just like my little purple wildflower did for me. And as I did for the homeless man. And now, in hindsight, I see, just like the homeless man did for me.
It’s your imperfections which make you perfect my sweet friend. You are beautiful, just as you are. Please remember that, always. Namaste.