The first time I watched this I cried. I cried because I know how painful it would be for me to sit down and describe my appearance to a stranger. My appearance is something I don't like to think about. I look in the mirror each morning to tame my bed head and to do my best to combat the dark circles under my eyes and that's it. I try not to think about how I look and yet I do. Often.
I cringe whenever a camera is pointed at me. I am self conscious any time I have to stand alongside other women. I hide behind my kids, behind my husband, behind anything I can get my hands on every chance I get. The only part of my body that I can honestly say that I love is my scars. My ugly scars are my medals of honour for surviving the battle for my life and that makes them beautiful. Everything else? Blah.
So I watched the video for the first time and cried. I watched it for the second time and cried again.
This time my tears ran for my daughter, for her friends, for my mother, my sister, my friends. I cried for every woman I know because there is not one that who could confidently and honestly say that they love their appearance in its entirety, that they accept themselves and love themselves just as they are. I cried for all of us who have believed the lie that we are less than we should be.
So I watched the video for a third time and I cried again.
This time I cried for the confusion of our husbands, for the sadness of our fathers and for the bewilderment of our friends. And I cried for the broken heart of our Creator. To these, we are perfect and lovely and acceptable. To these we are all that we should be, lacking in nothing. To these we are precious. So why can't we be these wonderful things for ourselves?
Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why to we shrug off compliments? Why do we steel ourselves with a false sense of confidence instead of allowing real confidence to grow? Why are we so unkind to the person who needs our kindness the most? Why have we bought into the lie of inadequacy?
So I watched the video for a fourth time. This time there were no tears. This time I made a promise to myself. This time I whispered an impromptu pledge to my own heart.
I will be kinder than necessary. I will allow the truth of who I am to reflect from those who love me most into my very heart. I will extend grace to this magnificent body that has comforted friends in need, brought life to my children, felt the love of my husband and returned that same depth of love to him, carried me through illness, heartache, joy and triumph. I will celebrate who I am, all that I am and I will love me, every bit of me, better each day.
Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.