"Life is a garden. It is an opportunity. You can grow weeds, you can grow roses; it all depends on you."
I'm so excited to start this wonderful journey with you. I have decided to try to finally conquer the image or beauty insecurities that seem to plague many women in our society, and along the way, hopefully help other women come to terms with their own beauty. To start off, I wanted to share the above quote and gorgeous picture with you. I thought the butterfly appropos because they are such delicate objects of beauty - dancing their way through life, but they have to go through so much in order to get to that state. And frankly, let's face it, they start out as caterpillars, while inifinitely exciting for little boys to squish in their pockets, not terribly inspirational for the eyes.
In my lifetime, I have mostly felt like a caterpillar. I believe I know some of the reasons why, but I definitely know that I want to search out more and get rid of those weedy thoughts. I want my thoughts to be filled with roses, to refer back to the above quote. Why, now, when I'm in my late 40's would I grow (and no, that's not a typo) through this? Well, probably because I am a stage 3 breast cancer survivor and from 2007 through 2010 I spent most of my time just trying to physically survive. The past couple of years I have been bordering on the brink between the fear of living, the fear of dying, and the ultimate determination to live each day that I have to the best of my ability ... filled with happiness and hope. Also, I know that I'm alive still for a purpose. I want that purpose to be the means to inspire every woman that I come into contact with, to feel good about herself - to feel beautiful - to feel unique and essential in her own sphere of existence.
And while I'm writing that, I'm realizing ... why is it that we as women have such a difficult time seeing the best in other women? We do not, as a whole, often compliment someone verbally, but we can spend an inordinate amount of time mentally picking apart their faults? What is so wrong with acknowledging another's beauty? It doesn't diminish our own. In fact, perhaps if we can see and acknowledge the beauty in other women, maybe it would be easier for us to feel confident enough to acknowledge our own.
Okay, so that will be my first experiment and challenge to you. I'm going to keep a small journal in my purse and when I see another woman and have the opportunity to compliment her, on whatever I possibly can, I'm going to write down my thoughts and feelings about the interaction. What is the other woman's reaction? How does it make me feel about myself and my own self-esteem? Does it add or subtract. I'll let you know how it works out. And, I'd love to hear your comments as well. What happens when you do the same?
To close my first "epic" post, I'd like to leave the following quote and beautiful picture for you (and I) to ponder:
"Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical." - Sophia Loren