You Are Beautiful

I fell into this belief that beauty is skin deep. Not just that, but that I don’t make the grade.

To be honest, I have felt this way for as long as I can remember. Being overweight,then pimply, really made me self-conscious. In many respects, I unconsciously carry around those extra kilograms still. And this all boils down to not feeling worthy.

What’s actually ironic about all of my issues is that they come from a place of lack. They project to me an image of not-enoughness, just because I don’t have a V-line or a six-pack.

But, in the past month, I’ve had time to look at myself. Really look at myself. Is this the life I want to forever lead? Constantly running and hiding away in the background? If I died today, how would people remember me? Only the fierce and relentless have had a peek into my soul. And it is beautiful. Deep down, I’ve always known that. I just wanted to truly feel it.

And so I look back at pictures from my childhood. I get close to tears when I realize what problems that poor child had fitting in, and how much of that baggage he still carries to this day. Sure, I found solace in books and television, but what I really craved was acceptance.

I always thought that I’d lose weight, and those problems would evaporate. I thought that I would be part of the crowd once I lost the layers of fat that were keeping me outside of it. And lo and behold, I did lose weight. But that was not the problem.The damage was already done.

And as I discovered more and more about me, which was in conflict with how society felt I should be, I was lost. Because I had sacrificed a literal pound of flesh, and I was still on the outside looking in.

The truth is that I will most probably not be remembered as a fashion icon or the hottest guy in {insert town here}. And that is not how I want to be remembered, if I’m telling the truth. I want the image of me to be as a person with a heart of gold, the courageous one, the one who went higher than anybody thought he would. But this inner conflict of what beauty truly is is messing up my ability to fulfill my true obligations to myself, and the world.

I think I’ll be fighting the ghosts of self-worth my entire life. Yet, tomorrow, and its unknowns, doesn’t matter (just yet). It is today which I know, and which I can change. So it is today which I shall bring my attention to.

I am beautiful. I truly am. Once in a while, I browse through the selfies on my phone, and I smile in pride. I want that to be more often. I want to trust and love myself. I want to know that if I believe in my beauty, others will believe in it too. And if, for some reason, they don’t, it is less about me, and more about them. I cannot change anybody’s mindset, only my own.

These words seem so eloquent and magical. Liberating, even. But following through is a difficult and challenging experience. Tears, bad days, and grief…that’s all part of the package. But it’s all worth it for the days an nights when you realize what you- and everybody else-are.

You are beautiful.

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