I have a confession to make. I have never looked at myself as beautiful. Crazy, right? But seriously, when I look in the mirror I see the following:
- A gigantic overbite and crooked lower teeth; my mom could hardly afford dental treatment for us, let alone braces.
- Irritating hairs on my nose, upper lip and chin that I have to shave just about every week.
- Dark scars from old acne breakouts.
- Current acne breakouts (seriously, I have the skin of a teenager.)
- Hair that’s almost 50% gray and hangs out on the frizzy side of town.
- The belly that just will not go away.
The list of faults can go on and on.
When I look at my kids, I can’t get over how gorgeous they are. My older daughter, Brigid (almost 8 years old,) has beautiful honey blond hair with gorgeous highlights and gray eyes. My younger daughter, Lucia (almost 6 years old,) has darker hair, brown eyes, lashes that go on for days and dimples. And then is Fritz. He’s two and all he has to do is bat those long lashes and you are under his spell. They are beautiful. I think they are beautiful. Strangers think they are beautiful and they are told just about every day how beautiful they are! I see nothing but good in them and the irony is, they are products of me. How can I look at myself as being so unattractive but, yet, I see my children as beautiful?
Last summer, I was visiting with my aunt and we were looking over some old family pictures. The girls were laughing and giggling at pictures of great-auntie and grandma when Lucia suddenly said, “Look, that’s me!” I picked up the picture she was holding and it was a picture of… me. My picture at 2 years old looks almost exactly like Lucia. How did I not see that before? After all, she carries 50% of my genetic profile. She is my offspring. She is of me. Like begets like.
We often adopt such a skewed view of ourselves that we are blinded to what we really are. We listen to the lies that worm into our ears; we listen to the lies that we are sure are spewed from the lips of those around us. We convince ourselves that if only… if only I were thinner, if only my butt was perkier, if only my teeth were whiter, if only I didn’t look like me, my life would be better.
My children are growing up in a world that places beauty as a top commodity. They see how people who look differently than others are picked on, left out, rejected. How will I teach my children that all humans are deserving of love and acceptance when I am unable to accept myself?
There is no reason why we should ever doubt our worth and beauty, because we are made in the exact likeness of all that is worthy, all that is honorable, all that is right and true in the world.
Image by Morgan Sessions from UnSplash