Monday, November 25, 2013

Recognize the beauty in you

I am really at a place of peace.  I have been confronting challenges and issues deep within me that have been holding me back.  I have acknowledged, let go, and forgiven myself for harboring feelings of anger, shame, and disappointment.  I've finally reached a place where I can look at pictures of myself from several years ago and not look at them with tears or longing to return to that place.  I am finally starting to look at myself now and actually see beauty.  The dark cloud has been lifted and beauty has returned.  I've dealt with struggles of self esteem for a large portion of my life.  It wasn't until I moved to Texas and started becoming my own woman that I started to break those barriers down.  Given the health issues and challenges of the past 5 years, I lost sight of that.

So, today, I have decided to celebrate ME.  I know that I am a beautiful person with a kind, caring heart.  That is what really makes me beautiful - the INSIDE.  I truly love others.  I care for the well being of others.  I try to find the shining star in every person who I meet. I know God.  I am grateful for the gifts that He has bestowed upon me.  I am finally starting to see outer beauty, and this is an evolution that has been almost 36 years in the making.  I am not saying this in a conceited way.  I just recognize that inner beauty shines through to the outside.

I am sharing a few pictures from my competition era and the surrounding years.  As I mentioned, I used to cry when I would even think of these pictures, let alone actually see them.  Now, I see look at them and smile.  They are really pretty pictures that captured a very happy time in my life.  At the same time, the physical demands I placed on my body to get to that level were only meant to be for a moment in time, not a lifetime.  I am proud of these images, and I accept that I may never get back there again.  And that is 100% okay.  I can say that with complete and total honesty.  I look at the competition pictures and feel proud, but I vividly remember the constant hunger and challenging workouts that I had to endure.  I enjoyed the journey, but not the lifestyle.

No matter what your struggle, recognize the beauty in Y-O-U.  Nobody can take that away or lift that emotion up, other than you.  God made every one of us beautiful.  When I started my journey, a friend shared this verse with me.  We cried and prayed together as I started my test.  I listened to my dear friend Kari then, but I don't think that I ever really internalized the message until now.

Psalms 139:13-16: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.  I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

Friends, recognize and embrace the beauty within yourself.  You will feel better and having a healthy sense of self worth is both positive and peaceful.   Thanks to my friend T for helping me reach this point in my journey.  People are brought into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.  Whatever the duration, the impact has been so meaningful. 

Find You. Love You. Be You.


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