Sunday, June 22, 2014

Can You Hear Me Now?

I want to shout it to the world. You are BEAUTIFUL! I know so many people who aren't happy with their body type. Not just women either. Just regular people. They all want to change something about themselves. People, you don't get it. You are beautiful.

My mother is one of the most fantastic people I know. She is always selfless, kind, and loving to EVERYONE. If she can help, she does. She is the most beautiful person I know. People tell me all the time that I look just like her. I love it. How could I not want to look like the most perfect person I know. I have always known my mother is beautiful. But the funny thing is....she didn't. And I didn't find that out until a year or so ago. We were casually talking about life and she says to me, "I've never really thought of myself as pretty." It floored me. Not only is my mom more than pretty, she is beautiful. I never knew that she didn't feel that way while I was growing up. She was always good to not beat up on her self image around her family, but inside she didn't feel beautiful. Mom, I want you to know, you are beautiful! And I love you!

My mother has always been there for me. One day I was having a meltdown (I have six children and I am pregnant with our 7th....melt downs happen), she gently took my crying face in her hands and smiled. "I know this is silly, but you are so beautiful." And she hugged me, and let me poor my irrational frustrations onto her. She said it was silly because I was crying. Why would she call me beautiful when I felt anything but beautiful at that moment. It's because at that moment she understood what beauty is. Beauty is the pure love of Christ. And when you love someone, they are always beautiful.

I have a daughter, and one more daughter on the way. I am constantly worried about how I can keep them from feeling bad about their own self image. I brought this up to my older sister who has daughters of her own. We made a pact. No matter what, when we talk about our bodies we won't be down on ourselves. We won't talk about wanting to loose weight. We can talk about wanting to be strong. Wanting to have more energy than before. Wanting to feel better. But it isn't about the flat stomach, it's about being healthy. I don't know anyone like my sister. She knows about making your body strong. No she isn't a body builder. She is someone who found out that life is too short. Last year she almost died. During her recovery she pushed herself to become strong again, for her children, for her husband, and for herself. You can read her story here. My older sister is beautiful, my older sister is strong. And I am so glad she is still here to teach me more about loving life. I love you!

My two little sisters, that I am still blessed to have on this earth. Are some of the most beautiful people I know. And sadly, I know for a fact that they have both wished something about themselves was different at one time or another. The one just younger than me has always been the pretty one. She is the first one of us girls who actually enjoyed wearing nice clothes and taking pride in the way that she looked. Every time I see her I am stunned. She is so beautiful. Her smile is infectious. She isn't one for confrontation. Everyone who knows her says that she is one of the kindest people they have ever met. She came over one day to sit and chat. She hadn't showered and her hair was in a messy bun, she said she felt gross. I told her she looked fine. Did she believe But my dear sweet sister I love you, you are stunning, you are gorgeous, you are BEAUTIFUL. And I have always been jealous of how you always radiate beauty.

My littlest sister, she is so smart, and she LOVES games. You can tell when she loves something because her eyes get this beautiful shimmer and she beams with happiness. Last week when I saw her I couldn't believe my eyes. She isn't just a little kid anymore. She is a beautiful young woman. Her hair wasn't done, and it was a bit of a curly mess, but she was stunning. My little sister is growing up, and she is growing up with class. Someone who knows my sister was trying to remember my name, they couldn't remember it and they just said, "hi older Lilly." It isn't hard to see, my littlest sister, me, and my mom all look remarkably alike. Out of all the things people have said to me, that was one of the biggest complements I have been told. I was an older version of my sweet sister. I am so happy to be likened to you. I love you. You are Beautiful, you are smart, you are kind. And NEVER let anyone make you think of yourself as anything less.

In this day and age it is so hard to not get caught up in the hype. "People who are thinner are the most beautiful," "Try this diet," "if you aren't shaped like a pencil you aren't beautiful," "Wear this cream it will make you look younger," "if you don't wear this brand you are worth less than those who do." It's time for the P.R. people who are selling us this garbage to take a hike. Everyone, the beautiful that you are searching for isn't in a diet. The most beautiful people I know, are always the kindest people I know. You want to find the beautiful you? Look outwards. Look past the mirror to the person next door. When you show others love your beauty will radiate from you. Even if you don't see it in yourself yet, I promise, others do. You are smart, you are beautiful, and you are worth it.