I had a sudden realisation when I was looking at myself in the mirror the other day…
It’s very hard for me to say that, so let me say it again. I’m beautiful. There is so much I normally feel is wrong and unattractive about my body. Recently my husband had to ban me from making negative comments about myself when I look in the mirror because our daughter is starting to pick up some of my mirror habits. Have you ever looked in the mirror and not been allowed to say the bad things you see? It is so hard. I took a before and after picture of myself a couple of weeks ago because the transformation of morning me to kids-gone-to-bed me is astonishing, and I wasn’t allowed to say anything bad about it!
However, there I was the other day looking at myself in the mirror and instead of thinking about the negatives I thought about one of those old stone built buildings you often see in the countryside (bare with me!). Have you had a good look at those buildings? They are littered with imperfections, scars from windows or doors that have been blocked up, additions from extensions, worn from the weather and time. Yet they are absolutely beautiful, their imperfections are their history, they show us the amazing things they have been through and you wouldn’t change them, you wouldn’t make them ‘perfect’ because then they would lose their beauty.
My body is like one of those old buildings, carrying two children has done some interesting things to it, my belly muscles haven’t joined back together so my skin does this really weird alien looking thing (I’m in the process of seeking appropriate medical advice about this) and I’ve got scars in various places from my tom boy childhood phase along with a time my husband tripped me up a month into our relationship and I went flying face first into a concrete gate post. I’m still in the same size clothes I was before being pregnant but things are a little snugger, and the circles under my eyes have definitely got darker. I could go on but I won’t because just like those stone buildings my body tells a story, it shows my history, it reminds me of the two amazing people I’ve grown, carried and fed, I could change it to make it all ‘perfect’ but then it would lose it’s beauty, it would lose things that make me smile.
Ages ago I made some art work for both my right hand man and his sister, it’s of the Bible verse which says ‘For I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” In that moment of comparing myself to masonry I also remembered that verse and for the first time ever I actually believed it.
I made that art work for my children so then they can hopefully grow up knowing that message, knowing that they are beautiful and able to accept who they are and how they have been made. I’ve always wanted to be a strong cheerleader for them when it comes to body image, and until now kind of felt a bit hypocritical because I couldn’t believe it for myself, but after that mirror moment I feel like I’m a step closure to loving who I am. Long may this continue. Today’s blog post isn’t as focused on my right hand man, but hopefully this is something that should positively affect our journey together as he becomes aware of his differences.
Here is a great message from The Lucky Fin Project which is feel is very appropriate for today’s blog, and remember beYOUtiful: