You have one thing to do this week: love yourself, quirks and all.
It’s safe to say that, sometimes, we all succumb to the various body pressures around us. We consequently and unfairly beat ourselves up as we compare ourselves to other women, maybe without even noticing. With added pressure from media, print, fashion and social media, it somehow becomes easier to wish we looked a different way. But oftentimes we forget to appreciate ourselves for the beautiful, strong, capable beings we are — inside and out.
To speak candidly, sometimes I struggle with the fact that I am getting older. Aesthetically, my body is morphing, wrinkles are settling in, and gravity is taking hold. But mentally, I am learning to appreciate the fact that, with age (saggy skin, cellulite and sun spots), comes a confidence only learned through first-hand experience. Life is lived in valleys and on top of mountains. It can be as smooth as an untouched lake or as tough as a tornado spiraling out of control. But because we persevere in the wake of challenging times — keep getting up and dusting ourselves off — we realize that a never-ending well of strength lives in us. Knowing our capabilities through life’s trials, a hope and confidence is created in each one of us and “problems” such as cellulite or wrinkles slowly start to drift away. I can look at the dark sun spots on my face and wish they’d go away, but a voice inside me says, more loudly, “you’ve lived a life in the sun. You have traveled. You have climbed mountains. You have swam oceans. Thank God there are sun spots on your face because that means you are enjoying life!”
Today we wanted to share a few testimonials from a few different women of various ages and occupations, all living life in a different way. Each one of us has “flaws” that we would prefer to minimize, but today we are celebrating them. So I’d like you to look at yours from a different angle, too. Instead of being ashamed, be proud, and show yourself some much deserved grace.
“Most often I am embarrassed to wear shorts and short dresses due to the many scars I have on my legs. I have three large ones on my left leg and six on my right. Lotions have not helped minimize the appearance — they are just as pronounced as when I got them. But I am learning to look at them, not as ugly scars, but as memories. Each scar tells a story from a different time in my life. I received the huge ones on my left leg from barely grazing the burning hot exhaust pipe on my moped in Hawaii. It hurt like crazy, but looking back now I only remember what a beautiful time I had on the island. The indented scar on my right shin? I got it from missing a box jump at volleyball practice in college. When I see that scar, I am rushed back to an intense part of my life of which I am extremely proud. As I look at each scar, I start to feel grateful. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to travel, climb boulders, hop fences… and get scars.” – Joanna, blog writer
“I hate the shape of my eyes. I used to feel like I couldn’t be seen without eyeliner and mascara because my eyes looked too bizarre without them. I’ve always had people tell me that my eyes are their favorite feature, and I am finally starting to ‘hear’ them and am learning to be ok with them. I don’t wear much makeup these days and it’s made me feel more comfortable actually!.” – Lauren, musician
“I have always thought that I had a large backside and often wish that my butt was smaller. Because I am curvy, shopping for bottoms can be challenging, to say the lead and I feel embarrassed in swimsuits. But I am learning to appreciate my curves because they make me feel feminine and sexy. I am embracing my curves — I feel like a woman!” – Jackie, designer
+What are you proud of? I would love to hear your powerful thoughts, too!
Follow Joanna on Instagram.