True Beauty

The other day I was watching a news segment which featured one of my dad's all time favorite golfers. During the interview they showed pictures of his life with many of them including long time wife, of whom he spoke very highly. Most people would make the assumption that a man of his fame and handsome looks would have chosen for a wife a women who possessed great physical beauty. While his wife was a very kind looking woman she was far from the raging beauty the majority of athletes today would choose for themselves. As the pictures progressed from his youth to his golden years, his wife ever by his side grew into great beauty and grace. And that got me thinking about all the women I have known in my life which grew into their beauty as they aged.

I myself have never possessed beauty, I have been at best what most would call average. As a matter of fact I have struggled with self esteem and self worth my entire life. I was evidentially fat as a child and extreme diets and exercise programs designed to bring my to a "normally accepted body size" began before I was five years old. Some of my favorite childhood nicknames were hunk of bologna and Big Ace. I dreaded school because I was made fun of and lonely because no one wanted to be friends with the fat girl. I dreaded family gatherings and holidays where well meaning relatives felt it their compulsory duty to point out how pretty I would be if I wasn't so fat. I wanted so desperately to be thin and pretty. If only I could find a way, if only one of the diets would work, then all my troubles would go away. I would be good enough to be loved and then I would be happy.

But none of the diets ever did work. Oh, yes here and there I did loose some weight on the starvation diets but as soon as I resumed semi-normal eating all the weight would come back plus some. So I grew up believing I was ugly and not worth being loved. I never bothered to think about college or what I wanted to do when I grew up because all I wanted was to be thin and pretty. And then as a young woman in my early twenties, I learned about nutrition and exercise and I figured out how to be a healthy weight. But the problems of life didn't go away with the weight and the more socially accepted appearance. If anything they seemed more pronounced perhaps due to the let down them not magically disappearing.

So this brings me back to where I began this blog, thinking of all the women including myself which have found themselves growing gracefully into their beauty. Awakening to the realization that everything the world, the beauty and fashion industry as well as the media has told us about what constitutes beauty is a complete and utter farce. We have come to our own realization that beauty is what lives inside of each of us. Our strength, kindness, courage, intelligence our drive to make the world a better place is but a few of the attributes God has placed inside each of us which when allowed to thrive allows are light to shine. And when our lights shine we are in fact beautiful to all who know and love us.

Most important of all is the day we look upon our own reflections in the mirror and see a beautiful butterfly freshly emerged from their cocoon looking back at us. It is only then we realize the true meaning of beauty.

Until we meet here again, I pray God bless you and keep your loved ones safe.