Okay, so I’ve decided part of what I want to do in 2016 is discover my own beauty. I had the best revelation a couple of weekends ago. I was in Nashville for work, and I had the pleasure of seeing some friends I hadn’t seen in awhile. Friends who, when they knew me, knew a size 6, younger version of me. At this point in my life, I’m a size 14, 195 pound, slightly wrinklier, grayer version of that girl. But I’m also a girl that has more experience, has more cracks in my shell, and has felt more of life, and a girl that has learned more about the love, grace and mercy of God. I braced myself for their impending reaction when they saw me- you know the one. The gasp and look of “I know I should know you but you look too different” sort of thing. It’s the same reaction I have each time I look in the mirror or see myself in pictures. But, time and again, those ladies’ faces lit up, they said how beautiful I looked, how good it was to see me, and I wrapped them in a hug. By midday (ok, I’m slow to catch on), I turned to a friend- a new one, one that has never known any other physical version of me, and said “they don’t see my fat; they only see my heart!” She looked at me, puzzled, and said “Of course they do!”
It was a huge moment for me, and the impact of it has only grown over the next few weeks. In committing to trying to find my beauty in 2016, I truly didn’t anticipate that it could possibly arrive like this. I thought it would be in creating a healthier version of myself. But here, before the end of the first month of the year, I’m beginning to see it. It’s there, in the face I see in the mirror. In the kind eyes that look back at me, the crooked smile that shows my uneven yellowing teeth. In the soft curves of my belly that show my life is filled with abundance and that I find great pleasure in eating. There is beauty there, and it’s a beauty that others see more easily than I do. But I’m discovering it. And I am beginning to claim it and own it. And something wonderful is happening. I have received more compliments on my appearance in the last six weeks than I think I have in a very long time. Or maybe it’s just that I’m truly hearing them for the first time. Whatever it is, I’m just glad that it’s happening!!