Do you ever think you’re never enough? Not pretty enough? Not fashionable enough? Not skinny enough, gourmet enough, housekeeper enough, mom enough, smart enough, energetic enough? This list could probably go on and on. In a culture where being the best and most beautiful is the goal, most of us will never meet it.
My dogs are mutts. Yeah, I say one is a German Shepherd and the other a Lab, but they’re both mutts. If I took them to an AKC event, no one would look twice at them. Ripley has a “defective” ear that won’t stand up straight. Midnyte has a cracked and dry nose. Neither of them are going to win beauty contests, but I think they’re the best dogs in the world. They greet me when I come home and sit at my feet when I read. They love me unconditionally, and I love them back the same way… even when Ripley wakes me up at 4 a.m., vomiting pieces of frisbee she thought looked tasty. (true story)
I often call my backyard my “sanctuary.” I love it back there. Wind rustles softly through my Mesquite tree and my Palo Verde. My wind chime sounds softly, and it all goes together with the birds chirping in my tree and my neighbor’s Mesquite, while I inhale the soft smell of desert mixed with the sweetness of things blooming. It’s never going to win any contests with Better Homes and Gardens, but I love it. Even when a dust storm blows through, leaving debris all over my yard.
My point is… even though these things probably aren’t the “best” in an objective way, they’re what I love. I love them for their flaws and despite their flaws. I love Ripley’s “defective” ear. It’s part of her quirky personality. I love Midnyte’s cracked nose. It reminds me that she’s getting older, and that she’s been a loyal friend for many years now. I love my crooked tree and the leaves piled in my yard. Because it’s home, and there’s no fragile illusion of perfection.
I’m me. Overweight, unable to do anything productive with my hair, chip in my front tooth. I’m also witty, sarcastic, and fiercely loyal to those I love. I could write an entire blog about what I’m not. But why would I? Why should I? I don’t have to be the best at something to enjoy it, and to bring enjoyment to others. I try to spread positivity. I’m still judgmental and rude sometimes, but I keep trying. Because life is a journey, not a destination. Cliche, but true.
I wrote this post because it’s been something I’ve been talking about in my group lately. And because someone posted this video on Facebook. It’s a powerful slideshow of pictures of beautiful women. The women in the video are ordinary, but the photographer captured the essence of who they are, in that one moment where their sense of humor, compassion, joy, or love shone through and was captured. I have pictures of me where I’m beautiful for that moment because who I was shone through for a moment. Beauty isn’t one moment in front of a mirror, or one day that your makeup and hair was perfect. It’s confidence. Love. Joy. Compassion. Loyalty. Being a mom (or a dad). Staying positive. Grieving someone who’s gone.
Here’s to 2014. Embrace possibility. Be beautiful. Go forth and awesome!