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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Behind the Beauty

There is a story we tell ourselves about what is Beautiful and what is not. We tell ourselves that we are beautiful or we tell ourselves that we are not by our own personal voice. I struggled the most with my inner storyteller back when I was depressed at age 16 crying myself to sleep because I thought I was so fat, because I thought I was the ugly duckling in my family. With my sister and my mother being true barbie dolls I compared myself next to them quite often or all my girl friends had those long skinny Victorian arms of gentle beauty I knew that I would NEVER my self-pity and insecurity grew deep and dark inside of my mind back then until finally by 18 years old I realized that I wanted to be beautiful on the inside most importantly, once I realized that then I stopped listening to my insecure self. My Mother added to that insecurity quite often by saying "You have eaten enough today. No more apple pie for you....because you still have a husband to catch. If you were already married like me then you don't have to worry about it anymore." I would pout of course, even spatting back angrily at her that I don't EVER want to get married to which she would shake her head taking away my 3rd slice of pie. I baked all the time to have cookies and cupcakes cover the counters for whenever I felt bad or sad I would dive into a comforting treat. This was a problem looking back it was why I felt so fat and my Father would even yelled at me such things of how fat, of how stupid I was so I would bake something in hopes to stay out of the way of blame in my struggling high school years. This was like walking through fire as it hurt and made me consider why did I feel so unhealthy, so extremely emotional and so sensitive to not fitting into my family's idea of beauty. My Mother was the perfect image of a barbie doll, so many other women have told me how they thought she was truly breathtaking and perfect from head to toe. They were very surprised while talking with her that she was so shy or so insecure. A friend of the family said "If I had her body I would walk into any room and own it, I would be strong in all I could do or say because my good looks allowed for people to listen." I laughed back shaking my head at how silly it all was in the end explaining "My mother would of died in embarrassment if she behaved like THAT...besides, being "good looking" isn't a guarantee that others will actually listen to you." I have always wondered why my mother was ashamed of standing out, of getting hit on by strange guys all the time. As a young married woman I chased off these kind of guys as my mother looked at me like a scared little kid. "Ya just need to tell them to get lost so they don't disrupt your family time. No need to be afraid of them just glared them down and tell them to get lost, you'll be fine." My mother would just look all around in embarrassment as I acted like her getting hit on was just a normal day.  My Mother said after her stroke that she doesn't expect to get "hit on"  anymore, I giggled in surprise by she sharing this as I was pushing her wheel chair through the hospital rose gardens "You remember that? I just thought you pretended to not notice those guys. I always knew just what to say to them in order to get them away from you so I could chat in peace, funny that you remember those times." Mom replied "I don't really remember because I didn't care, back then I knew I was so beautiful that I could always get a new guy in my life if your father didn't work out....but now I am really old and odd looking." I sighed thoughtfully at how she was processing this aftermath in her life. I pointed out the nearby rose bush "That is why I think it is more important then ever to find beauty outside of ourselves to something like this rose, It smells amazing here in the warm sunshine and it's so beautiful! Maybe the best imagine to remember is how it grows out of all these thorns. You will always be my beautiful breath taking Mother whose thorns become apart of that inside beauty. The real value of what is important and what really last forever is what I consider timeless beauty." I knew my mother didn't get my helpful tip on beauty as she saw herself in the mirror of the elevator exclaiming "Oh gross, I look so very gross! Turn me around I can't look anymore." I swung her around towards the door replying "Mom, don't say that you are NOT gross, you are alive and that's the true beauty in this story....." I glanced at myself in those same mirrors realizing for the first ever I looked exactly like my mother, as I could remember her at 32 years old for she gave me this chin, this chest and those same kind of hips. But it's my eyes that I care the most about what is going on behind the scene, what are my emotions and my thoughts saying about this moment in time? What is my story telling self saying to me right now as my mother hides from her image, as I see her youth in me now...How can I comfort her and help her change the story of what real beauty is?  For we will all grow old and wrinkled, we will all have something not perfect in our appearance one day....It is how we tell ourselves, how we tell our life stories that makes us beautiful from the inside out! It makes us hold our head up proudly that we once lived, that we will always be beautiful indeed!
When my mother was here last she complained as I did her nails, "I use to be so beautiful, never letting my nails get this bad." I commented back "I don't mind doing them." She sighed "I'm just saying I don't want people to forget how perfect I once was, how beautiful I was." I smiled leaning in on her soft smooth cheek with her curly gray hair tucked around her ear. "NO ONE will EVER forget that, I think those stories will live on forever I am sure. Because everyone remembers when you walk in, the air went out." I chuckled at myself for thinking up that line to share with her. Thinking to myself over how ALL beauty will never last in the end but thankfully our wit and our humor NEVER dies!

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