I was hit by something rather profound this morning and it really resonated with me, so please bear with me.
For my entire life I have dealt with self image issues (like a majority of today’s population I am sure). I have been camera shy, people shy, fitting room shy and event shy because I just don’t have that ‘perfect body type’ that so many women are supposed to have.
Having children has not helped that.
Now I have stretch marks on my tummy and legs. I have a section of my stomach where I can feel the muscles I earned playing sports growing up, but can’t seem to see them anymore because they are playing hide and seek under post-pregnancy skin. I don’t get to the gym as often as I like because, let’s face it: I work, have a husband and three beautiful babies to take care of (that’s not even counting the cats, dog, and my own personal goals and dreams, but I digress).
Some days it’s very hard for me to feel pretty. In fact, some days I wonder what my husband even sees in me when he tells me I’m beautiful. Some days, I’m pretty sure he’s lying.
And I was beautiful.
I’m not going to lie, looking at these pictures, I still saw the flaws that constantly nag my self-conscious, and honestly I don’t know if there will ever be a picture I see of myself where I don’t find something to nitpick. That is a struggle of mine and something I will have to work through.
But I will say this.
Looking at that picture, I wasn’t focused on its flaws. Or my legs, or my tummy or whatever. Because every time I started to dissect it, my focus got drawn up to my face and my beautiful baby sitting in my arms with my precious princess taking my hand. And I realized that’s true beauty.
My children love me. And I love them. They think I’m beautiful. My daughter tells me so every day. And if there is one thing I don’t want in this world, it’s for her to be plagued by the same self-image issues that I have. Because she is gorgeous and she deserves to know it.
So while I am far from perfect, and while I will probably continue to tell my husband I need to run and will work on living a healthier lifestyle, I am going to do my best to make sure I provide a positive example for my children and not focus so much on the flaws, and instead focus on the beauty.
Focus on the love.