Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Beauty




I think I have realized in the past two weeks for the first time in a long time, that I am beautiful and that is okay.

I've long had something of a shame complex related to anything even remotely perceivable as narcissistic.  It's like I'd rather bleed out than be arrogant. I've definitely sorted out where that comes from in my story, but the largest struggle is allowing myself to be successful, good at things and yes, even beautiful without feeling guilty or shameful.  I have for years, subconsciously hamstrung, sabotaged and shot myself in the foot out of shame. 

Creating and continuing this blog has actually been a large stepping stone in getting past that, but I still wrestle with it on a daily basis.

Last Wednesday I purchased a loveseat from a woman who physically stopped me in my tracks, looked me in the eye and told me I was beautiful.  Twice.  Insistently, and it shook me.  So much that I even omitted that detail from my loveseat post because I didn't know how to address it-- I suck at receiving compliments, but I am getting better.

Then on Saturday I attended the 60th birthday party of a good childhood friend's mother, and so much of my old neighborhood crew was there.  At one point in the night, the brother of my friend (whom I have known since I was two) sat next to me and engaged me in a conversation I didn't expect.  He too told me I was beautiful and that my beauty had faded immensely during some of rougher trials in my life, that I had shut myself away, locked myself up inside and away from people.  The culmination of all of this though is that he's seen me emerge from that in recent years, a little more over time-- that I am open again.  It's taken almost 5 years, but I am.

Heavy stuff for a blog post, I know.  But that is the only kind of blog I want to write, one where words flow from my heart even if they are messy.  And they are.

Last Wednesday I, myself, realized that I am beautiful.  It was a strange, unexpected thing, but resulted in a jolt of joyful confidence, something I have not felt for a long time.  The friend who was with me in that moment, knows me well enough to remark that she had never seen me that way.  That it was good, and weirdly I agree. :)

Strange how feeling something so strongly and bodily, can make it real.  I prayed that night that I would never forget what that feels like, and that I'd allow myself to feel it more regularly. Confidence but out of purity, not vanity.

Something I doubted existed.



Details
{dress} - never produced sample, Mata Traders
{jacket} - vintage 40's, Knee Deep Vintage
{boots} - highschool remnant, Puma
{tights} - ModCloth

10 comments:

  1. I love this post.
    It is such an inspiration and encouragement to me right now, you have no idea

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    1. I'm so glad, that makes it beyond worth sharing for me. :)

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  2. I've actually read a few articles recently that offer girls are taught from a young age to feel that way. Not that we should feel ugly, just that we should feel embarrassed and bashful over things we can be complimented over. It's so lovely to hear you're working through that and are accepting what you really are- gorgeous! Own it girl :)

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

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    1. Thanks Marlen! -^_^- Though I'm sure some girls are brought up to be ashamed, I wan't raised that way at all! Both of my parents are show-off-ish (I love them but they are). I think I just decided from an early age that I didn't want to be like that, I associated it with being fake. It's been a long quest for authenticity, but I'm glad I've realized that to hide one's gifts is just as fake as flaunting them tastelessly. I'm comfortable with it, but definitely working on the "owning it" part! :)

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  3. This is lovely. I always am happy when I see women who are confident in their looks - we are forever being pushed, pulled, tucked, poked in so many different directions, telling is that we have to look or act a certain way to be beautiful, and of course you cannot ever SAY you are beautiful because that would be you are stuck up...! It's ridiculous, and when I see people able to come to the conclusion that you have made in this post, that to me is beautiful. <3

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    1. Hey, thanks Kailey! I agree but will always strive to have a heart of humility. Even as I come to terms with my gifts and allow them to shine, I hope to do so with grace. :)

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  4. Wow. I clicked onto your blog randomly from SRT this morning, and it's definitely something the Lord wanted to speak to me about! "I have for years, subconsciously hamstrung, sabotaged and shot myself in the foot out of shame... He too told me I was beautiful and that my beauty had faded immensely during some of rougher trials in my life, that I had shut myself away, locked myself up inside and away from people." You are not alone in this whatsoever. I feel I've done this as well... the Lord has definitely brought me into a sort of exile this past season out of idolizing my relationships and what people thought of me, and He's promised to bring me out of it. One of the things that has come from this, though, is that sabotaging that you've spoken about-- it's hard for me to believe that Christ wants me to be happy (it feels foreign, alien, inconceivable, sinful to think) and it's probably because the only "happiness" I've known is that of my past life-- something He's ushered me away from. He's got a happiness in store for me that I can't fathom, and your post has definitely spoken to me about not letting myself become locked up, refusing to be happy out of fear, but rather relying on the Lord to build bridges and bring the happiness HE wants for me. Thank you so much for allowing Jesus to speak through your honest, beautiful post.
    PS, you are immensely beautiful!! Inside and out, my sister! I know we don't know each other, but your heart is incredibly valuable and I loved reading about it! You are unique, raw, and your words are full of God-given grace-- I am glad to know of such a sister in Christ. Praise God for you! We are fearfully and wonderfully made, my dear friend! Be so blessed. :)

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    1. Woah, thanks so much for commenting Anna! I feel so affirmed by your words, and am so glad that God put what you needed in front of you. I love that our Father can use our stories and experiences (though so different and often painful) to effect and encourage each other! Really, thanks so much for sharing your heart here, I love it. :)

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  5. the 40s jacket is wonderful and it goes great with this dress ...

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    1. Thanks, it's one of my favorite vintage pieces! :)

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