The Beauty in Me

boaw-2013

“A woman’s beauty is in her humanity, in her great capacity to love in all its forms.”  ~ Me

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Stupid

I heard that word every day from the time I was eleven years old, until the day I decided to take back my control and my life. I was seventeen.

Beautiful

I heard that word too often from people who twisted it to mean something else entirely.  Something dirty.  Something ugly.  Something to be ashamed of.

In the years since, I have struggled with the emotions such misused words can conjure:  Shame.  Guilt. Anger.  Yearning.

Then something amazing happened.  I realized I am beautiful.

“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone.”
~ Sam Levenson

My journey didn’t happen overnight.  It’s been seventeen years in the making, and it continues today.

It has been full of lessons like trusting my abilities, believing I have something of value to offer, trusting and believing in others, accepting help from others and helping them in return.

There’ve been precious few in my life who have shown me what real beauty looks like.  Two of those are my daughters.  They are as different as two people can be, but both are stunning examples of true beauty:  LovingKindStrongHonest.

My youngest especially excels at honesty; she has no problem speaking her mind ~ at any time, to anyone 😉

Watching them grow, I am mindful of my past, careful not to make the same mistakes.  At times, it has been a challenge to battle my demons and keep my girls safe from them, though I am thankful every single day for the opportunity.

“Beauty shouldn’t be about changing yourself to achieve an ideal or be more socially acceptable. Real beauty, the interesting, truly pleasing kind, is about honoring the beauty within you and without you. It’s about knowing that someone else’s definition of pretty has no hold over you.”
~Golda Poretsky

Brilliant

This is a word that is spoken often in my house.  I tell my daughters how brilliant they are every chance I get.  And in times of doubt, I remind myself that I am brilliant.

Beautiful

I am quick to tell my girls how beautiful they are when they are loving and kind, when they are honest with themselves and others.  They are growing up understanding that beauty is much more than what is simply reflected in the mirror.

My girls gave me the courage to look myself in the mirror, and face my troubled past.  Then, one day I realized I no longer fought for just them ~ I fought for myself, as well.

Because I’m a beautiful person, inside and out.

So are you.

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So talk to me. What is your idea of inner beauty? What makes a woman beautiful?

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23 thoughts on “The Beauty in Me

  1. You are, simply put, one of the most beautiful women I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. There is strength in you that I admire so very much. Your daughters are indeed gorgeous young ladies who will grow into amazing women, like their mom.

    1. Oh, Tameri. You are such a lovely, wonderful woman. You brought tears to my eyes with that. My strength comes from the love of the people closest to me, and you, my friend, are most certainly someone I draw from. Thank you so much for being the amazing, honest, beautiful woman you are!

  2. Kate, you are beautiful! And so is your post. I grew up with very loving parents, but even then, they can say the wrong thing sometimes. I remember crying in my room one christmas because my mom literally told me I ruined christmas because of the dress I chose to wear. And not because it was revealing or inappropriate – which a parent would have qualms with, but because it was from a thrift store and she didn’t like the print, or style, or whatever. As I’ve grown, I’ve realized my mom is very dependent upon what others think, and I was (ok, still am) too. But I’m getting better at realizing this and trying to live my life for me more.

    I’m so glad this blogfest has joined so many writers I respect and adore together to cherish each other and the women in our lives. Big hugs to you, Kate!

  3. You are such an inspiration, Kate! I’d never have guessed that you were exposed to such negativity (words like “stupid”) so heavily in your youth. You possess so much beauty and grace, and have no doubt passed it all on to your girls. Thanks for participating in the fest, and most of all, for being you!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, August. Women believing in themselves and brushing off the shackles of negativity our society has created over thousands of years has become my passion. I greatly respect you and your blog, and was thrilled to be able to participate this year 🙂

  4. Words have such power. Keep speaking into the lives of your daughters and they’ll always know they’re beautiful. My parents did for me and although I’ve struggled with self image, it doesn’t compare to those that had to figure out first that they are beautiful because their parents didn’t tell them.

    You’re a beautiful woman and must be a wonderful mother. Thanks for sharing=)

  5. Your house sounds like a nurturing and empowering place for a girl to grow up. 🙂 Congrats on being able to break the cycle and create the world you wanted for yourself and your daughters. Terrific post!

  6. I love that you are bringing up your girls in such a way. For them to recognize beauty in thoughts, words, and actions rather than solely within the confines of a too-subjective mirror and an unreasonable media-fueled expectation is pure gold. How fortunate they are to have such a beautiful mother.

  7. This is a great post! You are a beautiful person where it counts Kate. It’s easy to give up and let the past be your present and future. To overcome it is the best gift you can give your girls. I am so proud of you and love you very much! Thank you for doing all you can to help my nieces grow into beautiful women themselves! ❤

    1. Thanks, sista!

      We each struggle with our own particular demons, but it’s reassuring to know that we can lean on each other and that there is a loving hand held out when we need help up. I’ll always be there for you, regardless of what the future holds. I cherish our friendship and bond. Knowing my girls have such an intuitive, insightful and adoring Aunt makes raising them that much easier…and sweeter! *MUAH* Love you, too 🙂

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