This post was inspired after I came across a blog written by a mutual friend from back home, Kami. In Kami’s blog she talked about her reasons behind deleting her Facebook. She said that her newsfeed was constantly being flooded with quotes, pictures, mantras and fitness-inspired images saying things like “muscle is the new skinny” and “strong is the new beautiful”. This set up an almost unattainable standard for her and made her feel guilty any time she missed a workout, caused her to isolate herself from friends and family, and analyze every calorie she was putting in her body. In an attempt to become “healthy” by surrounding herself with positive images and quotes, she ended up creating an inward sword that only led to insecurities, unrealistic goals, and unhappiness.
Everyone has their own idea of beauty, and most people spend a substantial amount of time trying to achieve it.
The problem with this is that so many people are extremists these days. We live in a world where we want something and we want it NOW. We cut corners, we take shortcuts, and we are willing to jeopardize so many aspects of our lives in order to obtain the things we want in the shortest amount of time possible. In the process, we almost lose ourselves. We become so consumed with what we want and the path it will take to get there that we forget to enjoy the process.
I can’t tell you how many times I have focused so hard on one aspect of my life that I almost forget that any other part of me even existed. Not only is this unfair to our relationships and responsibilities outside of our goal, but it is unfair to ourselves and our self worth. Isolating yourself from the outside world in an attempt to meet a goal is like being in a toxic, unhealthy relationship. By the time you reach your goal, get your head above water, and look around, there really isn’t a whole lot left. What fun is success if you don’t have a support system rallying around you to enjoy it with you?
I’ll admit that fitness is a HUGE part of my life. I always have some sort of goal I am working towards, I am very conscious of the foods I eat, the way I look/feel, and I hate to miss a workout. But reading Kami’s post really got me thinking about how many other aspects of my life there are and how easy it is to become SO ‘one-track-minded’ and almost forget about all the great qualities I possess. Rather than stress out about the fact that I missed a workout, I want to be grateful that I have wonderful friends that I would rather spend my evening with. Instead of beating myself up over the fact that I had cake at a birthday party, I will be happy that I am surrounded by people I love while celebrating the milestone of another year down. I think that when we focus solely on a goal, we forget about enjoying the process of reaching the goal and by the time we reach our goal it’s almost like “okay, now what?” We end up spending our days wishing that time would pass because “things will be SO much better when______” or “I will be so much happier when _________”.
My question to you (and myself) is, WHY NOT BE HAPPY NOW?
We spend so much of our lives chasing happiness and chasing beauty that we fail to realize how happy and beautiful we already are. “Beauty” is not a word that is defined by one meaning. Every single aspect of our life has potential to be beautiful, it just depends on our perception.
Strong is beautiful. Brave is beautiful. Being a woman is beautiful.
Stretch marks are beautiful. Life is beautiful. A woman’s ability to create life is a miracle, and that is beautiful.
Being REAL is beautiful. Being proud of yourself is beautiful. FEELING BEAUTIFUL is beautiful.
Every line and wrinkle is beautiful. Every crease that tells of happiness and joy, or pain and sorrow. That is beautiful.
Being a survivor is beautiful.
Overcoming obstacles is beautiful. Being thankful for what we have rather than focusing on what we lack is beautiful.
Knowing that you are beautiful is beautiful.
Flaws, imperfections, freckles and laugh lines. They are all beautiful.
Everything that has made you who you are and everything that you have yet to become, that is beautiful.
I hope you know that you are beautiful. You are enough. You are worth it.
You are strong and inspiring and you can do anything you want to once you convince yourself that you can.
You might fail, but getting back up is beautiful.
You might change your mind, but just remember that having a mind to change is beautiful.
You might make excuses, but rising above those excuses and saying “I CAN and I WILL,” …that’s beautiful.
All the twists and turns and bumps in the road, all of the pain and mistakes and regrets and guilt,
every chapter, every page, every line of your story….