How Beauty Almost Destroyed Me
One of my favorite public figures and authors says to write from scars, not from our open, bloody wounds that beg for pleading; rather to write from scars that offer a story and some perspective. My belief about writing somewhere is somewhere in-between the two.
I began to consider the scars I write from. Some deep, some nice and healed; others still in the healing process. On my left arm, a scar of not believing in myself. My right leg, a scar from scarring words said to me by someone I love. Some scarring sensitive still.
I thought about my beauty scar. This one, a hot topic and deep scar for me because my life used to revolve around what other people thought of my physical appearance. You see, I was told, over and over, this is who you are. The pressure of looking a certain way filled my time, emotionally and physically. Deep heart work was absent. Asking myself real questions about what I thought were non-existent. This was MY thing and I started to believe it was all that I had to offer. Have you ever done this? Been so attached to one part of you that every other part goes dormant? My entire High School years and into the middle of college, being beautiful was the most important. Yes, of course, I cared about other things, but I knew the power of beauty and I liked how it felt and let me tell you, it almost ruined me.
Thankfully, God hand selected a man for me that fell in love with my mind. The fact that he didn't kiss me immediately boggled my feelings for him. Why doesn't he want my body? I started to believe he ACTUALLY loved me for my heart and mind and it felt scary. I was more comfortable sending my outsides out to live my life for me. When someone wanted more, I almost didn't know what to give them because my insides were shallow. We said yes to each other 5 years ago and a baby came quickly. Our life got turned upside down and my inner beauty was battaling my outer for what mattered most. I knew I could rest in Drew's love and the Lord's and that I was so much more. I did this most days and started to see and love myself for more, too.
A few hard nights with baby girl turned into months of colic and screaming and please get me out of here. I found myself going back to my old defense. Married just a year, I dressed up and went to a party alone. I met eyes with a stranger who seemed to approve of me. I liked how it felt. I let him tell me things he shouldn't have. I should have turned around and walked away, I honestly shouldn't have left my house in the state I was in. But I did and I loved how it felt, the attention. This was my old, shallow home.
He contacted me later that night, knowing full well I was married, He didn't care an ounce. I went home and couldn't sleep. Thankfully, I think the guy was drunk enough to maybe forget what he had said to me and too drunk to make any moves on me. Thank you Jesus for protecting me.
Through tears, Drew found when he noticed my phone was locked (just in case this man found me and reached out). I was so ashamed and scared. He started asking questions and it wasn't long before the truth was out. Not just about the inappropriate words I listened to..I told Drew the insides of me are scary and I don't want to go down there. I want to remain on the surface, hiding behind blonde hair and red lips that I thought was me. This is my safety, it's what I know. It's who I am, right? This is all I have.
We talked about what love is. We talked about the qualities of my heart and mind. It was that day, 4 and half years ago, that I began actually loving myself. I started to break through the layers and get to my real self that was protected and quieted for so long. I thought if I let my real self out, I would disappoint and Oh, how I wanted to please.
I am so thankful for that day, not because I want to relive it, no thank you. On that day I asked myself, "do I believe I am of any deeper value?" I asked the hard questions. I began my journey to developing and resting in SO MUCH MORE. A life of rich, rich soul searching and dumping out lies. Filling up only with things that satisfy eternally. Quickly getting back on course when I feel my old self surface. It still does, time to time, but rarely. Oh my goodness, the healing that has taken place. My counselor told me "beauty is a curse." This pierced my heart as it spoke freedom over my struggle.
I'm finding it's the insides that make us shine, our hearts, thoughts and desires. Our unique perspective and grace, our rest in our Father. Our stories, our people, our snuggling in bed, free. I picture myself right under the wings of my creator, finding comfort in the sweet words He speaks over me. I take myself to this place often. He let me hide for a while because the world was just too much. it still is, but I have different skin. I value different things completely. I find myself running from anything superficial, then reminded that it's all balance. That pedicures and spa days and curling my hair is a celebration of beauty and quite honestly, I love these things. However, the real stuff, the what matters is so much deeper. The deep work, the figuring out what you believe, the character, the love. Thats where it's at and that's where I live most of the time. It's a freeing place and I hope you're there with me. Let's dance and talk politics. Let's ask hard questions and do yoga. Let's discover new ideas and take care of each other. Let's love ourselves and love our families.
Love to you.