So, a candid picture of me was taken recently and when I saw it, the words that ran through my head were, “Urgh. I am so ugly. Delete that picture immediately.” So, apart from the idea that this is exactly what I am working against with Intuitive Eating, a new thought occurred to me. What if, well, what if that were true? What if I were really, truly ugly? (I am ignoring the whole idea that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” for the moment…Just go with me.) So, what if I were ugly?
Do I act less than my potential? Do I think that I deserve a second-hand life? Do I try to isolate myself so others would not have to see my ugliness? Do I think that my ugliness means I do not deserve a husband and two special daughters? Do I believe that I should not buy fashionable clothes and jewelry; that only beautiful people should wear such things? Do I feel like I am an inferior human being? Do I feel like I cannot inspire and leave my mark on the world because I am too ugly to do so? Can I not have hopes and dreams like other beautiful people? Am I not worthy of love?
Now, if I were to look at another person whom society deems ugly and ask those questions about them, I would immediately and truthfully say that’s absurd. Of course, someone who is ugly is worthy of love, is not inferior, and certainly does not deserve a second-hand life. Of course, they should hope and dream, and leave their indelible mark upon the world. Of course, they can buy and wear fashionable clothing. And, of course, people who are ugly do not have to—for even one second—act less than their potential simply because of how society perceives them. And, to my great surprise, when I really, truly embrace the idea that I am one of those whom society deems ugly, I believe the same is true. I believe that I am worthy of love, am not inferior, and hope to never live less than my potential.
So, the idea behind this line of thought is the idea that even if my worst fear—being fat and ugly—were true, I wouldn’t even think of living a life different than I am now. Now, don’t misunderstand me, the point of this discussion has nothing to do with how I actually perceive my beauty. I am simply discovering that if my worst fear were true, I would still believe that I am worth loving and am not inferior.
Note: The above photo is of Stephanie Nielson, a woman who was severely burned in a plane crash a few years ago. She has an amazing story of her own about beauty, joy, ugliness, trials, and faith. If you are interested, check out her video below (I’ll be writing future posts on her experiences and what they mean for me and my journey. But for now, here’s some inspiration!) Merry Christmas!