Seven Gorgeous Women

Seven gorgeous and beloved women, one fantastic weekend.

What I did NOT think when I looked at this picture:  “Ugh.  My hair is so icky.  You can see my fat.  My face is not the right shape for pretty.  And have you ever seen legs so blindingly white?  Six beautiful women and…me.  No wonder they are all so much farther along in life than me.”

That’s the usual train of thought.  But thanks to all the growing and mending that’s been going on in the past years and months, I didn’t think any of that when I looked at this picture.  In fact, I didn’t think any of that at all this past weekend.  I can honestly say this is probably the longest period of time in ten years that I’ve gone without thinking really ugly things about myself.  The ugliest things about me are not what you can see in the picture.  The ugliest things about me are the thoughts that happen when my gaze is turned toward self.

But not this time.  This time, I thought:  “Wow, I look happy!  We all look happy.  I had fun this weekend, I enjoyed my friends, and I think the friends enjoyed having me there.” 

The funny thing is, I don’t see it when my friends lose or gain weight.  I often don’t notice when they get their hair cut.  After I see them, I really don’t remember if they were wearing makeup or not.  My love for them does not change based upon anything I can see.  So why do I judge myself so harshly based upon what other people can see? 

I think many women…probably many people…struggle with some version of this battle.  It’s easier to love other people; it’s easier to take care of other people.  It’s easier to be nice to other people.  It’s harder to be nice to yourself, either with thoughts or with actions.  “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” is a tricky concept.  We either need to start treating our neighbors worse or ourselves better.  I vote for the latter.

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