Funny how things will come from nowhere to surprise you….
Leave you speechless even.

The latest for me came from my own head.
Ugly words spoken outloud.
Unbidden.
Unwanted.
Unwarranted.
But there.

After an admittedly long overdue workout, I popped into the restroom at the gym and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
What happened next was a huge and unhappy wake-up call.

I said to my reflection things I would NEVER say to or about anyone else.

Ugly. Yuck. Hideous.

What???! Where did those words come from? Is this really how I view myself???

Ugly. Yuck. Hideous.

Oh my stars!!!

Those WORDS are ugly.
Those WORDS are yuck.
Those WORDS are hideous.

The inner monologue that brought those words about?? That, my friends, is uncalled for.

I sat myself down that very moment for an important and painful self-realization….

I have GOT to stop beating myself up.
We women – all of us – have GOT to stop the expectation of some airbrushed ideal.

We are REAL.
We are HONEST.
Sure, we are flawed….
But we are BEAUTIFUL.

Without women and our curves, there would be no children.
Without women and our softness, there would be no comforting cuddles.

Should we be healthy and pursue the best version of ourselves?
Sure.
Absolutely.

But HEALTH and SELF-APPRECIATION must be the heart of that pursuit.
And we’ll never get there….
I’ll never get there….if it starts with a root of self-loathing and such ugly self-talk.

And so, we look for the positive and build from there.

My eyes? Yep. I like ’em.
They’re accented by laugh lines these days. And I even like that.
How blessed am I to have earned each and every one!

That dimple no one can explain? Yep. Like that too.
It pops up when I’m happy. It’s my portrayal of joy.
And I like that.

My fingers and hands? Check.
They, too. Are showing the years, but they are adorned in rings worn by my grandmother and the wedding set worn by the mother-in-law I never got to meet. They carry the mother’s love ring that symbolizes my heart that walks around outside of me: my boy and girlchild.

The rest of the package has some work ahead of it.
But I will start that work based on the positive.
I’ll start it with my heart….
Not only the physical, but also (especially?) the emotional piece.
I’ll start it with love.
For my family. For my friends. For the joys and blessings in my life.

And for myself.

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