This post was originally written last year, and now I am bringing it back for my first-ever post at the Bohemian Collective! This post is one of my all-time favorites, mostly because of the way many women reacted to the post when it was first published. It inspired (in many) that sense of yes. That sense of I know what she means. That subtle affirmation of it's okay to love myself.
Now, a year later, I bring you these words once again to inspire the same feelings. To remind you of your own beauty, and the power of recognizing it. With these words I give you permission to revel in your own beauty, to acknowledge it, to let it exist. I even give you permission to speak of it, if you feel so bold.
May you feel beautiful now, then, and always. May you remember yourself as you truly are, and as you always have been; may you be the one who truly knows your beauty; may you be your best mirror.
Lessons Learned from Old Photographs
Here's the thing - there is not enough time to doubt yourself. there is not enough time to pause and think, "I am not beautiful enough," or "that part of my hair/face/arm is weird." There is no time to feel that this container is faulty; because, quite simply, we will look back and see that we were wrong. We will look back and see the immense beauty we carry, the luminous joy captured in sunlit photos at the river. We will see that we were perfect, in a really truly simple way. And then, by doing a quick equation of mathematics (or whatever), we will know that still we are perfect.
Let it be. You are so beautiful. Your face, your hair, your legs and thighs, your shoulders and arms are perfect. Your teeth and lips, too. Your ass and your calves, your waist, the curve (or not-curve) of your hips. Your back is beautiful. There is no time to think otherwise; because then the time might be gone and you might wonder how did i not realize how beautiful and wonderful i can be?
Here is what there is time for:
Laughing a lot. Going to the water. Taking our babies and children to water and laughing with them a lot. Eating food. Feeling good about eating food. Eating food with friends and neighbors and families. There is time for resting and there is plenty of time to sleep. There is time to wake up early and go to bed early and there is also time to stay up late and wake up late. there is time to nap. there is time to move your body and there is time to breathe; There is time to read, and there is even time to watch television. There is time to look in the mirror and love your face. There is time to enjoy the way you feel in your favorite dress, in your pajamas, in nothing.
If you have ever felt beautiful in your life, keep that pearl in your pocket and use it as you grow, as life changes all around you (and then give it, of course, to your children). In my own messy channels of belief and perspective, it is okay to think that you are the center of the world. You are. There is enough time to love yourself, enough time to love other people (as many as you want) and there is enough love to go around. No one will max out on love.
There is an inextricable connection between love and beauty. It is beauty which draws me closer to the things i love and so by seeking beauty, I can seek out my personal direction. What appeals to each of us may not appeal to everyone else. do not doubt your beauty, and likewise, do not doubt the things that you find to be beautiful: these are the things that are meant to captivate you, to show you visions and inspire your imagination; and above all, they are here to fill your heart. Listen.
(photography by Milan and Shannon Rosan)