“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” Helen Keller
The first time I heard “hey beautiful” I cried because now the image that had been created by words from people who didn’t know better and my thought pattern over the years was finally erased!
As a child I would study people because I was told so often I was not the correct image because my standards didn’t measure up to all others. I was told I was pretty because my skin was light and my eyes were light but I did not have the right body type. “You would be so pretty if you would just lose a little weight!” I heard this in my family. I heard this in my work place! I heard it even when people didn’t think I could hear them! I heard it in my church! As a young child it hurt and as a result I became an adult that was hurt as well! I suffered from a disease called PERFECTION! I suffered from bulimia! I suffered from insecurity! I put on the best clothes, nails were always done, hair never out of place and I still was not meeting the standards of the WORLD! The words were choking the life out of me.
I watched and prayed for countless children as I was growing and even now into my adulthood because of the standards that are being put on them. One in particular that stood out was Blue Ivy. She was called all kinds of names by adults because of how her hair looked. I look at Lil Kim and how her whole image of self has changed because of the words spoken to her. I look at Michael Jackson and numerous other celebrities and understand that this world has set standards that one can never live up too. We also have celebrities that have these images that people think they have to live up to. Where do we draw the line? Or do we create our own line? We have children killing themselves daily because of these standards. WORDS HURT! Don’t let people set standards pertaining to your LIFE! While I was teaching my child I was learning the same thing!
Most of us are not equipped to handle the words that are used to choke the life out of us! We live in a world full of superficial people of who standards we would never live up to. It is time for us to set our own standards. It is time for us to use our words to help build and not tear down. Teach your children the difference between pretty and beautiful! When you do this you are also teaching them the difference between healthy and unhealthy! Anything that is causing a person to die slowly on the inside it isn’t healthy. This is not a fat or skinny thing! This is not a black or white thing! This is not a poor or rich thing! It’s not a girl thing or a boy thing! This is a HUMAN thing!
I did everything I could do to live up to the standards of others until I realized there was a difference between pretty and beautiful.
Pretty attractive in a delicate way without being truly beautiful or handsome.
Beautiful possessingqualitiesthatgivegreatpleasureor satisfactiontosee,hear,thinkabout,etc.;delightingthesensesor mind
I never understood that beauty was skin deep until I met two people who looked past my outside and told me what I looked like on the inside. Well into my adulthood words that were spoken from my youth were still holding me hostage. They were able to explain that being pretty can fade away but what is on the inside is what really counts. They were used by God to show me my heart! They helped develop me into what I was called to do! I love being me! The PRETTY vs. BEAUTIFUL battle is now over!
Now don’t get me wrong I still think it is necessary to keep yourself clean and presentable but now it is according to the standards that I set for myself and not someone else. Now when I looked at myself in the mirror I know longer see the girl trying to be pretty I see the woman who is beautiful! My life changed the moment my mindset did!
“Never be afraid to show people who you really are; healing begins when the masks comes off” Angela Lambert
I am a creature of discipline. Everything is always put strategically where I can easily obtain it even the masks that I wore for years. Masks were a part of my daily outfits because of my insecurities. Where ever I went I had a mask in waiting so that I could put on the best performance of a life time! I never got an Oscar or an Emmy but I should have been named Best Actress of the Year!
Our lives are performances whether we want to admit it or not. Our jobs, our homes, our churches, banks, and schools are all the places that we put on our best performances. We perform for our families! We perform for our employees! We perform for the world!
People love to see entertainment but that was not the calling I had on my life! I was performing job duties that I wasn’t qualified for. I am not an actress! I am an imperfect person put in a world full of imperfect people striving for perfection!
Starting and stopping is a part of life that we can never get away from. When my child was seven years old she wanted to ride her bike around the corner with her older cousins but I said she had to learn to ride without training wheels first. She got on the bike and started peddling and before she knew it she was riding. The hard part was trying to figure out how to stop once she got started. She made it all the way around the corner with her cousins but once they made it back to the front of the house she realized she didn’t know how to stop. She was so use to riding with training wheels (which was her crutch) she never mastered the art of stopping and she fell to the ground. She screamed and was in a lot of pain because the crutch she was use to was not holding her up anymore. Many of us are holding onto the same temporary support of a crutch.
We feel the ground beneath us and we know we have hit rock bottom but we don’t take the necessary steps to change. Her choices were either to get up and try again or lay there and wallow in pain. Yes her scars are still evident on her knees but it has been eleven years now and she still knows how to ride a bike and she has mastered how to stop as well! It took time but she did it!
You may fall but get back up and keep trying! It will get hard! It will hurt! It will seem like it is not worth it sometimes! You may not see immediate results but keep going. Cry! Scream! Punch a pillow! But don’t stop trying because the end results will always be worth it! Nothing beats a failure but a try; so what are you waiting for. The art of change begins with the first step!
I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me.
“Sometimes we are so habitual of judging people by their looks and their social status that we miss out on meeting and knowing some of the most amazing people in our lives” Aarti Khurana
Judgment can be a form of bondage if you allow it too keep you from taking the first step. We are all guilty of judging a book by its cover before we even turned the pages. If we are honest with ourselves this goes all the way back to our childhoods. We didn’t pick someone to play on your team because we felt they were not fast enough and they may have turned out to be the fastest kid. We didn’t want to play with someone because they had on dirty clothes not knowing that maybe they didn’t have a washer and dryer like we did. We talked about other children because they had scars and you may not have known they were being abused. We laughed at a kid because they ate so much at lunchtime but you did not know that would be the only meal they had throughout the day. We may choose not to talk to the pretty girl or handsome guy at school because you assume they think they are better than everyone else. However you did not know she was struggling with an eating disorder or he was contemplating suicide. I could make analogy after analogy but the moral of the story is that we miss out on knowing the most amazing people because of our habitual judgment of people.
Amazing people are not all bottled the same! Amazing people walk differently! Amazing people talk differently! Amazing people are living on the streets! Amazing people may live in a really big house and some may live in a run down neighborhood. Amazing people drive fancy cars and they also take the bus! Amazing people are entertainers, the lunch aid or the teacher at your child’s school! Amazing people are not defined by the body shape, skin color, economic or social statuses!
What makes a person amazing is the content of their heart! We will never know the content of a person’s heart if we continue to overlook them. Even though my eyes may be deceiving at times I stopped looking and starting seeing that my life was filled with the most amazing people!
I was asked “what do you see in that person?” My reply was “everything that you don’t!” Angela Lambert
It’s not about what you look at but what you see! Blind people can view the beauty in something that those who have sight tend to overlook.
Our eyes all see things differently. It can be two people looking at the same thing and they both see something different. When I see people the first thing I zero in on is their hair because that is what I do as a profession. My sister on the hand looks right at the teeth because she works in the field of dentistry. Who can look at someone and see their heart? No one because the heart is hidden. So how do you know who a person really is just by looking at them?
Life is about soul searching and getting to know people for who they are not for what they show! You may look at person and not know they just lost a loved one! Or that their job is on the line. Or that their life is in shambles! You don’t know if they are fighting a demon of suicide! Looking and seeing can be deceiving but it’s your eyes so use them accordingly! Just remember if the mirror was placed in your face will you be looking or seeing!
Be mindful how you view others. Never walk past a stranger and not speak you may have just made their day! Never look down on someone because they do not look like you!
The thought I would like to leave you with is that maybe it’s time to stop using the deception of the eyes to view what is hidden.
Learn to admit your mistakes before someone exaggerates your story!
You are the author of your own life story never let anyone tell your story based on reading just a few chapters of your life. They may come in on your intro (no one can ever tell how good a story will be based on the first chapter), they may come on the middle part (just getting to figure yourself out chapter) or they may come in on the ending (never knowing what caused you to behave in the manner that you do). Even the best stories have errors but that never stops you from continuing on especially if you like the book. Never allow a mistake to define how your story will continue.
We live in a world that you can do so many things right and no one notices but when you step outside of the norm and make a mistake it becomes news worthy. Life will always be full of mishaps because those are character building moments but never allow someone to exaggerate your story! Admit when you are wrong and move on. Never let people continue to remind you about a chapter that you have passed already. Remember that is the end of that chapter not the end of your story. Mistakes should make you grow! Mistakes should teach you! Mistakes do not define you! Mistakes are a part of life! Mistakes are forgivable!
If you have someone in your life that will constantly remind you of what you use to be then it is time to close not only that chapter in your life but shut the BOOK and revisit the library!
“Reflect on your present blessings–of which every man has many–not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” Charles Dickens
Did it matter that my car did not start? Did it matter that I over drafted my account a few times? Did it matter that I did not have enough money to pay my bills? Did it matter that at times you wondered if you could feed your family? Did it matter that I did not speak to that person? Did it matter that I did not apologize and I knew I was wrong? Did it matter that I was holding unforgiveness in my heart? Did it matter that I said yes and really wanted to say no? Did it matter that I judged you based on my preconceived notions or past hurts? Did it matter that I knew you were hungry and did not offer you food? Did it matter that I was tired of being everything for everyone? Did it matter that I felt you were using me but I still stayed around? Did it matter that I said I loved you when I knew that I hated you inside? Did it matter I cried and no one cared? Did it matter that people would rather leave you then apologize for being wrong? Did it matter that I treated you fair and you did me wrong? Did it matter that I laughed at you? Did it matter that you talked about me? Did it matter that words hurt and can not be taken back? Did it matter that you were more of a foe than a friend? Did it matter that I did not spend as much time with the people that I love? Did it matter that I was more dedicated to my job than I was to my family? Did it matter that you ignored someone but always called when you needed something? Did it matter that people walked away that you thought would never leave you? Did it matter that you forgave someone and they hurt you again? Did it matter that you were not perfect? Did it matter that you wish you would have handled that situation differently? Did it matter that you were screaming inside and no one could hear you? Did it matter that you felt all alone in a room full of people? Did it matter that you were mad at the world and no one understood? Did it matter that you were going through a storm and you thought no one cared? Did it matter that people overlooked you? Did it matter that you murmured and complained and things did not change? Did it matter that your heart was broken into pieces numerous times and you still had to carry on like nothing ever happened?
We can all relate to one or more of the “did it matter questions” but at the end of the day what really matters. Did is a past tense word and what really matters is that living in the past will never prepare you for the future!
Make the best of everyday! Live more! Love more! Give more! Forgive more! Hug more! Laugh more! Smile more!