I admire the freedom and inhibition of children, so often and so easily put on display as they live up to their own standards as they dance to the (sometimes quite literal) beat of their own drums. It was on a recent trip to the grocery store when I saw this childhood freedom in action.
As soon as I walked through the sliding glass doors, I noticed a little girl, no more than 4 or 5 years old. Her blond hair flipped in a tangled mess as she danced in carefree circles to a song that no one but her could hear. She was wearing a t-shirt that was patterned with black and white polka dots paired with a tutu – its tulle spinning in alternating stripes of every color of the rainbow.
On her feet she wore pink plastic rain boots with a pig snout and ears on them, despite the bright sunlight streaming down outside. This little girl was the epitome of mismatch, yet in her mind, that didn’t matter; she was genuinely happy, and could not keep her body still in celebration.
I recall during my childhood years dressing and acting in much the same way as this little girl. But as I aged and started to navigate my teenage years and even my early twenties, I allowed my insecurities to stifle my independence and my creativity – after all, no guy would want to claim the girl who showed up at the restaurant wearing a tutu as his date, right?
In my futile attempts to fit in with the crowd, I quieted aspects of who I was as my own young woman. I often second guessed every decision I made and sometimes made choices that didn’t feel authentic to me, instead choosing to try to stuff myself into the mold of what a typical young woman living in today’s society should be.
We all go through those periods of insecurities in our lives. I have overcome mine, and let me tell you, now, in my late twenties, I would happily wear that tutu to the store and dance down the aisles if I felt that was something that would make me happy. After all, isn’t that what each of want in this life – to find our joy?
So, this one goes out to all of you who may still be in the midst of your time of insecurity, questioning yourself at every turn, and wondering if you’ll ever truly find “you”…
Beautiful friend, you have a special role to play in this life, and when you place your focus and your intention on who you are at your core and pursue what makes you happy, you will bring yourself into alignment with this truth.
But, when you give in to the pressures of your insecurities and scrutinize all that you are and dream to be in favor of trying to conform to who you think others want you to become, you doubt (and sometimes even hide) the beauty of who you are.
The simple truth is that you are beautiful, regardless of who you are, where you come from, or where you currently find yourself on your journey of life. When you can accept this truth and begin to fall in love with yourself, you will become liberated, accepting love from yourself first, and then allowing the world to love you just as you are.
Of course, mainstream media as well as your social feeds will continue to bombard you with messages of imperfection, trying to convince you that you will never fit in unless you take serious action immediately.
Television commercials will scream at you about the importance of buying that overpriced foundation to cover your skin imperfections so the man you have your eye on will be attracted to you; magazines will tout the value of buying the newest creation from a designer label so you will look stylish as you run your errands; Instagram advertisements will beckon you to ingest the sustenance of the latest diet trend in order to lose weight; and billboards will hope to entice you to subject yourself to laser exposure in order to zap away our cellulite.
But what these outlets fail to communicate is the fact that engaging in these types of behaviors in pursuit of feeling beautiful means that you will miss the core of your need. Your worth is found in addressing your understanding of yourself, and valuing yourself just as you are. This is the cornerstone (and the secret) needed to embrace your confidence and beauty.
Beautiful girl, your time is much better spent placing your intention on treating yourself with respect and practicing mindful presence every day in every situation, rather than emulating the appearance of the model or the influencer whose photographs have not been published or posted for mass consumption before they have been airbrushed within an inch of maintaining what that person actually looks like.
When you are truly living in alignment with who you are, you will never feel the need to change yourself in order to please others. So today, I challenge you to start the journey of loving yourself. This is a long road, with many bumps, twists, and turns along the way, but I promise, the farther along you get, the more gorgeous the view becomes as you will begin to see yourself with new understanding and new hope.
The next time that you feel like your insecurities are making themselves known and threatening to take you down, place your trust in the truth of your worth rather than the truth being spread by the people around you. Remind yourself of the importance of loving yourself, valuing yourself, and embracing the happiness that surrounds you – it’s yours for the taking if only you would be willing to take the first step on the path toward seeing yourself through a lens of love.
So, go forth, lovely one, seeing your imperfections as perfect representations of what it means to live life beautifully and accept the love that you will receive in return!