Read the Stories of Life and See the Beauty You Might Not Have Seen Before

21 Apr

Every day I look at my social media feeds and see so much focus on negativity in regards to looks, self-esteem and just our differences in general. What has happened to our society? It’s become so toxic and that toxicity doesn’t seem to end. There’s so much focus on what society deems as attractive and what is “acceptable” that it’s forgotten that perfection does not exist. Perfection is only a word in the dictionary.

I have heard young girls ask their moms why they’re not pretty just because some kid at school told them they weren’t. I hear people make snide remarks about the appearances of other people or the circumstances that other people are living with and it’s really sad to see that this is what’s going on out there. When I was growing up, I don’t remember bullying being such a huge problem like it is now. I don’t remember ever being made to feel ugly and not having any worth in my awkward growing up phase but having been in a mentally abusive adult relationship, I sure heard it plenty during those few months and because of those words, I have a really hard time seeing myself as anything other than that. It’s been 6 years since I got myself out of that relationship of unnecessary hurt, anger and pain but it’s been an internal struggle every day to build myself back up to the confident, strong person I was before I was knocked down by an insensitive, controlling jerk with no self-esteem of his own. Being told or just made to feel that you’re not good enough, you’re not pretty enough, you’re too this, you’re too that is something that doesn’t just sting, it’s burns and it leaves a mark, both in your heart and on your brain. I don’t understand why people feel the need to bring other people down, to make them feel horrible about who they are. You can think you’re the most confident person in the world but when someone you trust and believe in makes you feel otherwise, you start to believe it yourself and then when total strangers say things behind your back or sadly these days, even to your face thanks to the reality of the anonymity of the internet, it’s in your face every day, in some form and you find yourself falling into the trap of thinking that maybe these things are true if others are saying them. They’re not. I realize that in a lot of cases it’s a cycle that the bully has endured in their own lives, but when does it stop and how do we stop it from repeating itself? It’s not cool, it’s not hip and it sure isn’t attractive to tear others down when we should be working to build each other up. It makes YOU the ugly one, not the one you’re trying to break down. This goes on with both men and women, every day, all day.

Men are made to feel like they have to have 6 pack abs, a head full of thick hair, work a high paying job with a title and have a big wallet to be worth something to a woman and likewise, women are made to feel that unless they wear a size 2 jeans, have big boobs, wear a shit ton of makeup and dress like Barbies that we’re never gonna find someone to love us for who we are, for the right reasons, the reasons that God put us here for – to be unique, to be exactly who we are That’s bullshit. Total bullshit. Society is the ugly one, not you.

There is good in everyone and beauty exists in all of us, whether it’s something you can physically see or it’s on the inside, it’s there if you take the time to look and pay attention to it. It’s in the way you can look into someone’s eyes as they’re talking to you and be able to see straight to their heart, it’s in the way that a single mother works 3 jobs to take care of her child, it’s in the way that a dad works the night shift to be able to take proper care of his family, it’s in the laughter of two girls embarrassed because the cute guy sitting at the table next to them just smiled at them, it’s in the way that your grandmother still looks into your grandfather’s eyes 50 years later and still smiles like they’re on a first date, it’s in a father’s eyes when he sees his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time, it’s in the way your best friend sends you a text just to say they were thinking about you, it’s in the way a child with an illness such as Down’s Syndrome or Autism laughs at the joke they heard in their special education class today or it’s the girl’s tears that run down her cheek because he never called. It’s not about what we look like, although when it comes to romance, a physical connection is what draws most people together. It’s who we are, it’s how we carry ourselves and it’s how we show love and caring towards those around us. Love and acceptance are all around us if we just pay attention and know what to look for. Instead of focusing on someone’s appearance, learn to look AT them and really see them instead of just looking THROUGH them. When you start to accept people and see the good that’s there, the cycle can stop, at least in your own life.

People are beautiful in their own unique ways and we all have untold stories behind the smiles, the sadness, and demons they fight every day. The person next to you may look different than you, live differently than you and that’s ok, we don’t need a bunch of Stepford clone who look alike, think alike, or believe the same things. This is what makes us great, the ability to be different and to not be like everyone else. People are walking, talking, breathing stories of life, experience and lessons. Learn from them, appreciate them and take the time to “read” their stories.

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