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What is Beauty?

*This essay was originally written July 24, 2018, but I needed to rehear it. Picture is current ❤️

This #QOTD needs a preface. On Sunday, a man I had been in a relationship with over the last few years came to visit. This is a man who had talked me through hospital scares and who had shown kindness and caring in our interactions. I was clearly blindsided when he proceeded to humiliate me by body shaming me. I won’t go into detail but let’s just say “beautiful” was not a word he used. As he continued to degrade me over and over with variations on the same theme, I sat there numb as he “made sure” I wasn’t confused and cleared things up as to his opinion, which in his mind was clearly reality despite changing from previous statements and actions. I WAS so confused that he even got me to agree in the moment that he was right as to the deficiencies of my body. I finally summoned enough sense and told him it was time for him to leave. I was devastated. And I cried.

Recounting what happened to a soul sister, she was disgusted. Of course she would say this, but she reminded me that my body is beautiful. My body has beaten the odds and has allowed me to do all I’ve done and will continue to do. Clearly, I have an atypical female body. This isn’t news to me. I do believe everyone has a right to their opinion, but no one has a right to be cruel and try to break you down. Shouldn’t we all err on the side of kindness?

I know I am not alone in experiencing incidents like this. I also know I’m now more aware and compassionate for others who have encountered this behavior or worse. I am not writing this to receive compliments or sympathy. I’m writing it to encourage people not to let anyone get in your head and prey on your insecurities like this person did to me.

Mulling all of this over the last few days had me thinking about what “beautiful” truly is. I found the loveliest short essay, which brings us to my #QOTD:

Beauty is many different things: knowledge, music, dance, art, photography. Beauty is laughter. Beauty is honor, loyalty, and your word meaning something to others. We are all full of so much beauty. We all have a beautiful light that we have to work at keeping lit. Beauty is seen in being compassionate. Find what you love. Believe in your dreams. Set goals. Make it happen. Have backup plans. Work hard. Love life; love the life you live. Love others, but love yourself too. ❤️

This is me, and I’m ok.

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