The Trouble with Ugly

I think I was four when I first thought of myself as ugly. I don’t know if ugly was the exact word for it: maybe a more accurate term would be ‘different’. I definitely looked different, from my mom and my sister, and from the rest of the adults around me. Being different, with deep brown skin, a high forehead, a big nose, and kinky hair that never seemed to stay in place was not considered the best thing to be back then. And so, I remember feeling hopeless a lot, as if no one could love the girl that stared back at me in the mirror.

We do strange things when we don’t love ourselves. We may diet a lot, wear lots of makeup, and continually read beauty magazines in the hope of one day feeling as though we look not quite as bad. There’s nothing wrong with these things in and of themselves, but the problem with them is that no matter what happens or how we end up looking, many of us still feel like we are ugly. And even when people tell us otherwise, we still carry the ugly around with us, afraid to let it go.

What I’ve been learning lately is that letting go of things, like the ugly, takes practice and honesty. It’s more than shrugging your shoulders and saying, I believe I’m beautiful, because the truth is, if you do not actually believe you’re beautiful you will feel fake.

But instead, it’s more like trying. Like,  I will try to appreciate myself for 10 minutes today. Okay I can’t do 10, well 5 then.’ I will someway try to think of the beautiful parts of me for 5 minutes, and then I will roll my eyes at myself and this activity for the rest of the day. And maybe next week, I will try for 10 minutes.’

We can practice feeling beautiful. One tiny step at a time, over and over, until we really start to start to believe the truth about ourselves.

Image credit: imagesource / 123RF Stock Photo

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