Beauty & Style, Faith, Identiy

Celebrate your Beauty

It’s about to get real once again….

Veracious vulnerability alongside voracious vanity.

It’s about learning to celebrate beauty from the inside out.

One way or another, I had to learn it. I had to embrace it. I had to embody it and release it. It was time I owned it.

It’s time for you to as well my friend.

So here goes…

Finally, I had the long awaited appointment to see the Dr. It had taken months to get in and I thought I was ready to bite the bullet. After all, I had the big 60 birthday coming up and it was way past time for a check up from the neck up.

Waiting patiently and with much anticipation of what was to come, I found myself a bit nervous and questioning why I was really there.

And then it happened.

The Dr. was called into the consultation room along with his nurse.

The Dr. was a plastic surgeon.

I sat in stillness, after having had a few up close and personal pictures taken of my face. Staring back at me on the screen in front of me, was me. I felt myself growing uneasy. That wasn’t at all unusual for me when having to face myself. But that day felt different. Something had shifted.

Waiting for the surgeon to come in, I glanced back at her smiling eyes. I began to question why I was there. I was feeling vulnerable about my vanity.

But it was too late.

I was there and so was the TV size image of my face flashing on the screen.

Then there was a gentle tap on the door. As he entered the room followed by his nurse the disquietude I felt quickened as did my heart rate. With a ever so familiar gesture, he walked over to shake my hand and then quietly took a seat facing me. That did not help with the uneasiness that I was already feeling inside.

“Let’s talk about why you’re here”, he said as he folded his arms across his chest. I kind of felt like I was on trial with all eyes on me. There was a moment of awkward silence.. Truth is, there was a war going on inside my head. Not my heart but in my head. My heart knows the truth but my minds eye still made attempts to deceive my heart with what I could look like if …?

He looks me in the eye and says, “We’ve gone round and round this issue for a few years now. Let’s take a look together and then further discuss your options shall we?”

He pulls out a mirror, holds it up to my face and gently asks me ,”What do I see when I look in the mirror?”

That caught me a lit bit off guard and I could feel myself getting choked up but wasn’t sure why . Except for a very timely coaching session I had just had days prior to going into this long awaited appointment.

Recently I had been challenged by my dear friend and life coach to take a look in the mirror.

Gulp. “Yeah, no thank you!”

“Why not?”, she questioned and pressed into the issue at hand.

Most of my life I have been my own worst critic and didn’t like mirrors, like at all. Or for that matter, the person staring back at me. I had struggled with a poor self image for as long as I could remember. Let’s just say having a severe case of Bells Palsy ( paralysis of the face) at the age of 21 didn’t help matters either.

To this day, my left eye still doesn’t close completely and gets rather sluggish when I’m tired or stressed. The lines under my right eye always seemed more pronounced because there was a lot more “activity”on that side of my face due to overcompensating for the lack of muscle movement on the other side. Sadly, it would always be the first thing I saw when I looked in the mirror and I hated it.

But that day everything changed.

But before I tell you why, let me tell you this. Being in the beauty industry and the field of aesthetics for over 35+ years, it was expected of me to be a walking billboard ,so to speak ,for my my brand as well as my business. I get it but I took it to a deeper level. I felt I needed to portray that image for the acceptance and affirmations of what I thought my minds eyes needed not my heart.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe we are to take the best care of ourselves within our ability and look our best whatever that may look like.

There had been many lies I believed about myself from early on but this one haunted me until that meeting with the surgeon.

I hated the fact that I often felt that way. But the truth is, I did.

Anyway, I used to be quite good at picking myself apart. Sadly, those character lines would be the first thing I saw when I looked in the mirror.

Now I’m able to look back at that green eyes girl and assuredly say,” I earned every single one of those character lines otherwise known as wrinkles. This girl fought hard for them. Every single one of those character lines, those smile lines, those experience life lines belonged to me. They were indeed an intricate part of who I’ve become. Every. Single. One!

Back to the meeting of the minds with the surgeon.

He just sat there looking at me very pensively and then leaned in for what seemed like eternity. He then takes a marker and ever so gently tugs at the loose skin under my eyes. He’s silent and then hesitates for a moment. I certainly didn’t expect o hear what came next, but you know God. He often surprises us by speaking life giving words through other people.

With a rather authoritative voice yet kind ,he spoke. He looks me straight in the eye and says, “You know Cheryl, I could tighten a little bit of skin under your eyes to make the lines less noticeable but would it really be worth it? Would it be worth the risk of making the slightest improvement in the loss of the elasticity in that area? I really don’t think so and I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing an unnecessary surgery.”

WoW! I didn’t see that coming! I remained soberly silent.

He then continued his consultation and he said he’d like to make a suggestion.

Okay…..suggest away.

He confidently and quite assuredly asked me this question. “Do you know what I think this consultation is about? “Puzzled I just looked at him waiting for his response to his own question.

He continues. “I think this consultation is about you learning to CELEBRATE YOUR BEAUTY and who you are! ” He said it twice just to make sure I heard him correctly the first time.

This is where I about came unglued.

I was speechless. Partly because I had a huge lump in my throat and was trying my best not to cry. And secondly, I was secretly relieved.

Now I’m able to look back at that green eyed girl and assuredly say,” I earned every single one of those character lines otherwise known as wrinkles. This girl fought hard for them. Every single one of those character lines, those smile lines, those experience life lines belonged to me. They were indeed an intricate part of who I’ve become. Every. Single. One! If I had gone ahead with that surgery, it wouldn’t reflect the true journey Ive come to embrace.

It had taken me this long to finally accept myself,wrinkles and all .

That day was simply confirmation to what I had finally come to terms with. My uniquely beautiful self. And no surgery needed or necessary!

Moving forward into my sixties, I finally find myself embracing this aging thing, gracefully growing older ,wrinkles and all.

I am fearfully and wonderfully made by my Creator as are you! (Ps. 139)

Isn’t it time you learn to celebrate your unique beauty as well?

You know the one staring back at you in the mirror every day! 🎉

Talk to her like God is talking straight to her heart! Speak His truth over her daily. Affirm her in her unique beauty, character and style just like God does through His Word.

One more thing friends !

Celebrate her. Every. Single. Day.

Over 29,900+ days of living and now I finally get it! Learning to celebrate me has been a challenge but I am totally worth it and so are you!

Surely, the best is yet to come!

Love who you are as you are becoming!

Gracefully yours,

Cheryl