Five Minute Friday - beauty

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on beauty.

There is a lot in this world that can only be described as ugly.
Hurtful words, messages, language, actions.
There are so many examples of things we can point to and say they are just plain ugly.

There were so many times in my life that I felt ugly.
I felt like I was never good enough, strong enough, reaching a level of beauty.
And then I had you and it stopped.

Not only because it had to stop, but also because you made it stop.
You, sweet, amazing and gorgeous daughter of mine, you changed me.
You were and are my connection to beauty.

And it started as soon as I could tell that my words were being heard.
I stopped comparing my waist,
I stopped looking at my belly
I stopped wishing I could look different
and I started on health.

I started working out because it feels good for my body
I started saying thank you when you told me you liked what I was wearing
I started telling you that my scars were a part of our story and I love them because they brought me my family
I started looking at myself differently
I started looking at you, really looking at you
and how could I look at something that gorgeous that came from me and not think there is so much beauty in the world?
You were and are my connection to beauty.

Because you changed everything.
You brought me motherhood
and the day you looked at me and our connection clicked is the day that I realized what the word beauty and gorgeous means.
It has to do with connection
it has to do with love
it has to do with the kind of deep and connected love that wakes you up, lifts fogs.
You were and are my connection to beauty.

There is still so much of this world that is ugly
there is still so much that is wrong, there will always be.
Because everything in life has balance.
You can't really enjoy how gorgeous things are if you don't have the ugly to compare them to.
That is how this life goes.
But even in the ugliest of times, the human connection can be seen and it is so gorgeous.
I will forever remind you to look there, to be comforted by the fact that beauty will live on and on.
You were and are my connection to beauty.




Dear Anna:

Growing up, I never thought I had an ounce of beauty.
I always judged myself,
my decisions
my looks
my walk
my words
my mind
I starting running at the age of 8, not because I loved to run,
but because I wanted to lose weight.
I never accepted a compliment.
I always put myself down.
And then, I met you.

There was a day when you and I finally connected and we became mother and daughter.
I remember it so clearly, you were fresh out of a bath, it was just you and I home.
I decided to snap a few pictures of you and put you down on a couch and pulled out an actual camera.
I started saying your name, trying to grab your attention and you recognized my voice.
You melted when you heard it and you looked at me, with such warmth, such love, such beauty.
You looked at me like a daughter should look at her mother, telling me, we've got this mom, you and me, we're in this together.
I felt beautiful because I was loved by you.
I felt beautiful because I was in love with you.

Dear Cole:
I was never a lover of love.
I didn't trust enough.
I didn't think people really cared because there was a lot of letting me down.
I didn't think that love could be so raw, so emotional so naked.
Until I met you.

The moment I held you, you were mine.
There is no way to explain it other than using the cliche of they slipped you into my arms and heart.
You are my one and only love at first sight.
You were full of so much new and wonder and wonderful.
You would look around the room and take it all in because every part was amazing to you.
Including me.
The moment our eyes met, they locked.
You looked at me with instant recognition and you looked at me like you knew we will have each other to count on.
You looked at me like you needed me because you did, but I needed you too.
You looked at me the way a son should look at his mother, telling me, we've got this mom, you and me, we're in this together.
I felt beautiful because I was loved by you.
I felt beautiful because I was in love with you.

My body looks, feels, and acts differently.
I am a shell of who I once was.
Because once upon a time, I was younger and young.
I was new too even though I always felt old.
I was smooth and I didn't have wrinkles and stuff didn't droop.
I was in charge and I was empty.
But I didn't like that girl that much.
I didn't appreciate her, I didn't know she was strong.
And instead, I focused on her anger.
I focused on all that was wrong, all I would change, all I wanted to change.
Until I met you coach.
And you told me she was good, she was worth it, she was able to be happy, it was ok if she was happy.

Now, this woman, I can appreciate.
I appreciate her for carrying two hearts, twice.
I appreciate her for pacing with sick babies.
I appreciate her for giving all of her and then coming back around to self-care.
I appreciate her for finding the room to breathe.
I appreciate her for taking time for her, finding her again in the fog of mothering.
I appreciate her legs for being able to run.
I appreciate her heart for being able to love.
I appreciate her soul for shining light outward.
I appreciate her stomach for stretching and molding.
I appreciate her arms for holding everyone up.
I appreciate her words for she picks them carefully.
I appreciate her beauty because she finally found it.
In the mix of all this confusion and chaos and fog and tired, she was able to find glory and grace.



What can we do together Anna?
What can we change...together?

Can we change how we define woman.
Can we change the idea that we should be defined by a scale, or a number, or a size, or by wrinkles and marks on our body?

Can we change the idea that we should be defined by time passing, or our past?

Can we change how we define woman?

Can we try and define her by her real beauty?
By what she accomplishes in 24 hours, or a week, or a month, what about a year?

Can we define her by her loves and her joys?
Can we tell the world that she is perfect, even though perfect doesn't exist.
Can we tell them that perfect doesn't have to exist, just leave her, just as she is.
With joy in her heart because if you take that away, you take away her flame.
And you are not allowed to take away her flame.

You have changed how I define me.
You have changed how I look at me, how I talk about myself, you have already changed so much.

You have put scars on my body and wrinkles on my face and worry in my heart.
You have made me soft in the middle, and I no longer care.
Because you have changed how I define me.

With all of the scars, and wrinkles, and added numbers and worry, I have never felt so beautiful and that is because you have given me the title of mother.
You have taught me that it all comes from within us.
You have brought me back to that little girl that I was and you are finding a way to whisper in her ear that she is good enough, she is strong enough, she can trust her strength, she can trust herself.

And, so are you. You are strength and you are gorgeous.

My amazing daughter...
You are most beautiful when you are happy, or not.
You are most beautiful when you are working, or learning.
You are most beautiful when you are running, or sitting, or reading, or active.
You are most beautiful when you are trying, because you always try.
You are most beautiful when you first wake up, and just before bed, and all throughout the day.
You are most beautiful when you are confident and when you are scared.
You are most beautiful when you are with your brother and when you were our one and only.
You are most beautiful when I see you being a good friend and when you are all alone.
You are most beautiful when you can see love on your face and when you don't have any left to give.
You are most beautiful when you are around your father, or me, or anyone.
You are most beautiful.

Thank you my love, for changing everything.
You make me feel like we can continue to change it all, together.

Happy birthday to my first.

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