As Bright as 1,000 Suns


Dear Self,
I know you’re feeling kind of shitty right now, but I’m rooting for you. No matter how yucky, awful, embarrassed you feel about yourself some days, don’t you ever forget about the beauty. There’s too much awesomeness in the world to waste this life on worry. Keep being strong! You’re amazing.

I wrote this little note to myself this morning inspired by an event yesterday when a kind, well-meaning stranger, congratulated me and my belly bulge on my apparent pregnancy.  I was hurt. Really hurt, even though she meant no harm. I’m embarrassed to say I spent the rest of the day scrutinizing me and my lumpy, very not pregnant body.
Self-criticism is part of me and probably always will be. Its part of what helps me make improvements in my life, but it also slows me down, blurring reality into a mess of unfulfilled goals and shameful shortcomings. However I’ve learned negative self-talk does nothing for any of us. I know this, you know this, but sometimes we need reminders.
I believe that within each of us is the most precious jewel that shines brighter than one thousand suns, but the onslaught of day to day crap that we lay on ourselves–our fears, our need to fit in, our desire to be loved all mar that perfect being that we hide inside.
Today (yes, in the midst of my belly loathing) as I was pulling off I95 I saw a homeless man holding a worn cardboard sign that said “Desperate”. I’ve been taught to be skeptical of beggars. People tell me most of them are manipulative scammers. But this man look tired, and hot, like his life had dragged him through pain.
As I sat at the light, going through my purse for a dollar I watched a man ahead of me on a motorcycle call the guy over, pull out some money from his wallet and hand it to him. The man in his weary state, his shoulders bent in exhaustion took the money. His face exuded gratefulness.
This, my friends, is where the beauty is. Not in our waistlines, or based on how many pairs of shoes we have…but in simplicity. In love between strangers! This magic is everywhere, in the curling pattern on a leaf, the graceful fall of a water droplet, the scent of a sleeping child.
I know it’s hard to let go of our hang ups (I’ve battled with my belly pudge for fifteen years, so I’m guessing I’m not done yet) but…BUT if even just for a few moments we can pause, watch a bird swoop in the wind, savor the warm hug of a friend, and reveal that precious inner gem, maybe…even if for just a little bit, life won’t feel so hard.
We are our worries; we are our shame, we are our endless desires. We are human. It is part of the stories we are here to tell. Sometimes life hurts and sometimes we fail, but if we let ourselves pause in the midst of the chaos we will see that riding parallel to our pain is beauty. It’s alive in everything. Including you and me!


One comment

  1. Beautiful post. I struggle with so much self-loathing and self-doubt in life, and it’s all brought on by the passing of time, in my case. Old beauties like me die hard. The beauty of youth is a golden ticket that’s only good for a short while. Once you leave that party, you’re not invited back. We women beat ourselves up. We’re hard on ourselves. I think it’s because we are expected to play so many roles, and life becomes a juggling act. Like you, I find solace in the simplicity of nature. Nature expects nothing from me, and it gives me everything. It’s my peace.

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