About three weeks ago I received some terrible, heartbreaking news. One of the mothers of a friend of my youngest son had passed away after losing her battle to cancer. Her funeral was held on the following Friday, and naturally my son and I attended the service to offer support to his friend and his two older sisters.
During the service my heart broke for those three children sitting there. As a mother, I couldn’t even begin to comprehend what it must be like to know you are going to die, and you need to say goodbye to your own flesh and blood. I saw her oldest daughter of eleven get up, and with such elegance and grace give a heartfelt eulogy of the mother she had lost. She spoke of the fond memories they made, the great love they shared, the great example she was, and how these precious children miss her beyond what they can even feel within their own hearts.
The tears were streaming down my cheeks, and I find it hard to keep myself in check as I write this down again.
What stood out to me the most that day, was the pictures they had projected throughout the whole service. This mother was probably not what the world would describe as the perfect woman, but each picture was one of her smiling, embracing life, and being a happy, vibrant person. She was a mother, a wife, a woman, someone who cared for others, someone who lived her life, and who lived for others. And I saw that written in those pictures and heard it in the words of her oldest daughter.
These past months I have been dealing with my own issues, and I have this amazing friend who I often call and chat with. She has been my friend for over sixteen years, and we have recently made more time to strengthen our friendship. As I have spoken to her over these past months, I have discovered that for years she has struggled with her self-esteem. As I listened to her during our many conversations these past months, I couldn’t believe that my friend, the one person I have always looked up to as a pillar of strength had been feeling this for so long, and silently suffering in such a way.
As we shared our feelings with each other, I also spoke of my own insecurities and my own issues of not meeting up with what society feels we as women need to be or measure up to be. She was also surprised I had similar feelings because she never thought I would have struggled with any issues regarding my appearance.
Sitting in that funeral service, seeing those pictures, hearing those words, I could feel a distinct feeling, as if the Holy Ghost were whispering to me “Look at this woman, she lived her life, and it was full. Don’t waste yours worrying about that which isn’t of importance. Take that picture, make that memory, don’t postpone, for tomorrow might be too late.”
Let me clarify this impression to you. I live my life in such a way that I often shy away from the camera, I hate my picture being taken. When I see a picture of myself, I focus on all of the negative aspects I see, and I sometimes don’t even see the good or the happy memory that was made.
As I looked at those pictures of this mother that had passed, I understood that making memories is more important than focusing on the negativity you may think you see in yourself. I’m sure if you ask the people that love you what they see in you, they can list at least ten things that are
amazing about you and your appearance. They might even be able to list twenty, thirty or even a hundred things. We are hindered to see the amazing person we are, by our own ridiculous image we may have created for ourselves based on unrealistic criteria, or complete incorrect images shoved on us by the media.
I learned that day that I need to stop being my own worst enemy, and start loving myself more. And I called my friend up shortly after and told her of my feelings that day.
I hope whomever reads this post, will realize they are AMAZING! We each have our own strengths and our own uniqueness that make us beautiful. We have qualities that will bless those around us, and if we look beyond those feelings that sometimes try to convince us we may not be enough, we can aim for greatness. Always remember, you are beautiful my amazing, beautiful friend. And to all the people in the world, you all are beautiful too.
This video opened my eyes up to what it is we do to ourselves on a daily basis, when we keep breaking ourselves down instead of building ourselves up.
Take the time to watch it, it will open up your perspective.