swan 2

“Jules, If I didn’t know you, I would hate you.”

This message was delivered to me almost 30 years ago, at a critical and tender time in my life.  It reverberated endlessly, from my fragile ego, to the depths of my soul, and back around my heart.  This was a painful and difficult message for an approval-seeking young adult, who worked tirelessly to move beyond the ugly and imperfect obstacles from childhood adversities.  I replied, “Seriously?  You would HATE me?”

“Yes.  You are beautiful and successful.  You’re perfect!  You have it all.  If I didn’t know you, I would hate you!”

Sadly, she really did not know me and all my insecurities.  Her words pierced my people-pleasing persona and shattered everything I believed to be true.  Beauty and success epitomized the cultural contract we were conditioned to fulfill as super-women.  But nobody told me about the part that if, or when, you fulfill the contract, people would hate you.  This was a bewildering, sick game: be beautiful, successful and hated, or imperfect, ordinary and never measure up.  The pathetic irony in the entire paradigm was I NEVER felt beautiful or successful to begin with — most of us NEVER did.

In spite of the invasive and prominent media-defined images of beauty, women are waking up.  No longer will we sit by and watch our daughters be put in anorexic, fashion chic boxes, destined for plastic surgery.  Traditional notions of beauty are being shattered.  Women no longer want to have our appearance prescribed, nor do we believe it defines who we are.  We will not wear a mask that hides our identity and buy the right labels to make us feel worthy and complete.  We are re-defining beauty and wearing it proudly as it emanates deep from within our true knowing.  As we discover the radiant light of elegance and grace that flows from our core, authentic self-expression is the new glamour.  Beauty isn’t something that pleases the eye, but rather an essence that stirs and quickens the soul.  Have you re-defined beauty and embraced your mystique?

Macduff Everton said, “There is a difference between pretty and beautiful.  Beauty can astonish us. Inspire us.  Make us dance.  Make us weep.  Beauty can be magical.  Beauty can transform us.  Beauty lets our soul sing.  Beauty can have such depth that you don’t even notice at first, or ever.”  Live your beauty!  Let it shine.  Allow you essence to emerge.  BE YOU, beautiful!

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