I have the most beautiful clients. Seriously. I watch these people snuggle with their children and with one another and they just shine with love and joy. Because of this, it is SO easy for me to look at a clients’ photos and think to myself, “These are seriously beautiful people.” But I’ll be the first to admit that it’s easy to see the beauty in other people and harder to see it in myself. And I have a feeling that I’m not alone. There have been times I have shown clients their images, photos that I absolutely LOVE, and their response has sounded something like “I hate how I look in photos”. Don’t get me wrong… some of that is on my shoulders. I need to be responsible for flattering posing. And while not all photographers air brush images… I do. But I can’t change what you look like (nor do I want to).
I believe that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. We were created for a reason. We were made special. We were put here to impact others’ lives. And it’s these things that makes us uniquely beautiful. I want to get to the point in my life where I celebrate the things that make me unique instead of desiring to look and act like everyone I see in media. As I age… I feel this gets easier for me. This year I face my 40th birthday and I realize that I am becoming more satisfied and joyful about the person I was made to be. I am learning that while I may see a few too many rolls, my children see a body that is warm and comfortable to snuggle with. While I may notice grey hairs sprouting up, the truth is they reflect moments of wisdom and life experience that have been gained over time. While I lament over my stretch marks, the reality is that it’s miraculous that my body was able to stretch and accommodate three babies… and two of those babies were in there at one time! I don’t think this state of self acceptance just magically happens in anyone’s life. I think it’s a constant process of denying the lies we tell ourselves and affirming the good others see in us. I’m learning to say “thank you” when someone compliments me. I’m practicing seeing myself as my husband and children see me. I am taking note of my strengths and being purposeful to use those gifts to help others. And I am learning to embrace the fact that I am unique and celebrate that I’m not like everyone else.
I hope that I can instill this in my children. When they were little they were very quick to notice differences. “Look Mommy… that person is so big/tall/skinny/old”. And my response was always the same… “Wouldn’t it be boring if we all looked the same? I’m so glad God made us all unique.” I hope you see that in yourself today. I hope you know that you are beautiful. I hope you see the gifts and strengths you’ve been given, and take pride in them so you can use them to invest in others. And I hope you can trust that you are wonderfully made!