An exercise in self reflection

Do you think that you are half as beautiful as your best friend?

Sometimes I look at my friends and am in awe of their beauty. I know for a fact that most of them, or dare I say all, don’t see this in themselves. Seeing these people lights me up because I see their enormous generous hearts and spirits and they just GLOW. Sure, I know and see their own unique ways of being, how they are with their kids, and how they’ve helped me through hard times. I know each of their secrets, fears, hopes, what makes them happy, what makes them laugh. Isn’t all of this about who they are?  These same amazing, strong, resilient women often express their perceived shortcomings anywhere from humbleness to outright severe insecurity, the range is wide.

And many of the women I have seen as clients have exhibited the same exact thing- they didn’t know their own beauty, value or wisdom. Time and time again I have seen self doubt, but even deeper than that they were absolutely blind to their own brilliance. 

What if you thought about your best friend/sister/loved one and imagine all of the things that come to your mind when you think about this person. What do you think about and how do you feel?  Does she make you laugh or make you feel warm and fuzzy? Does she make you feel centered and strong? And do you see inner beauty, wisdom, strength, perseverance, a good friend, a good mother, daughter?  Now can you try this for a moment- how do you think those people see you?

Some time ago I was sitting in my counselor’s office with my three kids. My counselor was picking up on the fact that my son didn’t fully “get” the full picture of what his mom doewho she is.  She looked at him and said “Do you understand the fact that your mom endured a difficult childhood, teenage years and early adulthood, that with her history statistics say that she should be at an enormous disadvantage right now, perhaps living under a bridge somewhere? Instead she is a conscientious mom, person and successful business owner.”  This may sound extreme but with my background of many early significant losses, an eating disorder, drug use, childhood and adult abuse, and complete and utter bottomed out self worth, it isn’t extreme. That was a moment when I saw myself from another person’s view point and thought wow, I’m badass! 

So the next time that one friend who lights you up calls you and you are instantly happy to hear her voice, think about the fact that you are probably doing the same for her. And how can you possibly feel anything less than wonderful if you can make another human feel that way?