I'm truly honoured that See Beautiful has awarded me with the title "Woman of the Month" for June. See Beautiful™ strives to be a place where girls and women feel empowered and recognize their beauty. I'm so flattered and humbled by the award. Thank you, Lydia Cryss Mays, for this and for being such an active contributor to my blog. I'm so glad I connected with you. Keep up the amazing work! Please check out the See Beautiful site after you read this and connect with them too!
Here is my story, which will be shared on See Beautiful's site on June 1st. :)
I truly believe we all possess the ability to see the beautiful things in the world. If one looks closely, beauty is everywhere.
Seeing beauty in the world starts with seeing beauty in oneself. This is a hard fact to realize: you don’t need to go find beauty; you take it with you wherever you go. Sometimes, however, we can have blinders on that prevent us from seeing beauty. Or, the blinders allow us to focus only on certain aspects of it.
To be beautiful and see beautiful, one needs to develop the strength to keep these blinders off permanently. That is what happened to me.
I was a free spirit until these “blinders” were put on me unconsciously in my early teens. As a result, I switched my focus to caring about what others thought rather than listening to my own inner voice. I let the media and my peers control the standard of beauty that I was judging myself on. Therefore, my vision of beauty became extremely limited.
The teenage years were the hardest for me, as I placed too much emphasis on “fitting in” with the “right” crowd, and I ended up silencing myself. I was criticized by fellow classmates, and I did not have the strength to reject these comments. Consequently, I struggled with my body image and self-esteem. These were the “dark” years for me, when I spent most of my time hiding and not letting my inner light shine.
I hid my talent, my body, and my voice, because I didn’t want to stand out and be judged.
This continued until my early twenties. Then something happened: I’m not sure how, but my blinders came off. The change came from within. The light inside me switched on. This time, I’m not going to let it dim.
All obstacles occur in our lives to teach us lessons. I learned the hard way that beauty comes from within, and we take it with us everywhere we go. I am incorporating this lesson into all the work I do - through my graduate studies, coaching, sport, and blog, Arianna’s Random Thoughts.
As my blog’s mission statement says: “If we are lucky, we will be given the opportunity to overcome setbacks and persevere through tough times; these are the times that build our character and prove our inner strength. We all have a story and random thoughts that swim through our heads; they are what shape us into who and where we are today. Every event has occurred in our lives to teach us valuable lessons; whether we learn from them or not, it’s up to us.”
My light was almost extinguished. Don’t let yours be. Make the choice, every instance, to shine brightly by seeing beauty in yourself and the world - by being you!
Thanks again, See Beautiful, for the award. It is such a blessing. Thanks for supporting the work that I do.
***It just so happens that my upcoming posts and interviews for the next couple of weeks are from professionals sharing about the issues of body image and self-esteem. Be sure to check out the posts and leave your comments!
Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.
See you at the beach!