We met, we hugged, we gushed over how good it was to be together again. We sat and in-between talking, ordered, and, somehow consumed, good food. We caught up on our lives and discussed future plans-new homes, campaigns, travel and children. It was glorious. Simply glorious.
At the end of the night, as we began, reluctantly, to say our good-byes, everyone whipped out their phones for pictures. We flashed and snapped our happy faces. And, after this amazing evening, with women who clearly care for me and who I am, I looked at the picture and cringed. "Ugh. My hair looks so dumb." I resisted the urge to delete the photo, mainly because it captured this night that I never want to forget.
Later, I looked at the picture again. No, my bangs did not look just-out-of-the-salon perfect, but then, they never do. And, holy smack! Who the hell cares? My friends obviously do not. I'm pretty sure not one of them sat there and thought, 'Sheesh. Julie's hair is a mess. Can't be her friend anymore.' They love me for me, not the shell that my personality, heart, mind and spirit are wrapped in.
Once again, I'm faced with that question of 'Why?'
Why do we beat ourselves up?
Why are we so critical?
Why can't we love who we are- the way others do?
I know I'm not alone in this struggle. I've come to realize that most women look in the mirror with critical eyes. And, when I see someone who looks 'perfect', she is probably worrying over some flaw that only she is aware of. And, even if our flaws are apparent, again, who cares? We all have them.
So, I am taking on a challenge- to love myself. As. I. Am. I am going to study this topic and try my hardest to find a way to stop the crazy critical talk that spews inside my head. I will share what I find, and if you have any insights, I'd love to hear.
One last thought, from one of my favorite women (who I met once, can you say starstruck?) Elaine S. Dalton-
"Could it be that we have been deceived by false role models and persuasive media messages that cause us to forget our divine identity? What could be more deceptive than to entice us to do nothing or to be busy ever texting... What could be more deceptive than to entice women, young and old, you and me, to be so involved in ourselves, our looks, our clothes, our body shape and size that we lose sight of our divine identity and our ability to change the world through our virtuous influence?"
Here are the pictures-undeleted and unedited-
|Jenny, Abby and Holly|
|Carly, Heather, Aleisha (me in the back)|