“Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.” – Roger Crawford
You may remember that 30 days ago, I talked about doing a month-long challenge of not wearing cosmetics, using a flat iron, and, shoot, not even grooming my eyebrows.
So where am I at 30 days later?
I am proud that I didn’t succumb to the soft whispers of my bronzer or kohl pencil, though, the last few days I have wanted to answer that whisper with a whimsical application of carbon black to my upper and lower eyelid, a splash of mascara, and the prettiest striking silver to play up my baby blues.
However, I silenced those tempting whispers with my sudden – or not-so sudden – resurgence of confidence and yearning for a sense of accomplishment.
My clear skin, rosy cheeks, bushy eyebrows, and two inches of new growth also known as “I need a dye job, stat” are evidence of that.
Here. you can watch the pictorial montage of what my past 30 days and a message I think is vital for every woman – no matter their age – to learn, appreciate, and apply. Obviously, the younger a young lady appreciates and realizes her worth, the better it can be. Hey, look at me, I’m 33 and just realizing the years of being overlooked, criticized, and having harsh treatment justified solely because I didn’t meet this societal standard of beauty had nothing to do with “beauty” but rather one’s misplaced insecurities and depraved judgments.
Through this process, I have learned a tremendous amount of whom I believe God created me to be that, perhaps, I knew before, but I was more focused on conforming to a standard that I just could never meet. I, along with many impressionable women from all walks, are so focused on the ‘nod of the head’ from others, that we don’t see how we are selling our souls for the price of an irrelevant seal of approval.
I have spent 33 years going through this same process of trying to fit a mold that’s not customizable, when, in fact, God broke the mold when he created me. There is only one ‘Tammy’ that has these unique gifts, strengths, weaknesses, and that’s what makes me so gosh darn beautiful along with every person in this crazy, but yet beautiful world.
The word “beauty” wasn’t something I ever heard growing up in relation to me, myself, and I – all of my sisters were physically beautiful, had the gift of outward beauty, and had boys – and later men – chasing after them. I never had that opportunity, but I realize now, it was a lovely blessing in disguise. There’s a significant reason why I’ve always been drawn to history, religion, knowledge, reading, and penning my thoughts. While some may state that has nothing to do with a higher power, I’d respectfully disagree.
I’m summing all of the aforementioned thoughts with this: it’s difficult to accept something about yourself that everyone else rejects.
It is maddening. It is disheartening. At times, it’s hard to fathom and wrap my mind around, but lately, it’s becoming easier. The obsession that beauty is mutually exclusive to our self-worth that rages in our society is becoming null and void to me….and as it should to everyone, or at the very least, use these lessons to empower younger generations to dismiss unattainable societal standards and embrace their divine flaws.
Just like ‘love is love’ beauty is beauty….beauty isn’t what we see with the naked eye, but rather, what we see with our spiritual vision. Compassion, tenderness, kindness, intellect, humor, quirkiness are all examples of pure beauty…traits we, as a society, should encourage, nurture, and foster.
Through this short process, I have taken several steps closer to unearthing a Tammy, I didn’t know existed. Just six months ago, this would not have been plausible. Not at all. I was still incredibly lost – that’s not to say I’m 100% found, either – and harboring an infinite amount of bitterness, vindictiveness, and malice towards most of mankind including those closest to me.
I’m so grateful for everything that I have experienced. I’m grateful for the multitude of lessons that have been placed in front me. I’m grateful to not even understand – until this moment – that God gave me intellect, mental capabilities, and created me to be this powerful, bold woman for a specific reason. I’m grateful to having a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Above all else, I’m grateful for birth, rebirth, and second chances.
And God gifted me – along with everyone else that walks this earth – with that opportunity.
Praise you Lord, for making me a uniquely beautiful empowered woman who You ARE using.