Self Image

self love

I know that this is not something that I alone struggle with.  I have written about it more than once.  Having Neurofibromatosis truly makes me feel uncomfortable with the way I look.  It affects the way I dress.  I hide it as much as possible but I can’t cover up my whole body.

Our coaching group topic today was a tough one.  SELF LOVE.   We talked about comparing ourselves to others and that we need to stop doing that.  Whenever I am in an exercise class and there are mirrors, I am noticing every little imperfection on my own body while looking at what I believe is the “perfection” of the women around me.   A few of them said they do the same thing.  Made me think….is that what all of us are doing?  Even the ones that I think look great?  

Our leader Tammy made us go around the circle and name ONE thing we truly loved when we saw a photograph of ourselves or looked at ourselves in a mirror.  We were not allowed to say something we liked about “inside” it had to be something we saw on the outside.  Instead of focusing on our flaws and how we could change, we were forced to choose something that we loved, and focus on that.

As we went around the circle, it was hard!  All of us blushed and looked flustered or embarrassed when it came to our turn.  Yet, if someone had asked me to go around and tell each of these beautiful women what I found to be their prettiest trait, I could have done it without any hesitation.  As she called on us and we hesitated and stumbled over our words, the rest of us looked on with amazement and bewilderment because everyone of us could come up with something for the others while we had trouble coming up with one of our own.

Two of them have smiles that light up the room whenever they are in it.  Another has eyes that sparkle so much, I find myself captivated by them whenever I speak with her.  Tammy has hair that is funky and fun and it just lights up her face.  When she smiles, her entire face brightens.

When it got to my turn, I could not do it.  Tammy prodded.  She made me sit there in uncomfortable silence as I pondered it.  Sure, I love the color of my eyes…I really do, but the fibroma on the left side has made one of them droop and sag more than the other making them look unbalanced.  I never had a problem with acne growing up, yet the small fibromas all over the bottom of my face are all I see – though others tell me it is not as noticeable as I make it out to be.  My nose is just a nose – nothing remarkable about it.  So I said, “I guess my hair,” but I added, “because it is my shield and it covers the side of my face.”  So Tammy said, “Doesn’t count.”

She gave me a challenge.  I have to study photos of myself this week.  I have to look closely and scrutinize them I guess.  I have to come to class next week and tell what I think my best feature is.  What I think is truly beautiful about my looks.

I always like to believe it is what’s inside that counts and maybe that is true, because sometimes if a person is ugly inside, it is hard to find their beauty on the outside.  So if we are truly beautiful people on the inside, perhaps that is what others see when they look at us.  I try to find that beauty in everyone.  My goal this week is to find it in myself as well.

And…it is not as easy as you might think, so I challenge you to do the same.  Really think about it.  What do you think is your most beautiful physical feature?  Do you think others would say the same?  Was it easy for you to come up with or did you struggle to come up with something?  I am curious to know!

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12 thoughts on “Self Image

  1. Jenna Dee January 25, 2014 at 5:44 pm Reply

    I like my eyes.

    • clairesinclair January 26, 2014 at 8:17 am Reply

      I don’t know you Jenna, but from the photo here, they are really pretty!

  2. Dale Gianni January 25, 2014 at 10:54 pm Reply

    i told u b4 and i’ll tell u again…U R JUST PLAIN BEAUTIFUL!!!! i love u xoxoxo

  3. clairesinclair January 26, 2014 at 8:18 am Reply

    I love you Aunt Dale!

  4. Mary Lynn January 26, 2014 at 10:43 am Reply

    You are perfectly beautiful exactly as you are, Claire-Bear! What I like best is both our faces when we are laughing.

  5. clairesinclair January 26, 2014 at 12:24 pm Reply

    Mary Lynn!! I was just thinking of you! When do you leave!? Have you set a date yet? I love laughing with you and want to see you before you go!

  6. Lisa Danbrot January 26, 2014 at 4:16 pm Reply

    In 2011 when we first got the letter announcing who Marsden would have for Kindergarten, I admit it–I searched your name on Facebook. When we saw your pictures, we oohed and aahed at how pretty his new teacher was. True story.

  7. Marcia January 28, 2014 at 8:43 pm Reply

    Oh, wow, that’s a hard assignment. Even thinking about seeing photos of myself makes me cringe. I had a class photo taken this year and I look dreadful. I’m keeping it because my students are adorable — but me, ugh!

    • clairesinclair January 28, 2014 at 9:32 pm Reply

      I have taken two so far. Still working in getting a third that is even “passable”. This should not be so hard!!

  8. bizigal January 31, 2014 at 10:01 pm Reply

    Well my son has NF1 and has horrible acne under his chin. He is 19. We have tried everything…but you know what? He has some great friends. I think that is so important. His friends look past that. (Tech geeks are like that I guess). NF sucks that is for sure. But it doesn’t have to . Stay true to yourself. Take Care.

    • clairesinclair January 31, 2014 at 11:24 pm Reply

      Thank you. True friends won’t care and that’s what makes them our friends!

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