Sometimes it all just comes crashing down on you and you just need to cry. At least, that's how it is for me. Funny thing is, C has this freaky sixth sense and somehow always just knows when I'm crying, no matter how quiet I think I'm being. And he always comes to find me. Once or twice I've been crying while he's asleep and he woke up to wrap his arms around me and cuddle me. He didn't remember it the next day, though, which I find amusing.

So I was crying in the shower/bathtub in the wee hours of the morning because I couldn't sleep due to so. much. pain., and because I was just so frustrated with my health and how out of control I am of so many things (all traceable to the fact that my health has gone down the crapper and there's nothing I can do about that beyond what I'm already doing) and I hate that I'm gaining weight and can't do diddly squat about it and I'm terrified that C will no longer find me attractive and will be unhappy in our marriage and we'll both just be sad and upset and live these lame lives because I'm sick and fat and sad. I know, I know… silly, right? But when you're hurting very badly and it all just seems so frustrating and unfair, logic seems to step outside for some fresh air and a cigarette break.

I got to thinking, though, as I was sniveling away in the tub, that my appearance is so not all there is to me. I thought about my friends and all the good they see in me, and how they're not friends with me because of my rocking cleavage (although that does help, so I'm told) or my fabulous cheekbones. I started to wonder, what would I think about myself if I were someone else meeting me for the first time or getting to know me?

Here's something a new friend of mine sent to me via a private message on Fb. (I hope she doesn't mind my sharing!)
"I just want to tell you that you're absolutely stunning! Your positive energy and the care I can see you have in you for others. I admire it don't pay attention to the numbers on a scale or douchey doctors! It pains me knowing they don't know what's wrong with someone so kind who doesn't deserve all the mayhem your body is putting you through! Keep a smile on you face because someone is always paying attention to it < 3"

If I were getting to know me, I think this is what I would think. I would think that this person is

  • Funny. She laughs a lot and likes to laugh with others, not at them. If something can be made into a joke, she'll go for it, and she often finds little humors in every day things.
  • Smart. She is well spoken, well written, has a large vocabulary, and "has a mind like a trap" according to D. She likes to collect obscure tidbits of knowledge and is fascinated by etymology.
  • Kind.
  • Giving. She loves to give to others in whatever capacity she can, however little it is.
  • Compassionate.
  • Stubborn.
  • Creative.
  • Strong and determined. It takes a special kind of person to withstand those levels of pain and still be able to laugh, smile, and care about other people.
  • Ambitious. She has big plans for her life and making the world a better place.
  • Talkative. Especially during movies.
  • Neat and tidy.
  • Sensual. Takes pleasure in the signals received by her senses and in things that bring physical pleasure.
  • Has a large, bright smile.
  • Thoughtful.
  • Skilled at many things. Writing, cooking, creating, interpersonal relationships, attracting and entertaining small children, etc.
  • Wise. An old soul.
  • Open to growth and learning/Teachable. All this, despite being stubborn.
  • Emotional. This is not a weakness, and not a shame.
  • Highly relational.
  • A nature lover.
  • Persistent.
  • A lover of the aesthetically pleasing. This goes hand in hand with "sensual".
  • Exuberant. Often described as "vivacious", "vibrant", and "bubbly".
  • Honest. Hopefully tactful as well.
  • Committed.
  • Good work ethic.
  • Sensitive.
  • Loving.
  • Encouraging.
  • A bit clumsy. Minor injuries are inevitable.
  • Responsible.
  • Too hard on herself.
  • Insecure.
  • Authentic.
  • Eloquent.
  • Adventurous.
  • Loyal.
Frankly, this sounds like the kind of person that I'd want to be around, and that I'd want in my life in a big way. Like, she sounds amazing…and none of those qualities and quirks and personality traits that make her amazing have anything to do with appearance. None of them. If I knew a person like this (and I do, actually!), they could be "ugly" according to society's current standard of beauty…but they would still be a desirable person. They would radiate an irresistible quality that would make them attractive on such a deep level that the superficial physical traits would resolve themselves into a beauty of their own. Think about it. If someone is just so wonderful and lovely from the inside out, you find things about them that are attractive, do you not? One day while you are sharing a hilarious joke, you notice the curve of their lips and the slight dimple to one side. As they look deep into your eyes while sharing your pain, you notice the rich and intense color that is only enhanced by the sheen of their sympathetic tears. During a hug, you notice the strength of the muscles rippling in their back, the graceful taper of their fingers and the suppleness of wrist as they hold your hand.

People can be beautiful aesthetically, but a flat, displeasing, or grating personhood will strip them of all attractiveness. All that is left is a lovely shell. Useless. That is not me. My aesthetic beauty has changed, to be sure. I know that I am still attractive, but I do not align so closely anymore with the standard of beauty that is vaunted in our culture at this point. I need to come to terms with that, and to realize that it really is not the most important thing. As I look at the list above…what I would see upon meeting myself, getting to know myself…I find myself very attractive indeed. Or rather, I would if I saw those same things in someone else. It is still so hard to be friends with myself! Step by step, though… I'll get there. Why? Because I'm persistent, and loving, and committed, and kind, and...

2 thoughts:

  • Plowing Through Life (Martha) | January 15, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    C sounds like a really good person, and I'm sure he sees all the best in you. When we truly love someone, we focus way beyond outward appearance. All that fades in time, and what's left is who we are inside. That list you wrote is right on. That is who you are. Be kind to yourself. You deserve it!

  • Cassandra | January 20, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    He IS a really good person. He's been very good for me, in more ways than I would ever have expected. Thanks for the affirmation :)

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