“I found flaws, and they were beautiful” – Nayyirah Waheed

A woman’s heart.

We are caught inside a battle that is waged and viciously pitted against a woman’s beauty, her heart, her intimacy, her body, her goodness, daily, hourly.

Everything screaming
“you aren’t enough”
“get a smaller waist.
“you are too much”
“get a bigger butt”
“don’t talk so loud”
“don’t assert yourself”
“don’t love foolishly”

Always, the ringing sounds of
“you simply aren’t quite enough.”

Those phrases screaming at us through every possible outlet and form.
No wonder we’re in panic internally. No wonder there’s a frenzy inside our souls continuously. I mean, at least for me there is.
“Love myself love myself love myself, why cant I fit into a size 0 jeans? Ugh I feel like a failure, but love myself love myself love myself.” What kind of bipolar mind is breaking my own heart?

I look at women I really admire. Women who I want to be like when I grow up and they all have one common trait.
They have fought for their own heart through the perils of lies and media shaming, they have won the battle of their own heart and become friends with it – intimate, lifelong friends.
I’ve noticed that when you have won your heart back, when you aren’t still in this back and forth of love and hate, when you have truly seen the reflection of who you are, with all your flaws and failures, and beauty and fire, and said to that reflection “I choose you. I choose you forever”, it changes everything. From the way you walk and carry yourself, to the way you talk and listen, to the way you love gently and hug tenderly. You know the weight and purpose of your own beauty, you know the price for it was not cheap, but you looked at the ugly lies and skewed mindsets and false expectations and you didn’t give into them, you leaned into the tension and fear and came out the other end, radiant. Alive. Hugging your own bones, knowing your own beauty.

Everything changes when you see your own feminine heart and say, “I will fight for you. I wont let you be lost in the current of media; I wont let you tear yourself apart in an impossible game of perfection. I will love you. Over and over and over again.”

What would happen if we became women who said, “Yeah, I do believe I’m beautiful.” (Without adding at the end but…if only my _____ was smaller/bigger/skinnier/thicker) What if we looked at ourselves in the mirrors and really adored the human looking back. Even with the flaws. Even with the imperfections.

I’m on that journey. I still spit my own heart out, and avoid the woman in the mirror, but I want to learn. I profoundly believe beauty will save the world – so how do we expect to save the world if we refuse to go after the beauty of ourselves, if we refuse to stand up and fight for our own beauty and magnificently stunning selves?

I think we need each other more than we ever realized in this. We need to hear each other’s stories of triumph and unending relentlessness in our own re-capturing of beauty. Who are the women around you who you can tell have fought hard for their own hearts? The ones who have not let their hearts and beauty be absorbed in the ugliness of this world? In the gentleness and kindness that you can feel from a mile away, they choose themselves – they wouldn’t want to be anyone else’s. Surround yourself with these women, glean from them, learn from them.

As the New Year approaches my ‘resolution’ is to find ways, daily ways, daily moments, to fall in love with myself. To be startled and awoken to my own beauty, to be dedicated to letting that beauty bloom. To getting to know sides of myself that I have shunned. I want to fall in love with the woman who inhabits my bones.

What would a world like that look like? Each of us only wanting to be inside the bones of us. Each of us knowing the power of our beauty and using it to build others up, using it to pour kindness and gentleness all around us. When you get to know the real beauty you carry, the beauty only you exhibit, there isn’t room for narcissism, there isn’t room for self-centeredness. Those are masks for honesty having no clue of the beauty inside. But when you really see it, when you are standing in front of a mirror, or listening to your own heart, and finally admitting the beauty inside it, it changes everything. And people feel it. People feel the shift in culture. People feel the life and safety that it becomes.

Perhaps join me in this vital adventure.

Here we go little heart, you’re worth fighting for. I will win you back from the grime and slime of society and culture that is always chipping away at the radiant beauty that you are. I wont leave you behind in a futile attempt at perfection. We’ll be a little flawed, and a lot of magical.

‘I love myself.
The quietest,
most powerful revolution,
– Nayyirah Waheed