I sat at the dining room table leafing through a magazine. Beautiful women appeared on the glossy pages — Drew Barrymore, Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, to name a few. Beautiful, flawless complexions. The photos are airbrushed and though I know that I suddenly slip into a feeling of being less than.
I think to myself, "I wish that I could be airbrushed when I woke up in the morning."
I continue flipping the pages, I notice that it's filled with information on how to improve yourself. Hmm...we're never quite right, are we? Always something needs to be fixed.
As I turn my head to look out the patio doors, I see the magnificent Soft Maple tree in the backyard. It's really stunning. No matter what time of the year it is, there isn't a moment that it doesn't fill my heart and soul. It brings me peace when I have inner turbulence going on in my life. It's perfect. I smile and bring my focus back to the magazine. This time as I turn the pages, I'm looking at content with a whole new perspective.
Just like the tree, I realize that I'm perfect in my imperfections. The tree in the backyard has moss on it - I have dark circles under my eyes. It has a few broken branches due to high winds - I have a chipped tooth.
The tree and I have so much in common. We've weathered the storm, and yet we're still standing. We haven't gone unscathed, but we've braved the wilderness. The challenges of our journey have left beauty marks. They tell part of a story that is about strength, persistence and perseverance. We both may have flaws but, oh, how we shine bright in the beauty of our imperfections.
I close the magazine. I get up from the table, pause and take a breath. As I look back outside to the beautiful tree that has touched my life on many occasions, I acknowledge who I am and am grateful for the life I live.
No longer do I desire to be airbrushed. I want to feel the fullness of everything around me in every breath I take. I want to be more, feel more and show up more in my life. Like the tree, I choose to stand tall and strong with all the beauty and grace of my imperfections.
Love yourself for who you are, and be grateful for every breath you take.