Competitors or companions? How we define each other

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I tweeted this quote from ‘Am I Beautiful?’ yesterday because it really spoke to me.

The world is too broken for us to be preoccupied with feeling ugly. And life is too short not to feel beautiful.

What I tend to do with books is devour them in a matter of hours and then reflect on them but something has prompted me with Chine’s book to take it one stage at at a time and not rush to the end. There are far too many gems and deep truths to decipher in one sitting.

This one quote provides enough to write a hundred blog posts on – it opens up so many avenues of thought.

Firstly, why, especially as women are we often preoccupied with feeling ugly?

For some, it becomes a default setting and it works in distracting us from the broken world around us.

What a master stroke of genius to ensure women ignore their attributes and abilities. What a way to keep us silent, static, solo.

Admit it, when you meet other women there is an element of comparison that takes place as a first thought.

There is a deep rooted sense of competition that hits us before we even consider the wider benefits of companionship. Why?

What are you and the world missing out on because you wrote that woman off as a competitor rather than a companion?

It comes down to this seed that plants in us, this word ‘ugly’.

In my previous post Beauty, Identity and asking the question I asked when we first acknowledged and had an understanding of beautiful and now I ask the same about ugly.

We all have our own definitions but where did we get them from and when? Why do we allow ourselves to be held captive by it?

What have you failed to do, say, step out into because you have allowed yourself to become defined by these words?

Think about it. Think about the women you know, those who you have allowed to become companions and those you keep at arms length as competitors. Do you need to have a rethink have you unwittingly caused someone to feel ugly because of your decision?

Do you need a rethink? Do you need to reach out? Do you need to be vulnerable and admit exactly where you are at?

Do it today. ‘Life is too short not to feel beautiful.’ this applies to you but who else needs to know it today?

To those women who I have written off, made to feel ugly or placed as competitors – I am sorry.

We need each other – we are not enemies.

Beauty, Identity and asking the question

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I have been a little slack in blogging recently, partly because I currently sit in this weird limbo period of life between being a career woman and a mother. Right now I am neither.

As I ponder my identity it comes as no surprise to me, knowing God and his sense of humour, that Sunday morning I had a copy of ‘Am I Beautiful?’ by @ChineMbubaegu thrust into my hand.

It is a signed copy with the message ‘Dear Louise, See you on Twitter! Never doubt your beauty. Chine x’

These few words strike a chord as I am sure they would with most women – Never doubt your beauty.

At almost 40 weeks pregnant and having spent the last 9 months watching my very familiar petite frame completely change, I have thought a lot about ‘beauty’

Having been in a blogging lull this book gives me an opportunity to focus on the ideas and questions raised and to explore them through my new posts.

Funny how God does that isn’t it? You are working through something – for me, my current identity and all of a sudden he provides a way to explore it that you hadn’t considered.

I believe beauty and identity are inextricably linked in our society and it makes me feel quite sad.

The title of the book – ‘Am I Beautiful?’ is a question I have asked myself many a time as I have stood looking in the mirror but I can’t remember the first time I asked it.

When do we begin to have an understanding of the word beautiful? Are we 5? 7? 11? and what is that understanding? Where do we get our definition?

Before I have even opened the book I felt it was important to ask these questions, to realise how deep rooted this is within each of us and how as much as we may wish to deny it – this forms a huge part of our daily lives.

So as I embark on my own journey navigating identity and beauty. I hope that you will join me with your own.

I leave you with the question:

When did you first start asking ‘Am I Beautiful? Where do you sourceĀ  your answer from?