I recently heard from an old friend who hasn’t seen me in a while. She had been reading the blogs and saw the pictures. She remarked that I looked amazing and added that she always thought I was beautiful. She also wrote that she could tell that I was delighted by my transformation so she was happy for me also.
I wrote back that I too thought I was beautiful; even when I weighed 280 pounds. I went on to tell her that what she didn’t know, what I hadn’t told anyone was that I had been very sick. The transformation she sees in me now is not someone who is happy about losing weight; the transformation is someone who is happy to be well.
When you look at old pictures of me, you will see a smile. Even in pain, I have had joy. My friends often tell me that they were always amazed that the most beautiful man in a room would “somehow” be drawn to me. (I know, they meant well.) What they are really saying is “Why is that fine man looking at the fat you?”
People are drawn to joy and light. We are attracted to the things in others that we wish to see in ourselves. Too often we ascribe beauty on someone else without seeing it in ourselves.
I have a wonderful friend who is large and beautiful. Halle Berry could be standing next to her and no one would notice Halle. She is one of the most beautiful beings I know. I have a friend with no breasts due to a double mastectomy, one who has lost all of her hair, and another who no longer walks; these women radiate life. They are beautiful beyond words, because they exemplify the truth that we do not have a spirit, we are spirit dwelling within a body.
When the spirit of a person shines forth, those around them feel loved and cared for. We remember that everything is connected and all things work together. These people may be old or infirmed and they are beautiful.
Beauty is defined within a culture, but across the context of race, ethnicity, religion or orientation, true wellness/beauty shines from the core of the being.
I wrote to my friend that the satisfaction she sees is the lack of pain that I had endured. But even in pain, I could find my peace.
We are not our body we are the spirit that dwells within. Wellness occurs when we seek our purpose and potential. When we become well, we transform into all that we are designed to be. This may result in weight loss, or weight gain. I have found that I look younger now at 51 than I did when I was 31. I move better and more often. I am not plagued by doubt or fears of not being good enough smart enough or pretty enough. I know that my uniqueness and beauty lies in my purpose and is reflected in my being.
When we only try to transform ourselves physically, we will find that this is just a temporary fix. Nothing satisfies the soul like being your authentic self, living your purpose and walking in love.
BE more you more often
Bertice Berry, PhD