Wow, I am a beautiful woman!

“She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines. She was beautiful, for the way she thought. She was beautiful, for that sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful, for her ability to make other people smile even if she was sad. No, she wasn’t beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful, deep down to her soul.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

One would think that after years of learning how to love myself, I would have this Fitzgerald quote down. But nope, not always. Just recently, I have been flooded with new Facebook friends and have been overwhelmed with a new rise of strangers coming into my life. I have received many comments from different men wanting to “chat” with me. They all pretty much say the same thing, whether they are from the US or Africa: “Hi, how are you?”

As I was telling my girlfriend about it, she said: “Oh, that’s because you are so beautiful.” As she walked away, I thought…No, that’s because they have not met me in person.

I know, I can’t believe I thought it myself. How cruel the ego can be; and to think…I used to continually use this kind of brutal language aloud or to myself, while inevitably laughing on the outside. Well, many truths are said in jest; and for years, I subconsciously thought that putting myself down would somehow magically make me work harder and thus, feel better. No matter how many people would tell me that I was in fact, “The Quintessential Brunette,” I never quite believed them.

And so, off to the gym I would go; making sure my abs were flat and my legs were toned. But then one day, I could not work (unfortunately or fortunately) on a physical trait that was here to stay…

I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 26, leaving me most my days and nights filled with doctor appointments, surgeries, experimental drugs, and sleepless nights. By the time I was 30, my cancer started to ever-so-slightly metastasis. My doctor said he could fix it, and so I went into the surgery room expecting a miracle. Instead, the surgeons were baffled (a VERY fragile situation, and I do not blame them as I know they did their best).

So…now my neck was more than slightly off, and I was devastated! I felt like I had lost it for the very first time, and told myself that I looked like a monster. Strangers would mistakenly stare (and still do). I would end up squinting, looking down or even wearing scarfs; anything to avoid seeing the confusion on their faces. Just last week, a six-year-old child stated: “Your neck looks FREAKY, what happened!?”

Currently, I rarely look away while speaking eye-to-eye with strangers (this took me ten years to master). And at times, I still allow myself to be triggered. I have no doubt that the Uni-verse will keep giving me what I NEED for my spiritual growth. And the more I work on my sacred self, the more I will let go of my worldly vanity. For my scar (battle wound) has been one of my greatest teachers and a vehicle to my freedom.

My burning desire for ALL of us beauties (including men), with physical quirks or not, is to…FEEL BEAUTIFUL! While we are still here. And shine our light that is our truest self. This can be achieved by simply choosing love, choosing love, choosing love.

A few years ago, I received a quote in the middle of the night and quickly wrote it down. It said, “One day, you are going to wake up and say, Wow, I am a beautiful woman!”

In this time frame, I am well aware that we can create beauty together, as we fully experience being men and women.