What I love about myself: When I was in college, a mentor of mine picked one word to describe me: tenacious. Recently, a girl I mentor said that when she thinks of me, she thinks of someone who can do anything. I think my strength shines in relationships–I love big and don’t give up on anyone.
My biggest support in learning to appreciate myself: When I was an awkward and brooding teenager, my mom always told me I was beautiful and she loved my smile. Even now, she acknowledges and appreciates my soft side. Her own kindness is a reminder to balance my scrappy strength with generous grace.
Beauty is: I think true beauty is love made visible. We hear this list a lot: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not angered and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…Wouldn’t really living like that be truly beautiful?
Why I am strong: I make things happen. I ask questions. I challenge. I’m tenacious!
Why I am beautiful: I have feisty passion and will defend what is true and right. I have an inquisitive and creative mind. I let God love through me when I can’t do it alone.
What women must know: We deserve to be treated with kindness. We deserve friends we can trust. We deserve relationships that bring out our strengths and give us a safety net for trying on who we really want to be. We need to be brave and comfortable enough to know ourselves without looking through anyone else’s lens. We deserve help when we need it (and we are not weak if we ask for it–allowing other people to support us is often a gift to them). We may learn the most from women who are least like us. We have the ability to nurture and love in a way that creates extended families…it’s risky, but rewarding.