“There’s a hope that’s waiting for you in the dark
You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t need to change a thing
The world could change it’s heart
No scars to your beautiful
We’re stars and we’re beautiful”
- Alessia Cara
Standing naked under the shower, water dripping down her back, and tears streaming down her cheeks, she was listening to this beautiful song, and a dam broke down inside her heart. Violent sobs wracking her body, she wept like her life depended on it, like she never had before.
For the first time in her life, she cried for herself, coming from a place of deep remorse and regret. She cried for her inner child, the child she had inadvertently hurt, she mourned for her.
This song had touched the parts of her soul she didn’t even know existed and nothing had managed to touch her this deeply ever. It was an epiphany, a revelation of sorts. She was looking at herself in the mirror and seeing herself for the very first time.
All her life, she had prided herself for her intellect. She had realized, over the years, that she possessed a mind that was brilliantly beautiful, absolutely brilliant, atleast everybody else said so, and so she believed.
But there was another side of her, somewhat sad, perhaps gloomy, drenched in melancholy. She never considered herself as beautiful, or even remotely pretty. She had been bullied, mocked about her body, her weight, her looks since childhood.
She wasn’t fair enough, or slim enough, or tall enough, or pretty enough. She never fit in, with her brilliant mind and “not so” brilliant looks, she just didn’t fit in. Like a sponge, she absorbed everything, observed everything like a fly on the wall.
She took everything to her heart.One might think she wasn’t as brilliant as she thought. The truth is, she was unabashedly herself. She didn’t wear masks or carry pretences. She was a pure, innocent, naive soul who thought everyone else was too.
The constant bullying got to her, penetrating her subconscious to the extent that she started rejecting her appearance before anybody else could. She started hiding behind her intellect as a shield, hiding her insecurities, against the outer beauty, probably owing to the common narrative of “beauty with brains" or “mind over body". In labeling all those pretty girls who bullied her, as dumb and vain, she fed her bruised ego causing a subconscious rejection of herself.
This created such deep seated insecurities within her that they gave birth to fear. Irrational fear, control issues and codependency.
She'd constantly walk on eggshells around the people she dared to love and cared for owing to her fear of abandonment, constantly fearing that they’d leave her for someone better, and in order to prevent that from happening, she’d compromise, bending over backwards to maintain a faux sense of peace, constantly avoiding arguments, second guessing herself had become her nature.
She kept bending over backwards till one day her back broke, sucking the life out of her.
Her heart shattered, her spirit was crushed. In that moment while standing bare in the shower, listening to that song, she had her epiphany. You are beautiful just the way you are. While crying for the pain that she had inflicted on her younger self, she chose to forgive herself and every person who she thought had hurt her.
She embraced herself, accepting herself as a whole, her flaws, her little imperfections, her quirks and eccentricities and above all, her resilience, her strength.
She embraced love. Love and kindness and compassion. Immense compassion. Not only for herself but for everyone else, for the entire world, a world which had been hell bent on planting the seeds of miserable bitterness in her heart. In that moment, she fell in love with herself.
Unconditional love. The love of which she had read in her novels and fairy tales which she always seeked outside, found it’s home in her own heart and soul. She became the love. She is love……