I recently caught a glimpse of myself in new camera light as I was filming online videos with a professional.
And what I saw shocked me.
Lines around my eyes, forehead creases, frown lines.
Roads of expressions mapped out on my face.
Where I've been,
Emotions I've experienced.
I began to see it.
And with all of this, I started to think about those traveled roads.
The years I spent addicted to exercise, abusing my body because I didn't think IT was good enough.
I didn't think I was good enough.
Dating all the wrong men, who didn't value my brains and drive, but values my ASSets.
I didn't value my brains and drive, and felt safer staying on the sidelines.
Pursuing a career with bullies and demeaning tones that broke you down instead of building you up.
I broke myself down with mental garbage and sabotage everyday.
You see, we all suffer.
We all have our scars and lines and marks to prove it.
But if you stop to think about it,
The people who walk around basking in their misery,
Think there is NO END to their suffering.
I made a choice to change.
A choice to break up with my suffering.
And it began with my smile.
Not the fake kind of- I'm just appeasing you or acting like my life is perfect when it's not- kind of smile.
But the smile with your eyes.
Let me explain....
When you fake it, you only use your mouth muscles.
When you smile honestly, you get crows feet or lines around your eyes.
It's actually scientific and has been heavily researched.
" A true smile, also called the duchenne smile, was named after the famous scientist,
Who first separated the “mouth corners”-only smile, from the “eye socket” one.”
How about that?
Our eyes tell the story of our soul.
That started to change how I viewed the lines around my eyes.
It made me remember that,
I smiled through the suffering.
I smiled until I found the man of my dreams,
Started a family,
Pursued my entrepreneurial passions,
Wrote a book,
Moved to another country,
Made new friends,
And dusted myself off after the tough moments.
It made me proud of those lines.
Proud to say that my constant resilience and learning mindset makes me unique and authentic.
There are still days (when I used to think they were random but are actually triggered by family induced stress) that I hate on my body.
There are still days when I feel like a fraud and a complete idiot.
There are still days when I wonder if I'm enough.
If I belong.
If I am loved.
But those days never last.
So the next time you question if you are enough,
If you question your strength or your suffering.
With all your heart, all your being.
Think about who needs you.
Why you need to be here.
Your mistakes make you human,
You survived your scars,
You're stronger than you think.
You are loved.
And you matter.