I Remembered The Day I Accepted Me

My little sister has a delightful freckle (she'd call it a mole) on the end of her nose. It has been there for as long as I can remember.

I had forgotten about a particular conversation she and I shared so many years ago--before blogs and children and English degrees, before chick flick dates and late night excursions to get ice cream. And though the details of how our conversation came about are slightly fuzzy to me, I do remember her. She was a young girl, nestled in a daybed in a room with pink carpet, feeling self conscious and insecure about that freckle that I loved.

I had forgotten, until recently, what that conversation meant to me and to her. She reminded me with a text message during a difficult and painful day. A day when I found myself on the receiving end of a cyber bully's snark. A day when the size of my nose was being mocked and my talents were being called into question. A day when women chose to be so uninhibitedly mean behind the fraudulent safety of their computer screens that I couldn't do anything but gasp...and then cry. It was sad. It was disappointing.

But like a quenching rainstorm in a sun-baked desert, my little sister poured big love over me when I was feeling emotionally parched. I was hurt; she brought relief.

She wrote: Don't let {the bullies} win! Listen to your baby sister! You have the nose of a Grecian goddess and the soul of a poet! And you are the person who told a little girl many years ago that moles on noses may be imperfections, but those imperfections are what make us our most beautiful. So nope, I don't accept that you will listen to someone who practices unkindness! You are far to wise for that.

Imperfections are what make us our most beautiful. 

And that's when I remembered; epiphanies that came to me like sparkles of light. I remembered the talk we had had, the poem about "true beauty" I had written her. I remembered the relationship I had built with her over the years and how she had always stood proudly "in my corner." I remembered her unconditional acceptance of me. I remembered my face--my fantastically quirky and utterly unique face--and how I had fought through long years of self-criticism and hard days of ridicule to get to a point where I was okay with me and my face. I remembered the day I graciously accepted my nose was big...and the freedom I felt from knowing it didn't matter. I remembered how I had always, always believed what I told my sister so many years ago...

Imperfections are what make us our most beautiful.

I am wonderfully and gloriously imperfect, and you are wonderfully and gloriously imperfect. You are uniquely you, and the characteristics you may perceive as quirky or "flawed" are actually heaven-sent. They should be honored. They should be cherished. They should be celebrated. And no one should be telling you (or me) otherwise. Don't listen. Don't believe a word of harsh or unnecessary criticism that is slung your way. (And I'll fight harder than anyone to believe and to practice these admonitions.) Why?

Because I know God-given beauty lies in every single one of us. 



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