“You are not here by mistake. Around the world and down through the ages, there has never been another you, and there will never be another you. The miracle of existence is now in your hands. You are here for a purpose. You have something that only you can give to the world. Take time to consider what that is.” ~Anonymous
When life asks me to slow down, the best attempt at slowing down I can make is to walk. I’m not good at being slowed down. I have two speeds. DO and DO MORE. But when the doc says ‘take it easy’ I walk. In Liberty Park, I often pass this tree, always stopping for a moment to just look. I have always felt that this tree has something to say to me. And today, I think I know what that is. This tree, the one that is different than the others, the one that has a large outgrowth that some may call a deformity is wise and strong and beautiful. It stands as a message that our differences are what make us beautiful.
I find it interesting that my eyes can see this deformity as beauty and wisdom, and yet if I were to see a human with a huge growth on their body, I might shy away for fear of not knowing what to say, or worse, embarrassed by my tendency to judge another based on their physical appearance. And all of these thoughts are underscored by my recent choice to have reconstructive surgery after a bilateral mastectomy.
Last week I was asked about loving your body on FOX 13’s “The Place”. I said a lot of great things about gratitude, about it’s the only body you’ve got, and about no one else is judging you. And it all sounds good. Until I realize and get honest about my own thoughts and my own fears. I AM judging. You ARE judging. We ALL judge. We have all forgotten who we are, and what we are really here to do and to be.
I just underwent major surgery to have two silicone bumps implanted into my chest, mainly so you won’t judge me. I was amazed at how many people have opinions of what size I should be. And the crazy thing is, I know, deep down, that you really don’t care what my bra size is. You don’t walk away from me thinking about my breasts, you walk away from me feeling either better or worse. That’s what you remember about me. That is my contribution to you, and to the world. The more time I spend worrying about looking good (whatever that means on a given day) the less time I have to make a difference on this planet.
I asked my 10-Year-Old son what he sees when he looks at this tree and he said “A heart”. A heart. I asked him if he sees this tree as more beautiful or more ugly than the other trees and he said “it’s just different”. Today, I’m holding the lesson of the tree. May we all look at ourselves, and at each other with the eyes of my son. We’re just different. And that is beautiful.