Beyond… A Journey Within

Swati Singh

Beauty Metamorphosis – My Life Lessons

This post is part of The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest VII! I am thankful to August McLaughlin for the invite. To read more entries, and potentially win a fun prize, visit the fest page on August’s McLaughlin’s site between today and 11 pm PST March 9th.

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“People often say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I say the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder” – Salma Hayek

In the age of social media where likes are subconsciously getting linked to self-esteem, this quote by Salma Hayek reminds us to take a step back and look within. We all have gone through the stages where we felt we are the ugly caterpillar. Even though it is such a remarkable creature. We all wanted to be butterflies without realizing that striking wings evolve when the transformation happens from within. The metamorphosis occurs when the cocoon of our own drawn illusions of beauty and the society’s yardsticks breaks.

Who am I to say that? I am someone who is body-shamed for being skinny. It might be in my genes or my stars but in a land where curvaceous assets are supposed to be the norm, I was always reminded of how I do not look ‘good’. No, I do not suffer from any disease or psychological distress. Nature crafted me that way.

In my growing years, I was told how a draft of wind can blow me away or how dresses on me look like they are hung by the clothes clip. How I should be the one placed instead of a skeleton in the biology lab. How I am not full-bosomed or have curvy posterior without which I will never look ‘sexy’. One so-called friend ‘advised’ me to gain weight because guys like flesh and not bones. The taunts continued at the working place too. The maturity was still low and metabolism was still high. I was the stick, the skeleton, the ugly caterpillar. I grew accustomed to the comments. I never knew the word self-esteem. As a result, I had severe anxiety issues. I never could diagnose that for long. I stopped looking in the mirror. My insecurities made me prone to wrong friendships and relationships where I was visibly vulnerable to all but me.

Life gives us chances to redeem ourselves that often brings an epiphany along with.

I was 25 when a European photographer offered me to model for his project; I was stunned. According to his country, I belonged to the ‘perfect’ statistics.  That day brought my epiphany; it is the perception of beauty which is erroneous. One country has fairness as a criterion; another country goes for the artificial tan. The concept itself is an illusion! One might like rose more, doesn’t make lily any less beautiful. It is all a hoax created by us. There is nothing less or more beautiful. Each one of us is a unique creation. It took me a while to understand how outer beauty can be enhanced by working on the inner beauty. Although I politely declined the offer, I expressed my gratitude to him for making me realize one of the most crucial lessons in life.

My journey just began post this incident.

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I broke the cocoon of my illusion and unfolded the wings of a butterfly. I began realizing the significance of beauty from deep within. The soulful smile, the kind speech, the compassionate heart, the powerful feet that stand firm against the wrong, the arms which hold the weight and contribute to this world. That is beautiful!

I forgave all those people who judged me how I looked. Not because they asked for it. Because they were either driven by their insecurities or the society. In both the cases, they needed compassion and insight to rise above the ignorance. I needed closure.

And yes, I found people on my journey who loved me for my beauty-deep within.

The comments have not stopped. I still hear them. Sometimes from the roadside Romeos, who apparently have the misconception that they can hurl their mental grime onto every woman they see. The remarks tell me how I do not fit the low standards of their eyes and how I should eat more! Only the scenario has changed. They face the confrontations now from a girl who used to be fragile and scared once. Amazingly, these people flee when I start asking them if they charge for their advice and to show their medical ID.

One lesson was indeed to take power in your own hands.

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For you all out there, I urge you to know this. No matter which scale you stand on, as long as you respect your body and take care of it knowing that this body is a gift of nature and a vehicle for your soul, you are beautiful. You are exclusive. Inimitable. Your beauty is unique,  and that’s what defines it. Nothing else. No one else.

When we accept the uniqueness of our personality, there is no need to compare ourselves to anyone. Like the example of the rose and lily. Both are beautiful. Celebrate your individuality.

We all have encountered bad experiences in our lives. Each experience, over time, forced us to build walls around us. We closed our hearts towards many things around us even though we never intended to. Open your heart to the emotion of love. Love the beautiful nature, love animals and love yourself. Do what you love. Create something of your own. Scribble, doodle, paint, write, dance. This energy of love towards yourself is what will open your consciousness. It is an eternal joyful path from here.

It was after I chose to become aware of compassion inside me, outside me, for me and the world around me, that I was able to begin the journey within.

Be beautiful, inside out!

May the radiance of your internal beauty outspreads in all directions!

 

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30 comments on “Beauty Metamorphosis – My Life Lessons

  1. Erica Ashley
    March 11, 2018

    What a beautiful & magnanimous butterfly, indeed! Thank you so much for sharing, Swati. Your post truly touched me. I agree 100% that it is the perception of beauty which is erroneous. It’s a lesson I too, wish I had learned at a much earlier it age. If only I could have shown that strength when I was being made fun of at school. But the past and the future do not matter. Like Diana Beebe said in her post we have to “Live in the present, where things are actually happening.” Thank you for the lovely reminder to open my heart to the emotion of love and myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Swati Singh
      March 12, 2018

      Thank you for your lovely words, Erica. I think those vulnerabilities eventually became our strength. The realizations that come from within have the power to change us.

      Like

  2. shanjeniah
    March 10, 2018

    You are beautiful. This is beautiful with the beauty of truth. Thank you for sharing, so I can, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maeve T
    March 10, 2018

    Metamorphosis! Transformation! — You are indeed a glorious butterfly. What a luminous post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Audrey Kalman
    March 9, 2018

    I love these sentences: “The soulful smile, the kind speech, the compassionate heart, the powerful feet that stand firm against the wrong, the arms which hold the weight and contribute to this world. That is beautiful!” You have perfectly captured it!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Kassandra Lamb
    March 8, 2018

    I was thinking that asking the guys if they charged for their advice and to show their medical IDs was one of the best lines of the whole fest, and then you said, “That’s okay (to have weak moments). That’s what dark chocolates are full.” You are my kinda gal, Swati!! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  6. KM Huber
    March 7, 2018

    I, too, found this line, “One might like rose more…,” so poignant. I was moved to tears and joy as I read you opening up like a lily or a rose, finding beauty in the flower that is you. No comparison necessary. As you said, it is compassion that is empowering, and maybe the most beautiful flower of all. What a wonderful post. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dee
    March 6, 2018

    What a beautiful post! I love the line “One might like rose more, doesn’t make lily any less beautiful.” The differences in societal norms is eye opening! I’m still healing from relentless body shaming that I endured most of my adult life. It helps that I know now that my late husband’s expectations were absolutely, physically impossible to achieve. A couple of things that I was shamed for the most are things my boyfriend adores about me now! We can’t make a lily be a rose, no matter how hard we try.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Swati Singh
      March 6, 2018

      Thank you, Diana. It is so ironic that most of us go through body shaming and we consider it to be our fault to be lilies and not rose. It takes time to realize that Lily doesn’t want to be a Rose. 🙂

      Like

  8. August McLaughlin
    March 6, 2018

    What a stunningly gorgeous butterfly you are, Swati! Indeed, “it is the perception of beauty which is erroneous.” I adore your insightfulness and ability to see see even those who’ve shamed you with compassion. We’re all victims of those societal messages, and posts like this one help chip away at them. Thanks so much for bringing your heart, your words and your wings to the fest!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Swati Singh
      March 6, 2018

      Thank you so much for such beautiful words, August!
      I cannot thank you enough for making me a part of such an inspiring event. I am overwhelmed by the love shown by the community.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. lynnkelleyauthor
    March 6, 2018

    I love, love, love this post, Swati. So perceptive and full of wisdom. The analogy of the caterpillar is wonderful and so is the comparison of the rose and the lily. Your writing is beautiful and you are an inspiration.

    Thanks for the giggles over this line: “Amazingly, these people flee when I start asking them if they charge for their advice and to show their medical ID.” Brilliant!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Swati Singh
      March 6, 2018

      Thank you, Lynn! That’s so kind of you to say that.
      Aren’t we all the beautiful butterflies? We just cease to see that at times.

      Like

  10. Kitt Crescendo
    March 6, 2018

    You know, I’m glad your French friend asked you to model and opened your eyes to how imperfect the physical definition of perfect is, and how it is ambiguous and flows and changes with time, culture, etc.

    I love how you own what’s important to you, how you turn tables on cat callers, and find your deeper beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Swati Singh
      March 6, 2018

      Thank you, Kitt! I am grateful to him. I told him that.
      I think life always creates circumstances to help open our eyes. And when it comes, it feels “how was I unable to see this simple truth!”
      We all are little warriors. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. aurorajeanalexander
    March 6, 2018

    It took me a while to avoid being terrorized by the numbers on some scales. I threw it out. I buy the size clothes I feel comfortable in, not the one I ‘should’ wear, according to others. I look at me the way I want and I think is good for me.
    I work out and take care of the gift I get. I don’t deny, sometimes I’ve got a few weak moments. But I try.
    Thanks for a wonderful reminder what we’re supposed to do!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Swati Singh
      March 6, 2018

      Good for you, Aurora! We all have weak moments even after we know the simple wisdom of beauty. That’s ok, that’s what dark chocolates are for! 🙂
      Thank you for your lovely comment.
      P.S. I love your name.

      Liked by 1 person

      • aurorajeanalexander
        March 7, 2018

        Thank you very much for your sweet compliment. I like yours too. What does it mean?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Swati Singh
          March 7, 2018

          Swati is Sanskrit name of Arcturus, the third brightest star, which is a part of a constellation. Literally, it means ‘beneficient’.
          Aurora sounds dewy fresh and magical 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Jess Witkins
    March 6, 2018

    This: “No matter which scale you stand on, as long as you respect your body and take care of it knowing that this body is a gift of nature and a vehicle for your soul, you are beautiful. You are exclusive. Inimitable. Your beauty is unique, and that’s what defines it. Nothing else. No one else.”

    Beautifully said. Your story is so true and touches on all the hardships we must overcome to fully embrace our bodies. From forgiving those who put the shame in our heads to learning to move past those comments when they still come, because we know they will, but we are now stronger than that.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Swati Singh
      March 6, 2018

      Thank you, Jess. I am glad it touched a chord with so many people.
      Forgiveness because we cannot live with the burden of other’s opinions. The comments won’t stop pouring in but it has stopped affecting the core because they don’t carry any weight now. Giving weightage to opinions, comments, compliments is in our hands and that is so liberating! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. jsredmond
    March 6, 2018

    Insightful post, and a good reminder that any outsiders comments on our bodies health or attractiveness are just that, someone’s else’s opinion. We are the most important judge of how we feel, and that should let us know how we look. I feel healthy and strong and have the stamina to do what I need to do each day, and that makes me feel great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Swati Singh
      March 6, 2018

      Thank you, Jeniffer, for the kind words. That’s only what matters.A healthy body and healthy mind. That’s it. All else is either marketing tactic or insecure rant. Time to rise above them.

      Like

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This entry was posted on March 5, 2018 by in #BOAW2018, beauty, emotions, Inner Voice, learning, Lessons, Positivity, soul, spirituality and tagged , .

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