I have worked in the beauty industry for 11 years now.  I often see women at their best and at their worst.  Of course, I am happy when women are at their best, but I am also touched when women share intimate feelings on a day when they are not particularly feeling their best.

If I had a dime for every negative comment I have heard from women over these eleven years regarding their skin, or their neck, or their chin, or insert body part here…well I would be living in my dream home on the Oregon Coast.

I wish all of us women would see ourselves how others see us.  How our children or family members or friends see us.  I often think of a certain commercial where children were describing what their moms looked like.  Before we saw these comments, the moms described their appearance.  When it came time for the children to describe their moms, the children were all smiling ear to ear and so proud to describe their mom as “the most beautiful person in the world”.  The moms watching their child describe them all began to cry; me included.  This was such a powerful message to me.  Others do not see our imperfections.  Why are our imperfections so glaring to us and stick out like a sore thumb??

Talking to a friend yesterday, she mentioned how, weekly, she volunteers at the Hospice Center.  She was talking about how her weekly visit always puts life into such perspective.  That nothing really matters other than being extremely grateful for her life as she walks to her car at the end of the day.  She also mentioned how easy it is for things to build up in a short 7 days and this allows her a reset; a refocus on what is truly important in life.

The other day my 15 month old son choked on a dime.  He actually did not choke, but became instantly unable to breath as it lodged in just the right place to fully occlude his airway. Very, very serious.  I was not home at the time; my husband was.  Luckily my husband is an Advanced Life Support Paramedic, luckily he was home, luckily we had just the right forceps for him to dislodge this dime, luckily he knows infant CPR, luckily he knows what to do…I could go on and on.  Within minutes my son was laughing and playing like nothing had happened; my husband on the other hand was not laughing and has some grey hairs now!

In closing, the message I want to depart is to be kind to yourself.  When our first instinct is to be critical about our face or our double chin or sagging this and that- let’s try to change our perspective and focus on, not only our outer beauty, but inner beauty as well.  Feeling gratitude is truly life changing and can turn a not so good day into a great day.

You are beautiful inside and out.

Jolene Duncan

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