Beautiful: Such an ugly word.
Come again, Alexas?...
While it's not intended to be an ugly word, the way I viewed it while growing into a young woman was just that; ugly.
As a young girl growing into a young woman, I would hear people say, "you're beautiful"... "you're pretty"..."look at you" (in admiration). It would make my skin crawl because of the unspoken feelings that would be given off by those speaking the sentiments. It would immediately put me on guard and suck the joy out of the room as soon as I felt the lust enter their eyes. As a child, I felt the need to be overly protective of myself due to those levels of discomfort that came from having uncommonly high discernment as a child. It was a tremendous fear to be abused in that way.
note: I'll have to flash forward one day and talk about how letting a fear rule you will place you face-to-face with the exact situation you're afraid of. This is why what you think and spend your time meditating on is SO important.
Flash forward to having a daughter of my own, I was immediately triggered when people would comment on her beauty and remain fixated in amazement. Was she beautiful? Yes, GORGEOUS!! Did the compliment make me feel good? NO. My son came along and melted all the hearts. He began school at an academy that we handpicked. They did everything right to make me feel comfortable; but I wasn't. He wasn't potty-trained 100%. It made me uncomfortable and made him vulnerable to a predator in my eyes. They loved my boy tremendously. It was an awesome experience but I still carried the discomfort; skeptical of a hug, questioning heavy compliments, etc. It would stress me out because I never wanted them to experience the other side of being "beautiful". The "ugly" that no one talks about.
Why am I sharing this? Because I realized, as you should too, that the issue was me. Perpetuating fear and living in fear can be masked in what I like to call "hyper-protective".
Hyper-protective is when you are making choices or reacting to things from your experience paired with obsessive scenario creations in your head (when none of the factors even exist) Example: Teacher hugs your kid and you automatically assume they have inappropriate intent BUT they have NEVER done anything questionable to realistically even make you feel remotely concerned BUT because you're triggered, it's ALL a possibility. lol...
Sound crazy? Yep, it can drive you crazy. Sound like you? (Be honest.) If so, you need to HEAL and DEAL.
I didn't realize this was happening until I was speaking to my husband about a dealing I had with my mom and I explained why she may have responded a way due to her experience. Talk about epiphany... furthermore, I realized I thoroughly believed that others gave compliments that were always tied to ill motives. IT. BLEW. MY. MIND.... Even in situations that were career-related; if someone led with, "you're beautiful" it lessened chances of them taking me seriously off bat. I would have to work doubly hard to refocus their energy. This belief was crippling me and my experiences. While in many instances this WAS the reality, there were also many instances were this was NOT the case.
What I learned:
You can't accept good when you are forever doubting it.
Bloom and flourish by healing from fear; whether rooted or created.
It took many years to accept my beauty with no strings attached (which is why you should never judge a book by it's cover. You never know how much someone has went through just to be comfortable with celebrating themselves and their life; regardless of the package.). I do hope this gives you the courage to delve into what's needed to heal and live your most beautiful life. When you heal, a new perspective emerges. Let's make beautiful, BEAUTIFUL!