Monday, February 24, 2014

A Beautiful Photograph

Last summer I had my picture taken. The photographer that I used encouraged me to have my hair done, my makeup done and to be as rested and ready as possible. My response was to roll my eyes and think that there was no way. I've never been a big fan of makeup and had never had it done..... It made me embarrassed and left weird feelings to even consider it. I had never and would never be fashionable. But I found that inside me- there lurked a girl, a girl that had always wanted to be a princess. A girl that had spent far too long being named ugly and doing nothing to be anything else. So, I decided to let that weird hesitation out- to embrace what I didn't know. I was after all getting my picture made, had been so sure that I needed to, that I wanted to, that it was important.... So I went to a salon the photographer suggested. My words to the makeup artist- "Make it look like I am not wearing makeup!!!!!" My words to the hair stylist- "Make it look really natural, maybe just blow-dry it and let it be!!!" Both listened and then did far more than I thought I wanted. The most surprising part of all of that was, I looked amazing AND I saw myself. The photographer knew I wanted my photos to be ME. And now I see a beautiful photograph, and it is me. I see what was created to be lovely and to love. It was one step in this journey to embrace me- me unknown. It is so scary to know oneself sometimes; to live and love and be with ourselves. It requires that we acknowledge our pains, our failures, our loves, our hair and our goofy noses (the weirdest body part we have!!!!). My name is Abigail. My body is the home to my soul. Sometimes what is farthest away and most distant in our journey is really right there with us. Be Brave- be brave with yourself!

Dark Corner
I know what it is like to be hurt. I know what it is like to be scared. I know what it is to be scared for my life. But the following is part of how I disengaged. It wasn't just the violence, it wasn't just the threats or the controlled lack of sleep. I lost sight of how wonderfully I'd been made, I lost sight of the love that had been put into myself because he swore I was a mistake, a problem that would be blotted out by God. 
You are so ugly, he said. Look at how fat you are, he said. Why should I love you, since you are so ugly- look at yourself, he said. 
The sinking and disappearance of myself occurred slowly and yet it happened. I closed my eyes. I quit smiling. I was married. I loved him. I heaped praise on him hoping he would feel better about himself- that maybe that was the reason why he thought such bad things about me. But I remained ugly. I remained the most horrible woman on the earth, one that would be punished and reprimanded. One that would be killed for her ugliness and harmful ways. And in that I, Abigail, became too far away from myself to see myself.

Lies from a loved one are like tar. They stick to us and trap us. Lies spoken or inferred by someone we are close to hurt. And that hurt can make us forget or discard truth. My niece and her friends are always saying online "Truth is...." and they finish their statements with things like "I like you"  or "you are beautiful" or "I like being your friend." I love the boldness and strength of their statements. The pictures I have of me are an artful expression of myself, my body expressing my soul. And truth is... I like that. I like seeing myself being honest, knowing myself and being with myself. If you are in a situation in which you are hurt or being harmed remember truth. Take a deep breath and know truth or just try to see yourself- who you really are. It is to that person you will want to be most kind to, who your significant other should want to be most kind to. If you are being harmed please get help. You were made to love and be loved. Be Brave. Be brave and know truth today!
Sincerely, Abigail