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Facing My Face

May 4, 2010

This month’s theme, body, is a hard one for me. I have so many issues with my body and I often find it hard to see anything to be grateful about. Which I guess makes it a good theme for me. Today, I wanted to share a blog post I wrote back in 2001 which I think still applies.

I was always the ugliest child among my friends.

The girls in my group were nothing short of drop dead gorgeous and they’d make sure to remind me of the difference in the quality of our looks. Ever since the time I heard a guy mention how I was the only ugly person they hung out with, I couldn’t look myself in the mirror without the word ‘ugly’ sprinting to my mind.

About two years ago, I cut my hair. I’d been growing it since the fifth grade and it was weak and difficult to manage. Since then, I cut my hair maybe twenty times. I dyed it to dark brown, auburn, orangish red, dirty blonde, deep red and now I’m once again trying to become blonde. And I’ve decided to start a peace process between my face and me.

Now I stare at the mirror for a while and try to see what my face tells me. My eyes remind me of my dad. They are a light brown with darker tones on the edges, a sign of my middle eastern heritage. The little lines on the corner of my eyes are getting deeper: a sign of my increasing happiness. I see lines across my forehead, a sign of my continuous worrying. When I smile, thick lines form around my nose and a tiny dimple appears on the left side of my face.

I have nice teeth. I never had to wear braces and they’ve always been straight. My face has somewhat grown into my large ears and my haircut mostly hides how much they stick out. Even my nose says something important. It’s a symbol of more of my roots, Jewish ones. The purple marks under my eyes insist that I don’t get any sleep no matter how many hours I may lay in bed. When I’m sad, my eyebrows curl up in the weirdest of arches. My hair reminds me that I’m learning to let go.

I’m learning to look at myself and see something besides ‘ugly’. I see my family, my background, signs of my happiness and characteristics. And I smile.

I think I’ll keep this face, even if it is ‘ugly’. It’s mine.

What does your face tell you about yourself?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2010 8:46 am

    Oh this really hits home, I was the only one in Jr High & High School and even now in my late 40’s who have very bad acne. It is under control now but back then I was called Pizza Face!!! Not one of my friends had one pimple or a pore on their face. I have had many a sad nights over it. One cannot even begin to explain the ugly colored marks on my face!! Gruesome, then I made it worse by trying to hide them and I would get bruises on my face from holding on to my face with my hands for ever!!! I couldn’t look at people. I have learned since then how ungrateful I was to not appreciate what I did have arms, legs, sight, hearing, a home , food, great friends, love. The list goes on and on !!!Still, I don’t like looking in mirrors and I have had to learn to let my children take pictures of me. Other wise I am a FREAK!! Thank you for sharing this wisdom , I really really enjoy your site. Being Grateful is really a path that makes life SO MUCH MORE SWEET!

  2. debi permalink
    May 4, 2010 8:57 am

    This really hit home to me too Karen. I was always *Skinny Minnie* and the boys in highschool would call me *bird legs*. My own father (actually step dad) didn’t help by calling me Olive Oil. I remember wearing sweaters in the heat of the 90º summers cuz I didn’t want anyone to see my skinny arms. Those were such PAINFUL days!

    Now that I’m in my 50’s, I’ve let go of my insecurities about my looks. I do wear makeup cuz I figure I at least can try to look presentable cuz if I didn’t, I’d be pretty scary…even to ME LOL.

    I wrote in my Gratitude Journal a couple months ago about how incredibly GRATEFUL I am for my HEALTHY body! I am learning as I get older how incredibly grateful I am that my bodie’s insides are doing me well, I’m very rarely sick, I’ve NEVER been in a hospital (‘cept to have my babies) and I’m trying not to take that for granted anymore.

    I actually told my mom how grateful I am for my good health (cuz I was raised with her being a hypochondriac and she STILL always has something wrong to complain about) and she told me to STOP BRAGGING cuz I’d wind up like her someday!

    Uh…. I don’t THINK so! She was always beautiful and SUPER vain, even flirting with my brothers friends, and when her looks went away, she turned into a miserable unhappy, always complaining miserable being.

    So…. I will take my aging, sagging, wrinkled body ANYDAY for organs inside my body that are still working and causing me no pain.

    Karen… Just for the record, I think you’re BEAUTIFUL!


  3. May 27, 2010 7:48 pm

    If only more people could read about this!

  4. May 31, 2010 6:47 pm

    Very awesome article. Honest..

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