I am beautiful…

me, fractured

A title that may well expose me to questioning ridicule- stay with me though.

For most of my life I have been affected by a crippling lack of confidence. I manage to hide it some of the time, even to act as though it is not there, but it never quite goes away. Many of you know just what I am talking about; that feeling that in any given social situation things could go wrong. That the others have more brains, more good looks, more talent, more presence.

This is not just an intellectual understanding- I know that my position is not always logical. I am quite good at some things. I even surprise myself sometimes, so do not hit me with your ‘power of positive thinking’ crap. But all my success is nuanced by the shadow of doubt. If I am not careful I know that these negative thoughts become a black hole that I fall in to.

It is not just a spiritual understanding- I know that I am a child of the Living God. I am even convinced that he likes sinners like me, that he has a skew towards those at the back of the class. My experience is that whilst God may not be my divine therapist, still he has this way of turning negative to positive. So my sensitisation can become a way of being sensitive to others. It can become deeply creative. Nevertheless, sometimes depression hangs on me like darkness and I can create nothing, love nothing.

It is not just a psychological understanding- I have been down those roads; the counselling, the self help, the CBT formulation schematics. I know the root of this in my childhood, the factors in my personality that skew me towards the shadow. I understand them in the same way that a man understands how forces of gravity will mean that it will hurt when he surely falls. I am an onion, with each skin stretched from the same damaged DNA.

It is not about appearance, although I avoid mirrors and dodge the pointed lens. They tend to make an unflattering cartoon of my face.

But enough of this.

It is true and also not true.

For despite all these things, I am beautiful.

So those of you who carry your own wounds- know this- you are more. And although I know these words are trite and shallow (I wrote them after all…)

…you are beautiful too.