Beautiful – By Haley Jones Chiarmonte

This weekend I’ve been surrounded by spit up, diapers, Disney movie marathons, and plenty of Aunt kisses. Yep, I have been babysitting my sisters four kids and my brothers two kids (for un unbelievable total of six children under 12 years old) so they can have some much needed “adult time”. There has been a lot of fun going on but one specific thing has really stuck out over the course of the last 24 hours that I would like to share with my readers.

My niece Shiloh is five years old and quite the blue-eyed chunk of sweetness. She smiles a lot, bats her long lashes, and longs to know the answer to every question. To be around her is like being spritzed with Vitamin C… she just makes you feel good. So last night as I cleaned she tapped my hip to get my attention. It startled me at first, but as I looked down at those big puppy dog eyes she simply said, “Hi Haley.”

“Hi Shi Shi,” I responded, “Do you know how beautiful you are?”

“Yes. I know.“ She said as she lifted her hands to be held.

I picked her up laughing, “Do you look at yourself in the mirror every day and see your beauty, inside and out?”

“Yes. Don’t you aunt Haley?”

I paused. “I guess I should, shouldn’t I.”

I set her down and she ran off to play, but this simple conversation left me thinking… when was the last time I told MYSELF I was beautiful? I couldn’t think of it, although, I could count many times that I had been critical on myself in the last week or so. With that, I walked over to the nearest mirror and looked at myself, pushing the flaws and judgment away and whispered, “you are beautiful.”

In today’s world, every one, especially women are entirely too critical of themselves. Instead of seeing our beauty, our minds immediately see our flaws. Shiloh reminded me that it wasn’t always this way and as adults, we seem to flock like sheep towards negativity. This can completely ruin your outlook on life, love, and ultimately, happiness. I challenge you to walk over to a mirror, and find the beauty in front of you. Make it a goal for the next week or so to start your day like this. I can’t make any guarantees of a life changing experience, but just try it, because it’s better than looking down on yourself. It’s better than being overly critical and it’s better than forgetting your true worth. Try it, because you are beautiful.