I Am Beautiful

by Bianca Barban, Melbourne, Australia

So many things come up when I think about how I look. First thing that pops up is, am I allowed to say that out loud? Will people look at me and judge me? Will they break down every part of me and add it back together and decide “NO, you are wrong – this is not true”. Or worse, will they think I am arrogant and laugh at my apparent lack of humility, and be critical.

I Am Beautiful and I have a deep knowing that when I was a child I knew my true beauty. It was real, it was tangible, it was full and ever present. It was confirmed in me! So what happened? Now, when I stand in front of the mirror I pick myself apart. I hear the messages of self-loathing in my head: my skin looks dry, I am getting wrinkles, my tummy is too round, my thighs too bumpy… STOP!

I Am Beautiful, but if you tell me that I will shrink away. I will deflect your comment. I will make it about what I am wearing, how it was on sale, how it is old, how you look beautiful too.

I Am Beautiful and I have a reservoir of childhood memories that I can tap into to remind me. Most of them have my father in them praising how I look beautiful. I remember feeling “Wow, he must really see me – this is fantastic”… but I allowed myself to be deceived. I began to place so much value on outside recognition that I chose not to confirm me. I knowingly abandoned true beauty for recognition, and this is a slippery slope. The more recognition I received, the more I allowed a dark cloud to cloak my essence until my true beauty wasn’t tangible anymore; it was all about how I looked.

The recognition became an addiction. It brought a relief from the pain of losing the real beauty in me. It came with expectations. Beauty now meant manners and perfect behaviour and niceness, even as I was growing into a teenager. I fulfilled this role to perfection as I chose to believe it was the only thing I had to offer. By accepting recognition it seemed like I agreed to the contract that how I looked was the only quality about me that would be valued.

I didn’t feel to question the value of external beauty. When I looked at my mother she was so beautiful on the outside. She was tall and slim, with short fashionably cut blonde hair and green eyes. She was never without her red lipstick, even first thing in the morning, and her long fingernails were always painted red. I remember when she used to come and pick me up from primary school, all the other children would stare at her. I felt this sense of pride; this was my mum and she was beautiful.

The thing that confused me was, that whilst on the outside she maintained this picture of beauty, she always felt so empty to me, kind of like there was this desperation about her and sadness that could not be fulfilled by how she looked.

I began to accept that this was what being female was. I also began to notice that beauty in my family came with competitiveness and separation from other women. My mother had a mother and two sisters who were all very much into their appearance. There was always comparison between sisters, and even mother and daughter. I remember the hate I felt from my younger female cousin as her mother held me as an ideal, always using me as an example to stop her daughter from eating too much or behaving in certain ways.

I have recollections of my aunties commenting on ‘how skinny I am’ and pinching my arms or poking my tummy to illustrate their point, or comparisons between themselves at my age and how they were beautiful and skinny too. Comments that were harsh and critical or seemingly positive… and they all made me feel like running away. I now realise that having chosen to value recognition above true beauty, I no longer had the fullness of me to deflect the harshness.

I Am Beautiful and when I reflect on the attention it has brought in my life I feel like hiding. It makes me want to not be beautiful. The imposition I have felt over how I look has been overwhelming. It has made me feel scarred. Bizarre huh?, but being beautiful has come laced with conditions, beliefs, ideals, people wanting something from me, judgement, criticism, harshness, hardness and emptiness.

Then there was the attention from males, which at times did not feel innocent. There were the yucky uncles, older male cousins, and even my dad’s attention sometimes felt intrusive. I would feel myself shrink in their presence; it was like they viewed me as a desirable object and I would feel this creepiness in my body. It was like something had entered and innocence was lost. When I looked at my mum and her sisters, they loved male attention, but for me I began to feel that looking beautiful came with too much complication; the way it was used in my family felt so tainted and wrong.

So, I have tried to sabotage my beauty. I eat with the intention to protect and for comfort. The food is always high quality, ‘real’ food, but the intention is often to hide myself, so I would eat lots and eat quickly – not even tasting the food. There is a feeling deep down inside me that I don’t deserve true nourishment, and that to be hungry is wrong. Food feels like a cushion that helps push down those feelings of invasion, criticism, discontent and lack of self-worth. It is a harming cycle though, as the more food comforts, the more weight goes on… and then the self-loathing voices its ugly opinion.

I have allowed criticism and self-loathing to be my internal dialogue. It is a greatly harmful ally to keep you small and keep the pain of abandoning true beauty hidden. I made sure I always looked nice because there is protection in that, too. I have put a lid on what is naturally there in me as a safety measure to keep unwanted attention away.

Enough is enough! I deserve true healing. I have tried many things over the years to try and reclaim being beautiful – diets, exercise, new clothes, make-up – but I have found nothing helped to heal the hurts that were there behind my rejection of my being beautiful.

The only thing that has truly supported me are the Esoteric Healing modalities. These techniques have reflected another way and supported me to feel what re-connection to my essence feels like, and that beauty truly comes from within. Feeling that absolute preciousness and sweetness that is naturally within me feels amazing and is deeply inspiring, better than any outside compliment that can be bestowed. The stillness I have experienced is exquisite. Stillness flows through my body and expands through every pore, I feel it leave through my feet, my hands and move through my chest. I am massive, unending, my essence fills the room. I am a sparkly ball of LOVE.

It feels like the most natural way of being. This is the beauty I choose. This is the quality I confirm is me. This is the love I commit to. I am still grounded though, and know there is a lot to heal. I know that I am the only one who is responsible for my healing, and I am the only one responsible for choosing recognition over the fullness of me. So now I return to my deep knowing and I choose true beauty, the quality that is naturally within everyone. I give myself permission to embrace my femaleness and confirm for myself, without a doubt, that I AM BEAUTIFUL.

1,217 thoughts on “I Am Beautiful

  1. What if we allowed ourselves to every morning before we walked out the door to stop. to close our eyes. allow ourselves to be. take a moment and feel the true beauty within that we are. like really feel it. it is not us but of us. the essence of who we are. Inspired by another I have done this a few times. something so simple and totally worth giving ourselves ✨

  2. I can say that feeling beauti-ful or full of beauty comes from within and when we reclaim this feeling then people can say what they like and it doesn’t matter because there is a reference point to go to that says I know who I am and no one knows me more than me. This personal understanding often get smashed when we are young as we look outside of ourselves for recognition and acceptance.

  3. I was looking at a lady yesterday and she was quite beautiful, in the normal physical way – her eyes, her skin they just ticked the boxes. But then I thought, is it possible that the beauty we see is completely based on the energetic quality of that person? Perhaps all the physical attributes of the woman would have been ugly, if there wasn’t a level of beauty that she connects to as she lives her life?

  4. So much wisdom in one blog. The way we have dropped our own self-love, the way we compare & naver feel good enough, the constant criticisms in the mirror. Young or old, who hasn’t dipped their toe into the pool of self-loathing at some point? What’s worrying is that this pool is getting bigger and bigger, swallowing girls from the early ages before they have even learned to walk let alone swim.

  5. Someone I know that lives with a disabling and progressive ill-health condition, cannot accept they are beautiful and constantly puts themselves down. It supports them to be in the company of another who sees who they truly are and reflects this through every expression. We can walk alongside another in a way that offers them the choice to deepen their relationship with themselves and when less concerned with the outer and physical, they are more likely to connect to their true and inner beauty.

  6. Imagine if every woman woke up with this feeling, with a knowing she is beautiful. How different will our world be, how different will our role-models be. I know that I would have loved to grow up surrounded by women who are content in themselves, who are calm and reassured. Perhaps I wouldn’t have grown up to be jealous of other women who embraced themselves, perhaps seeing other women have that relationship with themselves throughout my development would have reminded me that I am that too without a need for recognition, demand and so on.

    1. And powerful is the potential within us all to be today’s role models, leading the way through our every expression with love, authority and grace.

      1. Yes, very true. We can continue feel the victim of not having role models while growing up or use our experience to realise that role models are desperately needed and work on being that.

  7. Beautiful, it is a reclaiming of what’s inside of ourselves, of the truth we know ourselves to be. I suppose it’s quite different for each person why we stepped away from ourselves, but the point is that it’s just a step, and the powerful choice we can make at any time to step back (with support if needed). For each one of us that returns to our essence, we confirm for everyone who they are also.

  8. “The stillness I have experienced is exquisite. Stillness flows through my body and expands through every pore, I feel it leave through my feet, my hands and move through my chest. I am massive, unending, my essence fills the room. I am a sparkly ball of LOVE.” I love this declaration, it is so deeply powerful and inspiring for us all – thank you.

  9. I find something very profound about remembering what I felt like as child; the purity and sweetness of simply being me is still tangible and as such, something I can bring to today; the more I bring it back to life in me, the more I see it in everyone else.

  10. Lately I have noticed a loud inner voice telling me I’m Beautiful, it comes and it goes but when it’s there I am reminded of the absolute divinity I am part of.

  11. What you have well described here Bianca, is not only life changing but world changing; A paradigm shift from outer beauty to inner essence. The inner beauty that is truly divine is available to all; the only thing in the way are the impositions, the trade offs the, self criticism and the false beauty which this blog debunks completely.

  12. It’s so lovely when our love for ourselves outstrips the voices out there in the world or in our head that say otherwise.

  13. This is very inspiring as I can still struggle with connecting to my beauty at times, mistaking it for physicality as opposed to a quality we emanate when connected to our essence.

  14. It is indeed a whole set up to value approval, recognition and acceptance rather than our own inherent inner beauty and essence.

  15. I can relate to this….“I Am Beautiful and I have a deep knowing that when I was a child I knew my true beauty.“ And some days it is with me consiste and other days I reach a deeper clarity of this ‘deep knowing’ and a tear of joy and expansion is let free. I am not broken or tarnished and never was and never will be. I am returning.

    1. How beautiful Samantha thank you, “I am not broken or tarnished and never was and never will be. I am returning.”

  16. Beauty, feeling and looking beautiful is there when a woman has chosen to switch on her essence and her power that comes from within her body.

  17. I was brought up with the ideas that you had to look good as a women, your outer appareance was what counts.
    This ideas and believes takes you away from Yourself. The true beauty we are.
    By focusing to be liked we contract then our body which blocks the flow of love through the body.

    1. It’s easy to lose us in the outside ideas of beauty, but in truth beauty is felt from within and the outside celebrates and can compliment what is inside. But it cannot be it on it’s own it requires the depth of a lived knowing acceptance of it within.

  18. A woman’s beauty is her transparency and in this she beautifies other women who allow themselves to be touched by it and by her quality.

  19. From my own personal experience of this within myself and also through my observation of other women too, we realise our beauty as a woman when we realise our stillness; that is the natural quality of our femaleness.

  20. “I Am Beautiful” – I only really, truly understood beauty; that I am beautiful when I connected to and lived from the innate quality of stillness known as femaleness.

  21. A young child knows they are beautiful, they love and enjoy who they are, its only as we get older we lose our natural self love for ourselves and instead sell love for recognition, and there after life becomes about trying and being less than.

  22. “I Am Beautiful, but if you tell me that I will shrink away. I will deflect your comment. I will make it about what I am wearing, how it was on sale, how it is old, how you look beautiful too” – this is so relatable Bianca. We only overcome deflection or excusing when there the true beauty of (self) acceptance. A woman accepting herself never self-deprecates or defaults what she is knowing of that is there to shine so brightly not just for herself but for all to see.

  23. This deserves a PhD: how all of humanity enters this planet feeling beautiful and later on in life does not feel beautiful anymore and seeks everything outside of them to fill this gap. What happened?

  24. Our true beauty from within brought here for us all to connect to with appreciation of esoteric healing modalities ” These techniques have reflected another way and supported me to feel what re-connection to my essence feels like, and that beauty truly comes from within. Feeling that absolute preciousness and sweetness that is naturally within me feels amazing and is deeply inspiring, better than any outside compliment that can be bestowed.”

  25. Beauty doesn’t have to do with how we look, but with how we feel. It is an emanation we all can live when we connect with who we are.

  26. True beauty is indeed room filling, not possible to overlook, irresistible and the joy and sparks are in a way contagious. Someone connected to themselves and standing or even better moving in their power, I just cannot but fall in love with them.

  27. i look after a little 2 year old girl, and in her I see the amazing beauty – beauty that lights my life and everyone she meets and it has nothing to do with looks, although she does have the most beautiful eyes – it is all to do with her joy and just being her. She has taught me a lot about what beauty really is

  28. “I am massive, unending, my essence fills the room. I am a sparkly ball of LOVE.” And indeed you are, as are we all. All the tricks we play to be less than who we are beggars belief when that beauty that comes with connection to our Soul shines so brightly, it’s impossible to miss.

  29. A gorgeous sharing Bianca, thank you, I had no idea the outward beauty came laced with so much, so beautiful for you to reclaim back the true beauty that you once knew as a child.

  30. Actually saying I am beautiful and feeling beautiful inside and out is honestly just starting to really happen. We can convince ourselves that we do, but until we let go of all our negative and critical thoughts we are not able to truly love ourselves. Its so freeing to let of such destructive thoughts and they are so subtle it is a real commitment to stay with it and keep calling them out.

  31. “I have recollections of my aunties commenting on ‘how skinny I am’ and pinching my arms or poking my tummy to illustrate their point, or comparisons between themselves at my age and how they were beautiful and skinny too.”
    Bianca its amazing to read your experiences of growing up – I have these recollections too.
    Its pretty vile to be reminded of these kinds of blunt discussions and comparisons that would play out amongst family members and friends, moments when you were talked about, criticised, and patronised like you weren’t there.

  32. So many of us women are drowning in jealousy, in the need to be like another woman who we put on a pedestal. We see other women thriving and wish to be like them so much, but the only difference between us and then could actually be that they appreciate what they bring and we are constantly picking ourselves apart. So if we stopped that, how far could we go?!

  33. When I am connecting to the glory of who I truly am I feel very beautiful for how can I feel otherwise as in our essence we are all divinely beautiful.

  34. When we make it about the outer physical beauty there is no equality, some have it and some don’t depending on what the ideals of beauty are, but inner beauty is something we all have equally.

  35. A real and honest sharing of the beauty we all are inside us and the reconnection to it that we can allow ourselves to feel , our natural divinity and love and to not look outside for this.

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