How it feels to be ugly.
One of the strangest things about being a 20 year old college freshman is what feels like going back in time. And believe me time travel is a strange thing. Certain things are better left in the past as they no longer serve us, to become better people.
We all remember the judgmental environment of high school. The pressure to always impress others. I have been out of high school for a few years but this doesn’t mean I have forgotten it. I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to live away from home in another state & country, experience new cultures and work in many types of workplaces. The lessons I learned in these years were countless blessings and I truly believe I was metaphorically beaten from a boy into a man. But that is a story for another time and believe me I have a lot more growing to do.
Today’s story revolves around my shock from being thrown back into a high school type environment. I am surrounded by 17 and 18 year olds who just graduated high school a few months ago. It seems like a trip back in time to when everything was superficial. Judgment seems to be the norm.
I’m thankful that I have some great friends on the football team who I can speak to about any difficulties I have. A lot of my friends on the team are sophomores or even third year guys, who are a little older with a bit more wisdom that comes with a few extra trips around the sun. These guys all have crazy stories which forced them to grow up a lot faster than most kids. Some are from California and some from outer state. But I know for a certain that not everyone thinks this way.
This past semester we each had to stand up in class and share what our biggest fear was. The scary thing was that a common answer was something along the lines of, “I will die alone,” “I’m too dumb,” or “I’m too ugly.” It made me think… were these feelings within us when we were born? Or were they instilled in us by others stuffing us down repeatedly over time? Were all of our inner gifts belittled by others, to the point where we convince ourselves of this because it’s all we’ve been told our entire lives? As children we are told to submit to convention, only for society to place burdens on our shoulders which we carry into adult life while trying to find our place in a scary world.
To all my friends out there who feel like: they don’t belong, people don’t understand them, they don’t fit in and they aren’t good enough — I just want to remind you that everyone expresses themselves differently, we don’t all fit with the way the system wants us to be. This can make us feel lesser of ourselves, because we don’t receive accolades that fit “the matrix”. In many ways the matrix is a beautiful thing. We are so fortunate to live in a time where living is easy; we can turn on a tap to get water at anytime or fly across the planet in a matter of hours.
Our culture praises the surface. But the problem is, the surface is a superficial facade — where we control what other people see. It’s not truly indicative of what’s really going on in the inside. So many people have not dug beyond the surface level when looking at themselves that they can’t see the beauty of others soul, mind and spirit. They can’t see beyond the physical mirage in others. They can’t see that beauty isn’t found in ones looks, wealth or intelligence but in their character virtues.
This is not a criticism of anyone, simply an invitation to you all to see the true inner beauty of the people around you. For those who have learned to look beyond the surface level, consider displaying compassion for others that are stuck on the lower frequency, and express gratitude for the fact that you can see it. And as you grow please remember this one thing, I promise you, that there is something magnificent about you and everyone around you. And it might not be magnificent on the surface level that others worship, but it is there. And this only makes it more special.
As you go out into the world, slay the dragon who tells you what you can and can’t do. And then you will own yourself. You will be free of the burdens others laid upon your shoulders. And you will see that the world is yours and only then can you bring your gift to the world.