Brave and Beautiful: Our StoriesWritten by Carol Rice
You don't have to try so hard
You don't have to bend until you break
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don't have to change a single thing
Take your make up off
Let your hair down
Take a breath
Look into the mirror, at yourself
Don't you like you?
Cause I like you
(Colbie Caillat Try Lyrics)
Carol Doesn't Have to Try Because...
- There's more to my story than what I look like.
- I've “tried” and it led me down some painful paths.
- I've battled an eating disorder and thyroid disease, and feel immensely grateful for the health I have today.
- I truly believe a smile that comes from deep down inside, makes a face look better than the very best make-up.
- People love people who love others.
- I'm a mother. I have daughters and sons – and they all need to know what is real, what is an illusion, manufactured and a lie.
- I've known many women who spend so much time trying to be beautiful (as defined by whom?), but would be better served in life if they tried that hard to be nice – to others, and to themselves.
- I've chosen to spend my time on other things.
- I know who I am, and this life is not the end of the story.
Teresa Doesn't Have to Try Because…
I stood on the doorstep, stunned. I knew my friend was home. I could hear her inside the house. She’d invited me over, what was the deal?! Finally, I heard a window slide open and a voice came from the other side of the curtain.
“Oh my gosh, Teresa, I forgot! You can’t come in. I don’t have my make up on. No one sees me without my makeup, not even my husband!”
I stood on the doorway, stunned. The window slid closed. The plans were cancelled, all because of a lack of makeup. How sad. I had no clue how blessed I was until that moment.
You see, I had a baby face in my teens and was constantly trying to make myself look older through makeup. But my mother had some pretty strong feelings about makeup and she repeated herself frequently.
“You can’t have any fun if you’re always worried about smearing your face.”
“You never want someone to be so distracted by your makeup that they forget what you have to say.”
“Less is more – be authentic.”
“There’s no turning back with makeup. If you start heavy in your teens then by the time you’re a mature woman you’ll slather it on so thick no one will know what you really look like.”
That’s what I’d heard over and over and over throughout my teens. I’d hated, fought, and rebelled against her counsel. However, by the time I got to college I started to realize my mother was right. So, I’d quietly adapted to match her style. I’d never really given it much thought as the years passed, but standing on that doorstep, I finally understood how right my mother had always been.
I don’t have to try, because my momma really did know best!
Dani Doesn't Have to Try Because...
Although, I’ve struggled with self-esteem throughout my life, as an adult I have a better understanding of what beautiful is. I have learned that I don’t need to “try so hard” to impress others with my outward appearance. It was all within me. If I believed it, others would also.
My Grandma Budd really influenced me and my self-image. Since I can remember, she always said wonderful things to me. I was sweet, kind, and beautiful, and to never change. As I got older and became a mom she told me that I was the best mom she had ever seen. I knew it wasn’t true, but I also knew that she wasn’t lying either. In her eyes she saw beauty, she was genuine. In the last month of her life, she didn’t know my name, but she knew how she felt about me, and told me how kind and beautiful I was, I was a wonderful mother and to never change.
As women, and human beings we owe it to ourselves and to others to see the good and beauty in others. Don’t judge, but love. Remember what Audrey Hepburn said, “For beautiful eyes look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
I grew up in a home rich with family heritage. My mom loved genealogy and knew how to breathe life into dusty documents and color to faded black and white photos - my mom told me stories.
As a grown woman with five children of my own, I've tried to do the same. For years I did it through scrapbooking. But it didn't take long to realize that it wasn't my artistic skills my children really cared about. They never stopped on a page and said, "Mom, you matched that paper to my shirt - perfectly!" Nope. What they did say as they leaned across my lap, pointing at photos is, "Tell me the story!" "Tell me mom about the day I was born... Tell me mom about the day I cried when everyone sang me happy birthday... Tell me mom about my grandma and her garden..."
Don't worry if you haven't done it forever, just start today. The consistency and cumulative effect of one good question - just sharing one story a day, adds up.
Latest from Carol Rice
Leave a comment
Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.