It is never good to hate. This is your life now. Use what you've been given to make your world better. King Lovel, translated by Zeynip, the mouse, from Isasnora Snores
Hello everyone, please click on this YouTube link to watch this week's episode of Isasnora Snores. There's a visitor in Isasnora's tree! This is the fifth installment. We have only five more to go! Special thanks to Greg Digieso, who played King Lovel, Joan Hay, who played Zeynip, Monica Paur, who played Isasnora, and Elizabeth Paur our narrator.
Do you love yourself? Do you love your imperfections, or do you hate them? Do your imperfections cause others to make fun of you? Do your "flaws" make you feel self-conscious or less of a person? Do you, as a person, feel good about who you are?
Isasnora has a big imperfection - snoring! She hates it, and she hates the Kingdom Calelind. When she meets a slug - King Lovel and a mouse - Zeynip, she learns that she should take what she's been given and use it to make the world better.
What is it about yourself you don't like? Is your nose big; is your mouth too small? Are you tall; are you short? Are you skinny; are you fat? Is your hair too curly or too straight? Do you have freckles or crooked teeth?
Though I'm probably much older than most of you, I still struggle with lots of insecure feelings. I sometimes do not like the way I look; I sometimes compare myself to others; I sometimes feel physically weak. There are many things I tell myself to help overcome these insecurities, but for the sake of this blog, I'll highlight only three.
We Are Stained Glass Windows
First, every person is a mixture. When I say this, I imagine stained glass windows. My favorite color is rose blue from France's Notre Dame Cathedral. There are thousands of pieces of glass inside that window to make it into one beautiful piece of art. No one piece or color makes up an entire window. Inside all of us are probably billions of atoms and cells (okay, I'm not very scientific) that have come together to create the beautiful artwork that is you! This includes all those things we believe are imperfections!
Everyone Has A Good Life and Sometimes Not So Great
The next one might be hard to believe, but no one person has it all together, so stop trying to compare yourself with others! The valedictorian in your high school might seem really smart, but he or she probably has other struggles in his or her life. The super model in the magazine or on the Internet has probably been photoshopped. However, even if he or she is an icon of beauty, he or she has other struggles to deal with. Comparing yourself to people you think are better than you is like pouring soda in your car's gas tank. On the surface you might not think there is anything wrong with that, but deep down, it will corrode and destroy your car!
Flaws Make Us Real
When I was much younger, I used to sell dinnerware, flatware, and glassware. Back then we called it china, silver, and crystal. As part of our training, we were required to meet with different vendors from various companies. One of the representatives sold Waterford Crystal out of Waterford, Ireland. This representative told us that if you see tiny bubbles and imperfections that meant the glass was hand blown. It was not cast out of a mold. Each glass was unique and not a replica of another glass. Flaws make you real.
These three principals work best when you live a life of kindness, gratitude, and generosity. Being kind, grateful, and generous will sometimes feel as if you're running a marathon backwards, but if daily practice these, your inner beauty will shine through.
Kindness is not hurting others by our words or actions. Kindness is smiling when you don't feel like smiling. Kindness is holding a door for someone even when you're in a hurry. Kindness is not bragging. Kindness is going out of your way to talk to the "nerdy" people in your life.
Kindness is a word used a lot today, but frankly, I'm not seeing a whole lot of it. What does it really mean to be kind? Only talking to people you like? Only giving to your friends and family? The truth is, kindness, the stuff that really matters, is difficult. When someone is screaming at you, kindness says you do not scream back (or wave a rude gesture with your fingers); when someone teases you, kindness says says you don't tease back (though if someone is tormenting you - please get an adult involved); when someone is being stingy and not sharing, kindness says you still need to share. Kindness is not hurting others by our words or actions. Kindness is smiling when you don't feel like smiling. Kindness is holding a door for someone even when you're in a hurry. Kindness is not bragging. Kindness is going out of your way to talk to the "nerdy" people in your life. There's much to being kind, and it requires some thought and practice.
Some training is also required to develop a habit of gratefulness. Everyday look at the smallest, least significant parts of your life and be thankful for them. During this COVID-19 pandemic, my mother has been very grateful for her bathroom. We have talked about people stuck in refugee camps who often do not have a decent place to do their duty or take a shower. Instead of dwelling on those "flaws" you think you have, be grateful for having them. One of my least favorite feature of my face is my smile! I've always desired white, straight teeth with a nice, big smile. I don't have that. But, I do have teeth, and I can chew food (yes, I like eating). Be grateful and say thank you! You might surprise some people.
Generosity is another one of those traits that require practice, and it is not just about money. Often generosity requires your time and patience. This is a struggle for most of us because we are very busy and distracted. To be generous it requires our awareness of those around us, to slow down to see how we might be able to help. Generosity begins in your own home with your own family. Generosity might require you do something unpleasant such as washing the dishes or cleaning the basement. Generosity often requires we listen to others without having to insert our thoughts and opinions.
Let's take these three principals and work them into a common occurrence for me - rejection letters. Okay, I don't like rejection, but I am grateful to the publishers or agents because they took the time to write me a letter instead of ignoring me. I don't send a nasty letter back (kindness), and I'm generous because I take the time to read the letters and make a note not to bother them again with the same project!
Think about your life and daily experiences. Try to apply kindness, gratitude, and generosity to them. Then you'll start to realize that you're a unique piece of stained glass, with chips and cracks, still projecting your beauty to the world.
Thanks for reading all the way to the end. I wish I had a prize to give you, but I can only send you good wishes for a great life!