The sugar maple tree by our driveway started changing colors early this year. A few have fallen, and today as I walked by, I stopped to pick some up.
It occurred to me that I could scan the leaves on the scanner, to capture their pretty colors before they fade. Since JJ was upstairs napping, I decided to go with my inspiration.
In the process of scanning a few leaves, I was struck by how different each leaf was. Some leaves were wide, some more narrow. Some had been chewed by insects or were a little damaged; others were intact. Some were almost symmetrical, some more lopsided. They all had a blend of red, orange, yellow, and green on them.
As I was staring at the leaves, I realized they made an amazing analogy for the human race.
Every leaf, unique and beautiful. All the same species, fallen from the same tree. Different colors, sizes, shapes, and symmetries, but all beautiful.
Can you imagine how BORING it would be if every leaf was the same shape, color, and perfectly symmetrical?
Can you imagine how boring this world would be if all women or all men came in the same shape, color, and size??
Why do we buy into the narrative that there is only one standard of beauty for people?
Just like each leaf is different, we are all unique. What if we could be more kind when we look at others? Instead of mentally picking apart the appearance of those we encounter, what if we all strove see the good in others?
Let’s learn to celebrate what makes us unique, instead of all striving to conform ourselves and those around us to one definition of attractiveness. What if you could be more kind to your own reflection, and rejoice in all of your features? How much happier would you be? How much money would you save?
I am the first to admit that I am unkind to my reflection in the mirror, and hesitant to allow myself to be photographed. I am working on being more kind to myself, and I encourage you to do the same. The other evening, I allowed my husband to take my picture (even though I wasn’t wearing even one molecule of makeup!) because I realized there aren’t many pictures of me, and I want my children to have pictures of me to look at in the future! Here is one:
Anyway, I hope you’ll spend some time reflecting on the ways self-acceptance might improve your life.
Since I was bored, I took scissors to the pretty leaves and made them into a strange collage. Why? Because I wanted to! =P
Be kind to yourself today. I dare you.
Thanks for reading!