By: Juliann Eddy
I was 6. I remember it like it happened yesterday. My parents were whispering, in the front seat of our car.
It was unclear about what it was but it was very conspiratorial, and it seemed that it was about me. I was in the backseat. What was going on?? What was the big secret?? My 6 year old ears perked up.
Being the last born with two much older brothers, my skills at listening were keenly developed. My brothers were both out of the house, in college, married. So being the only one left at home, sometimes the only way I knew what was going on was to refine my listening skills. I learned that early on.
The undertone of the conversation going on was very secretive. WHAT are they talking about!?!? I heard the words she....she knows too much, we have to stop it, we have to stop the people!
What!? My little six year old mind couldn't grasp what had to be stopped.
Then came the words that are forever in my mind. "She knows she's pretty, people stop us and tell us. We can't ever let her know, how pretty she is. We have to tell people to stop telling her. She will grow up thinking too much of herself. We must never let her know how pretty she is."
Fated words. Words that changed my outlook, my focus, my self esteem and my little six year old world. At six, I didn't know how much I would want to hear those words again in the future. At six, I wasn't even sure what it all meant. My parents, both strong personalities, were very good at determining something and carrying it through. So the last time I heard those words from the 2 people I loved the most was when I was 6.
My beautiful life didn't last very long. Apparently, at six, I was getting the big head and thinking too much of myself. Shame on me! 6 led to 10 and the awkward frustration of being a tween, but it didn't matter because I wasn't pretty. 12-14, no boy would ever look at me because I wasn't pretty, 14 to 18 I missed out on dates and proms because why bother, no one could like me I wasn't pretty. I NEVER thought of myself as pretty yet it was all I ever wanted to be. Because I didn't hear the words that I was, I thought that it meant that I wasn't. I became some what of a recluse, clinging to my bedroom on week ends and thinking that I wasn't worth being with. In my head, I did something so shameful when I was six that it took away the privilege of ever being called pretty again. What did i do that was so shameful? Oh yeah, I liked it. Apparently so much that I never deserved to hear it again. I felt too superior in my little six year old self!
Well, my story does have a happy ending. One day my prince found me in my solitary state and he rescued me. He didn't tell me I was pretty though, He told me I was beautiful. He found my beauty and it wasn't just in my face, but in my soul, my heart , my mind, my smile and my eyes. He rescued me from the solitary abyss that i lived in and opened up my world. I believed I could accomplish things, because he knew I could.
Words are hurtful and we all know that but do we know that the lack of words are also very hurtful? Sometimes the lack of what isn't said does more harm then what is said. sometimes what you long to hear is what is never said.
Im a big girl now, with 3 daughters. There are two things that they know from me. They always know I love them, first and foremost. They always know how beautiful they are. I happen to believe those words can not be spoken too much. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That's true. it has to be with so many differences in our world, and that's good because it means that everyone is beautiful. Everyone has beauty in some way or form. Beauty is just not a face value kind of thing. pay attention, look through the eyes of your heart. Beauty is in how you act when you've just had the worst day of your life, its in your eyes when you look at the storm ahead. It's in your personality when life just gave you the biggest glass of lemonade made from the lemons it gave you the day before. Everyone has beauty in their life and they deserve to know it. Pay attention, look around, if you can't find it, use the eyes of your heart. You could be the only voice in this world that tells that person exactly what they need to hear.