A while ago I saw the question: "Who makes you feel the most beautiful?"
The commenters left answers that didn't surprise me. Husband, kids, partner, boyfriend, husband, husband, husband.
So I stopped and really thought about it. I'm sure that everyone who commented was honest and sincere but I didn't really relate. My husband doesn't make me feel UGLY or anything. But when he tells me I'm beautiful I have a hard time believing him. Yeah, okay, he has to say that.
And my kids make me feel beautiful in that they fill my life with beauty, but again, I'm the only mom they know. It's easy to convince myself that whatever beauty they see in me is due to not having anything or anyone else to compare it to.
My answer to the original questions is: my girlfriends.
My dear, sweet, intelligent, sassy girlfriends.
Girls I look at in admiration and strive to be like.
They are the girls who I respect and hold on high, high pedestals.
They are the ones who show me a measurable, achievable way to live.
They are friends who I don't have to clean up for, but I want to because I want them to feel as important in my home as they are in my heart.
They are the ones who are so magic they seem to be made of poems and books and music.
They are the women who make me laugh at the same joke for an infinity.
They are the women who read my thoughts as if we have rehearsed this life before.
They are the women who applaud my efforts and shout like proud mothers.
They are the women who have sung me hymns while I struggled to breathe.
They are the heroines who have picked up my impossibly heavy shoulders, literally flown to my rescue and looked into my soul with an x-ray vision that is only granted to the purest of heart.
To be in allegiance with them makes me feel strong.
Makes me feel worthy.
Makes me feel like my beauty is something that has the power to pull the goodness and love from others until it is an aura around me, to protect me and whisper to me
"you're one of us. And you are beautiful."