We are often our own worst critics. Finding fault with flaws visible only to our own eyes and failing to be happy – or at least satisfied – with what we have. Heather Koelling was once guilty of this very thing … until her whole world changed.
One year ago, Heather looked at a picture of herself attending a friend’s wedding and viciously scrutinized the smiling image staring back at her.
Her neatly coiffed hair? A mess. Her impeccable makeup? Ghoulish. Finely toned abs? A flabby gut.
No one else looking at this picture would have seen such things, but Heather did and she was disgusted. A happy occasion marred by the visage she claims was imperfect.
“I thought my arms looked fat. Brian looked awesome, but I thought my makeup was off. If you looked closely, you could see my stomach sticking out too much. The dress was maybe a little too va-va-voom and my hair was curled weird on one side,” Heather said, according to Lift Bump.
Fast forward one year, and Heather can see that it was not her body, her hair, or her makeup that was flawed. It was the judgmental perception of herself.
If only she could rewind the clock and revel in her blond locks and robust physique, appreciating them at every moment. But, today, she must face a reflection that presents a hairless scalp and chemo-ravaged body. Today, Heather is battling cancer.
To think that the vital woman in the photo already had an aggressive, malignant tumor wreaking havoc on her body and threatening her life is unimaginable to Heather.
“I could not have fathomed a little over a year ago at my oldest friend’s wedding what we were gearing up for,” Heather said, according to Lift Bump. “I had an invasive tumor at this point. I was already months late on an ultrasound ordered by my doctor.”
But, it was true. And through the truth of her diagnosis, she began to realize another truth: she was beautiful. The imagined flaws no longer mattered and she would give anything to be able to reclaim that body, that hair, that makeup and take joy in their perfection.
“The lady in that picture has cancer. Huh? Not that chick. She is dancing the night away with her favorite guy, laughing and hugging on old friends and dancing some more,” she said, reported by Lift Bump.
Heather is now quick to see the beauty in herself and those around her, instead of finding flaws and hurling criticisms. Every day she fights her cancer and she does it through the veil of beauty and gratitude.
Through her blog she reaches out to women everywhere — to every woman who has been her own worst critic and seen countless flaws in her physical appearance.
“I’m learning a hard lesson here and I want to spare you this hurt,” she writes in her blog, says Lift Bump. “We all play our own hardest critics. How can we possibly judge ourselves so harshly? The worst part about this picture is that this occasion really had absolutely nothing to do with how I looked, and a whole lot more to do with the bride!”
She realizes that changing the way our brains are wired is a learning process and doesn’t happen overnight. She says that she still “hurts at herself” and say things like “I feel fat”, even though there are much more important things going on in the world around her.
But everyday she strives to see the beauty in herself the same way she sees it in others. “In the same breath and out of the same mouth I can promise you that I see so much beauty in you, and I see a beauty that I did not before in the lady in the pretty pink dress,” Heather eloquently states, says Lift Bump.
And she finishes with one final request that I think we could ALL take heed to.
“Please be easier on yourself than I was. You never know what your future holds,” Heather Koelling.
Please SHARE the love and pass on this beautiful message to your friends.