A few months ago, I had a brief conversation with a dear friend regarding my FB nickname, The Beast. Ennio, is a dear friend, who happens to be a transformational life coach and who happens to have spoken significantly into my life over the years. Several people in the last year have approached me about my nickname and how it doesn’t fit and suggested I change it, but had no alternative suggestions that didn’t feel weird to me.
A little history of “The Beast”. This was a nickname given to me by a friend while we ran our first ever Warrior Dash together in 2011. She gave me the name, because no matter how hard it was, I wouldn’t give up. I wouldn’t quit. I fought to the end, even when I was terrified and 20 feet in the air. It was given to me, not something I gave myself, however I did fully embrace it. It spoke of my strength and tenacity in my journey. A Beast doesn’t quit and as long as I was the Beast, there was no quitting allowed. I could muscle through anything. I could do “IT”, whatever it was at the time. In all honesty, I liked my strength. If I had to give you a trait that would define me, it would be strong. Physically, mentally, and in more recent years, emotionally.
So I don’t recall the exact conversation with Ennio and can’t seem to find the archive of it but what matters is what I took away from it, what I heard, right? So this is what I heard.
Kim, your strength is awesome, but I think The Beast is limiting in who you are. You are much more than that and I wonder, when you are going to start to embrace your Beauty?
Honestly, I felt like I had just been sucker punched and I was a little annoyed. Seriously, why does everyone seem to have a problem with my nickname? Often though, conversations that reveal painful truths do feel like that and can be the most transformative, if you let them. I chose to listen to Ennio’s words and to remember his heart FOR me. He has always been one who wants me to be my very best and he will never mix words just to be nice, but he will ALWAYS love me to my best.
So I let his words sink in and I realized that I often hide behind my strength. It is easy to embrace my strength because it requires little vulnerability, little risk to put it on display. Either I am strong or I am not, and it is easily measured. But beauty, either physical or spiritual or emotional(remember, becoming more beautiful is what this blog is about), now that, is subjective and open to each persons own interpretation of Beautiful. Not to mention, I still didn’t believe I was Beautiful. I mean, I was getting there. Sure, I had/have lots of beautiful qualities about me, but I would never classify myself as beautiful. In fact, I did find this thread of my conversation with Ennio and I said this to him.
Owning my strength is easy. Owning my beauty feels arrogant and it feels like I would be a fraud…half the time anyway.
This conversation has stayed with me since September as I thought about it and wondered and began to notice how I use my strength to hide. And I realized, Most of this journey has been about coming OUT of hiding and I didn’t like seeing that I had exchanged one method of hiding(food) for another.
Then, on Thanksgiving, I took this picture with my niece.
I saw this photo and I liked it and of course made it my profile photo on FB. One week later, I look at this picture and have to catch myself as I wonder who hijacked my profile and put a picture of a beautiful woman on my page…and who is that with my NIECE?
When I look at this picture, I see a woman who is happy and at peace with herself. I see someone who is not hiding from the camera. I see a beautiful woman…and then I realize…it is me.
So, part of my run on Thanksgiving was about releasing a lot of the junk I have learned about over the years of this transformational journey. One of those things was The Beast. I decided, it was time to release the Beast and embrace The Beauty. I can still be strong, but I don’t need to hide behind The Beast and it is about time I started believing what others have told me is true for years.
I. Am. Beautiful.