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Monday, June 18, 2012

Trials Are a Part of Your Happily Ever After

"The phrase “Once upon a time” promises something: a story of adventure and romance, a story of princesses and princes. It may include tales of courage, hope, and everlasting love. In many of these stories, nice overcomes mean and good overcomes evil. But perhaps most of all, I love it when we turn to the last page and our eyes reach the final lines and we see the enchanting words “And they lived happily ever after.”
"Isn’t that what we all desire: to be the heroes and heroines of our own stories; to triumph over adversity; to experience life in all its beauty; and, in the end, to live happily ever after?
For a moment, think back about your favorite fairy tale. In that story the main character may be a princess or a peasant; she might be a mermaid or a milkmaid, a ruler or a servant. You will find one thing all have in common: they must overcome adversity.
Cinderella has to endure her wicked stepmother and evil stepsisters. She is compelled to suffer long hours of servitude and ridicule.
In “Beauty and the Beast,” Belle becomes a captive to a frightful-looking beast in order to save her father. She sacrifices her home and family, all she holds dear, to spend several months in the beast’s castle."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf

That is one of my favorite quotes and I had to share it because it represents my thoughts for today beautifully.
We do all want that coveted happily ever after. I  know I always have! But I discovered something a long time ago: In our quest to be happy, we have to remember to seek the positive in both good and bad times-during both trials and triumphs. Because each experience we live through, overcome and learn from, brings us closer to that happiness.

In the Black culture, we women are taught from childhood that out hair is our crowning glory, and for me, it seemed my hair was my only redeeming quality when I was growing up. Neighborhood girls loved to play in my hair. Because it hung down my back, the girls loved combing and styling it in different ways.
As I grew into my teenage years and acne became my new best friend (along with the dermatologist) my only saving grace was my hair. Even some of the boys could look over the zits because my hair was coveted by half the girls in my junior high and high school. As I reached adulthood, my style changed frequently and versatile haircuts abounded, but the thick luxuriousness of my locks remained.
Then, one day years later, as I stood in front of the mirror parting the hair on the back of my head, I discovered something that brought immediate tears to my eyes.
A half-inch round bald spot.
Soon another joined it. Hair pieces took care of the problem, camouflaging completely. But before long, the top of my scalp and my hairline began to thin, and have become so bad over time, I am now forced to wear wigs full time. All that is left for me to do now is wait for the rest of my hair to follow.

For a while the hair loss depressed me. I didn't feel as attractive, even when people complimented me. I couldn't see past the missing hair. I had a problem, an internal one that needed solving. I came to understand that the only way I could solve the problem was to accept it.
And I did. Not instantly, but with time, that acceptance did come.
Now I understand that my hair was never my crowning glory. That came from inside. And once I truly learned that, I understood that my hair might have defined me in the eyes of others who possessed no true vision, but in God's eyes and those who truly loved me unconditionally, I have always been beautiful. They were just waiting for me to see that. As soon as I latched on to that vision, myself, it changed the way I saw everything, and I found my happily ever after.
I hope you will find yours as well!
 

6 comments:

  1. I have to tell you, I would have never guessed you had anything but your own lovely locks.
    but I do agree, your beauty isn't what's on top of your head, it's what lies inside your heart.

    Great post!

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  2. I was lucky to be born with incredibly thick hair. It's the only reason I'm not now bald myself, since I've lost 2/3 to 3/4 of the volume I used to have. It depressed me when mine was falling out like crazy as well.
    You are so right, though, beauty comes from within. When people say you're beautiful it's because they see a reflection of your amazing spirit. And yours, Jewel, is simply gorgeous.

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  3. Beautiful post and I'd have never known. I think you're beautiful!

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  4. Thanks for sharing this post, Jewel. You are a most beautiful person on the inside and outside. As one who has chosen to accept my own natural locks, instead of coloring, I have to agree, happiness and beauty MUST come from the inside. I hope I can someday do as well as you in embracing that fact. Thank you for your example.

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  5. For what it's worth, Jewel, I never saw your "hair," only you. Your persona is so strong, genuine, and kind, that you fill a room with light when you walk in. You are an inspiration, or what I call an earth angel.

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  6. That was a truly inspirational talk given by Dieter Uchtdorf. I just received your email on reviewing your book and popped on by to visit. Thanks for it, and I will read your story. It sounds as if your message comes from your heart, and they are truly the best kind. ~ Lisa Faber (Bookworm Lisa)

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