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Why Your Beauty Never Left You

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Reminiscing Past Accomplishments

“I used to be a straight A student. On top of that, I used to lead this and that team. I was also the best in this and that sport.”

This is a statement that I have used and often hear in varying degrees. The other day, I read such an introduction for the umpteenth time and wondered, ‘why do we always compare ourselves against previous successes?’ For me it did feel like I had lost an important chunk of my identity. A huge part that I was proud of, and feel sad that others will never get to meet again.

Our Wonderful Being is Still There

But we seldom compare ourselves to the other wonderful parts of who we were before becoming ill. Why not from beautiful, to still beautiful? Certain characteristics that belong to us are the same, maybe even polished due to circumstances. These are the qualities that shine and do not fade, regardless of age. Physical accomplishments are wonderful. Yet are often but a reflection of the nature that has always existed within us.

There are many abilities that I do miss from once upon a healthy time. I will not deny that illness has indeed melted me into an unidentifiable, sloppy mass on the ground. But all my core ingredients are still there, and I am ready to shape myself again, with the same magical stuff that I was first made of.

“Character is what you know you are, not what others think you have.” – Marva Collins

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We can be our own harshest critics. But certain beautiful qualities we had before falling ill never left us, and might have been polished, even.: Click to read or pin to save for later |

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July 24, 2021 20:58

I love this post! I’ve lost count of the number of times I have said that statement too. Chronic illness can take so much from us but it doesn’t take everything. I have been trying to reframe my thoughts around this in a more positive way, for example, when feeling frustrated that I’m no longer able to play sport I remind myself that it doesn’t stop me from watching sport.

Sheryl Chan
July 27, 2021 00:02
Reply to  Lucy

Aww thank you so much! 🙂 I am glad that you are managing to reframe certain thoughts. It can be SO hard! Playing sports is so different from watching, but I guess we need to find the little joys where we can!

June 22, 2018 19:59

Such a beautiful post Sheryl! You always know the right things to write. You should consider becoming a life coach 😉 x

Sheryl Chan
June 22, 2018 21:34
Reply to  Kirsten

Heh…thanks for the encouragement, Kirsten! Actually lots of people hate the stuff I say on social media, and it has been a depressing week for me (maybe due to med increments, too!) 😉 But people like you remind me that there’s still good out there! Thanks and hope you have a lovely weekend x

Chronically Hopeful Char
June 1, 2018 18:33

Yes!! It is so important to recognise the beauty and worth that we still possess despite our illness. Comparison and envy just rob us of our joy and peace in the present. Thank you for the shout-out!