#Purposeful Living

Imperfectly Perfect

Originally on BellaNaija

 

http://www.bellanaija.com/2014/09/19/frances-okoro-imperfectly-perfect/

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It has been almost 10 years since that faithful day but I can still see the scene vividly in my head whenever I want to…
“Me lying on my bunk bed, cowering under the imaginary weight of their eyes. Their voices screaming out in my head through the haze of my sadness and tears; “see her half past eyes, big lips, wowo girl”…
It wasn’t the first time I had heard such words from people’s lips, and that incident wasn’t the last either.
When I was 9years old, I inadvertently eavesdropped on a gossip session of my neighbors who, not knowing that I was within earshot came to a general consensus that I was the ugliest in my family. And it didn’t stop there; I also attended a boarding secondary school where the consensus reached above was reiterated time and time again. Everyone seemed to think that I wasn’t pretty, I was ugly, and ultimately, what they thought about me became my thoughts about myself.

As a result of my experiences, I honestly believed that I was ugly and it wasn’t till I was in the university that I dared to believe that I was pretty.
I became fascinated with the word “beauty”. There were times when I would lay on my bed, stare at the ceiling and ponder on what people meant when they said a woman was beautiful and another was ugly.
I thought a lot about the thing called beauty.
Who/what determines if one is beautiful/not?
By what yardstick is beauty measured?

 

I know now the answers to these questions.
I know now that I am beautiful and that beauty is very different from what my neighbors and class mates thought it to be.
I even know enough about beauty to recognize it in others and Infact, I saw beauty on 23rd November 2013. She was helped up the stage and I did not know the significance of this till she told us that she had had a hip-replacement 6weeks before and thus had to be assisted till she was strong enough to walk on her own. My attention was captured at that and as I listened, her story was one that blew me away.
She had been told right from when she was 4years old that she was ugly, and thus had pretty low self- esteem about herself. And as if that wasn’t enough, life threw her balls that made it seem like the people who called her ugly were right.
She had an accident that left her with 250 scars on her face and an almost amputated leg; she lost her hair in a battle with cancer, she had had surgery to have fibroid removed from her stomach but there she was, still standing right there at 50years of age, having gone through situations the world would say could render your beauty to naught.
But as she stood there on the podium, it dawned on me that with all her supposed scars from life’s battles and her choosing to go without weaves on her head, Eryca Freemantle is one of the most beautiful women I have had the privilege of meeting.
I didn’t come to this conclusion because of the perfect makeup on her face, (although she is a celebrity makeup artist known worldwide), I also didn’t base my conclusions on the fact that she has a pretty face. It wasn’t because she has a great fashion sense and also has a great body to boot even at 50years of age…
My conclusions were based on the fact that beauty radiated from deep within her.
I spoke with Eryca freemantle after the event and I was amazed at her humility.
Here was someone who had been around the world, spoken at events I have never dreamed of attending, maintains contact with presidents and dignitaries alike but was also exchanging pleasantries with me, was willing to hear what I had to say and was equally very willing to help a lady she just met achieve her dreams.
She possessed so much humility and kindness of spirit, one which only truly beautiful women have.

 

I moved farther into the twenties on my birthday on September 6th and if there is anything I have learnt in the 10 years since the incident on my bunk bed, it is the fact that my classmates and neighbors were dead wrong about what beauty is. As a matter of fact, they had absolutely no idea about what true beauty is.
True beauty is purity of the soul.
Beautiful women are not just pretty, they radiate from the inside out.
They possess a light that shines so brightly from within them, so much so that you cannot help but be drawn into it.
They may not necessarily be pretty according to the world’s standard, but they are beautiful in the standard that truly matters.
They glow from within, they touch lives for good where ever they are, and they possess inner attributes that stand out.
I saw beauty on 23RD November 2013, and it wasn’t residing in the physical features of a person or in the perfect makeup on anyone’s face, neither was it in the sexy coke shaped body of any lady like the world believes it does.
I saw it in the heart, in the incorruptible attribute of a wonderful soul, in the dwellings of a kind heart, in the person of a kind word and in a helpful spirit.

I have come a long way from the days of “wowo girl” ringing in my head and I know from the depths of my heart that I am a beautiful lady. I don’t refer to my physical attributes when I say this (though, in all honesty, my physical attributes does turn heads) but I refer to the me in me, to the attributes I know I possess inside.
I refer to the beauty of my heart.
It has taken me years to come to the point where I can turn to anyone who asks me about my eyes with sincere smiles on my face, and explain to them without any ill feeling within me that the reason why I look at them but it seems like I am looking elsewhere is because I have crossed eyes.
I have come a long way from the child that thought she was ugly.
I have come a long way from aligning my thoughts with those who believe that beauty lies only in the physical features of a person.
I have realized like Eryca Freemantle says- that “Every woman is beautiful, regardless of age, size or colour”
I have realized that the “half past eyes” they all mocked in the past is something I wouldn’t change for anything right now. They are my trademark, my greatest assets. They stand me out, and the God who created me actually called me His perfect workmanship even with “the half-past eyes”.
I maybe imperfect in the eyes of the world but I am perfect in the eyes of the one who created me.
I am imperfectly perfect.
And all women should come to this knowledge too.
Our outer features have been made by God and called perfect; He looked at us and called us good.
We have been intricately crafted; no stone was left unturned by our creator before He released us into the world.
We may not be perfect or pretty in the eyes of the world, but we are beautiful in the eyes of the one who matters – in the eyes of God.
So by all means, revel in your k-leg, bow legs, short hands, funny nose… it is yours, it is you.
Work it, flaunt it, and embrace it.
Be you.
Be unique.
Stand out with whatever physical features you have.

 

And also know this fact without any iota of doubt; beauty does not start and end with physical features. True beauty does not arise from merely being pretty.
True beauty can only be found on the inside.
We are only truly beautiful where it counts most- in our hearts. And that is what we should preserve, nurture and value.

 

 

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Judith
    November 10, 2014 at 7:42 am

    I almost have tears in my eyes… You really are a star, Oh my God I just don’t know what to say like I thank God Almighty for the wonderful gift of you to this world.. Thanks alot for this dear
    I also struggled with my height and still, but i choose not to be bothered at how short i am, cos i have soo much good in me and i won’t give up on me… You know whenever i go through low self esteem i always talk to God about it and He reply always shocks me and it doesn’t change, He will always say to me; “JUDITH, I SEE THE BEST IN YOU” Oh! How i love to hear those words from my Father in Heaven…

    Thanks alot again for reaching out…
    Please visit my blog- http://www.judithpraise.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Theresa Doghor
    November 10, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Yeah, you are beautiful because of your inside and your outside
    When the inside is not beautiful, it’s an incomplete package
    I want both for me and mine…

    I actually started following your blog from Bella Naija.

    • Reply
      Frances Okoro
      November 17, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      Yes Tessa, I really do want both too…

      And thank you sooo much for being an active follower of this blog, for your comments filled with wisdom and all. Ah, I should have a blog giveaway for you all soon sef oh. Yes, I should. Ehsa!

  • Reply
    Esther
    November 10, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Keep the flag flying ma’am, I wish I could tell you how much you inspire me but someday I’ll, maybe on my blog.

    Thank you.

    • Reply
      Frances Okoro
      November 17, 2014 at 9:12 pm

      Hugs, hugs and hugs.
      Thank you sooo much Esther. As always, much love sis!

  • Reply
    Judith
    November 10, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Wow… Mehn I gat tears running from my eyes, you really are a star dear trust me.. Thanks alot for sharing this it really means a lot to me.. I am happy being who God has created me to be regardless of my height or whatever it is.. God always say to me; “Judith, I see the best in you” Oh! How I love to hear those words…

    please visit my blog..
    http://www.judithpraise.blogspot.com

    • Reply
      Frances Okoro
      November 17, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      I can also imagine how soothing hearing those words from God can be too Judith…
      Nothing can re emphasize our worth as much as God’s view of us can.
      Keep shining and being your beautiful self dearie..

  • Reply
    Highly Favored
    November 10, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    love, LOve, LOVE this post. What God has revealed to you about TRUE beauty could only come from Him. God’s definition of beauty eminates from the spirit (character) of a person and when this person is in love with Jesus…….this beauty radiates even more. God bles you BEAUTIFUL woman of God. Keep shining and walking in the confidence God has given you.

    • Reply
      Frances Okoro
      November 17, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      Thank you sooo much highly favoured.
      It took me years to get to where God wanted me to be on the self-worth thing and He is still teaching me more.
      #i am grateful.

  • Reply
    Temitope Banks
    November 11, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    I concur with you about voices that ring in our heads saying ‘ugly’ The world standard of beauty should not define us as individuals. Thanks frances for this post.

    JEENAGER SPOT

    • Reply
      Frances Okoro
      November 17, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      Hah! @Tope, Those silly voices.
      I’ve learnt/still learning to stamp them down as soon as they try to rear their heads up. Hmm, just lies and all lies.

  • Reply
    mateyscott
    November 11, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Frances!!!! I feel like I haven’t been here in ages, school is too demanding, but I’m glad I’m here now. This is rearly good and really true. Beauty is all about the inside. There are some people that are so beautiful on the outside but are repugnant on the inside. Like my pastor says, don’t choose outer beauty which can change as age sets in over inner beauty which can never wane. We should all be more concerned about building our inside cause that’s the backbone of our outer beauty. You, darling are beautiful.

    • Reply
      Frances Okoro
      November 17, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      And your pastor is absolutely right. Outer beauty without the inner beauty is zilch, nada, nothing.
      God help us all as we strive to cultivate the beauty that’s worth much in His sight.

      Welcome back Mayowa! I can imagine the school things. Pele.
      But do visit here as often as you can sha. *winks*

  • Reply
    David Adeleke
    November 12, 2014 at 6:54 am

    Wonderful story telling. And a great lesson to go with it. I too, used to suffer from low self-esteem mainly because I let people’s negative thoughts about me define who I was. However, thank God that has changed now and I understand that real self-worth is from within and not without. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    • Reply
      Frances Okoro
      November 17, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      Thank you for stopping by David.
      And I love your thoughts on this. When we all realize that people’s thoughts about us (without) doesnt define us, then we will truly let ourselves shine from within.

      And first comment on the blog yeah? Welcome! And pls, do stay 🙂

  • Reply
    Esther
    February 2, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Sigh! Isn’t it amazing how people who can’t create an insect are such experts on beauty.
    As if beauty is a criteria for heaven.
    I had a tough childhood because of this beauty thing.
    It used to pain me and gave me low self esteem then, but I don’t care now.
    I remember the first passport I took for my waec and how amazed I was that I wasn’t ugly. Of course compared to now, it was nothing but to me then it was everything. I was like so I am not bad. Lol

    • Reply
      Frances Okoro
      February 6, 2016 at 7:42 pm

      Loooool @ so I wasn’t ugly…
      Choi Esther…what human beings mouth can doto one if we allow them have their way…
      Even the beauty that God loves is as He said “a meek and quiet spirit…” all other facial/sexy body beauty sadly (or its not sad sef) is nothing to the One who matters…

  • Reply
    Excellent B
    August 31, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    hmm thanks for the reminder that beauty is of the heart and i have to nurture it. God bless u, u are really something….
    how do i join

    • Reply
      Frances Okoro
      August 31, 2016 at 1:27 pm

      Hi dear Excellent B..
      God bless you too and help us to focus on the beauty that matters to Him and not what society tells us to focus on.. Amen.

      You didn’t complete your sentence on “how do I join?”

      Join the blog or…?
      If its the blog, scroll down and you will see the subscription box. please let me know if you meant something else

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