Each of us is an exquisite and delicate flower

“I am small, ugly and fat. No one will love me.” I received this devastating message from a Russian woman a few days ago. I looked at her picture and could not believe my eyes. I saw a lovely, smiling woman with big brown eyes. This was not the only message like this. Many women complain to me about how unattractive they are and how they would like to change their appearance.

I thought for a long time how to answer her and all the other women who are so unhappy with the way they look. I decided to do a “Live Video” on Facebook with the title: “If I were a flower, which one would I be?”

I asked my women readers to think about this and then answer the question. I also asked them to include adjectives describing themselves as if they were this flower.

These are just a few of the hundreds of replies:

Marina: “I really love Lilies of the Valley. When I was a child my parents called me their ‘beautiful lily’. I felt so special.”

Irem: “I would compare myself to the bloom of the snowdrop. I was born in spring and this flower expresses the rebirth of nature after a deep, cold winter. It is fragile, naïve and pushes up through the snow, seeking the gentle the rays of the sun.”

Oksana: “I am an orchid, rare, graceful and refined.”

Natasha: “I am a pure, white magnolia; gentle and frost-resistant.”

Lena: “I am a forest violet, fragile and tender.”

When I say that each of us is an exquisite and delicate flower, I mean that each of us holds beauty in her own way. Some are like a royal and proud rose on display, the result of loving care. Others, are more like a bright surprise; small field flowers defiantly growing in fields of weeds.

Some hide their beauty deep in the boreal forests of insecurity, revealing themselves only to those they trust. Others are tulips, their beauty dormant underground, patiently waiting for the spring rains of loving attention to unfurl their petals and stand tall and straight.

In the high mountains are meadows of wildflowers waving in the winds from glaciers and glimpsed only by the most ardent climbers.

We can never say this flower is not appealing; they are all special in their moment of expression. Some of the simplest blooms offer the deepest fragrance. Some bloom only at night, with delirious scents wafting through mysterious jungles. In deserts, even cactus flowers bloom, but to reach for them you must be ever so careful. On still ponds grow the stars of lily pads, beloved by frogs who may or not be princes.

I thought of what all flowers need; merciful rain, healing sunlight, summer’s warmth. All bloom into beauty with care and attention. With care and attention comes appreciation. Under the soft gaze of appreciation blooms self-worth. Self-worth pushes us higher into confidence. And with confidence comes the strength to change your life and achieve your heart’s desire.

So treat ourselves as flowers! Surround yourself with those who give care and attention! There is no place in our garden for criticism and negativity! When we cherish ourselves, we will not let other people be rude and cruel to us. Would we be with a person who tramples flowers?

When I moved to Bermuda, I fell in love, deep in my heart, with all the joyful, golden sunflowers. I see them and smile and rejoice like a child. Sunflowers never waver in their intention; they turn and seek the sun all day, every day. This is how I live my life.

Henry Matisse, the iconic impressionist painter, said it so simply: “There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”

Every woman holds a certain beauty all her own. What can you do to make that beauty bloom?