I was in fifth grade and in Mrs. Williams' class. I recall looking at board and it being a complete blur to me. Being the studious student I was, I politely asked to sit in the front row of the class in order to see what was being taught. Little did I know, that I would need corrective lenses.
"One or Two?" the optometrist asked while he adjusted the machine plastered on my tiny face. Each time he asked this particular question, I was one step closer to getting the correct prescription for my eyes. After about 10 minutes of the "one or two" questioning session, it became quite difficult to see a difference in lenses. The doctor prescribed my glasses and my eyes were opened to the world I had been missing because of my poor eyesight.
Fast forward a few more years---the teenage years. My first crush was on a youth leader of my church. My friends had a hobby of humiliating me, so they told this young man of my infatuation. Little by little, the youth leader started showing me attention, buying me gifts, and confessing his "puppy love" for me as well. All things come to an end, though. He started to have feelings for my best friend as well. This is when I began thinking I wasn't enough. I wasn't pretty enough. I wasn't thin enough. I wasn't funny enough.
When in college, I had become close friends with a guy named John. We laughed at our goofy jokes. I literally hired some college guys to kidnap him for his birthday. He would take me to his parent's house on weekends and we grew inseparable as intertwined vines. He was Canadian, so he stayed in Canada over the summer while I visited my parents in the USA. I return from summer break only to find out John had cheated on me with another girl. Another nail went through my self esteem. Was I pretty enough for John? Apparently not. Was I enough to keep his attention? Definitely not.
Eventually, I got married to a wonderful man named Gabe. Gabe accepted me for who I was and often gave more to me than I gave in return. I truly learned love from this man. What did I do? I messed it up. I cheated. It wasn't right and I'm ashamed of myself. What is worse....I cheated with a married man--- the man married to one of my friends. This man, Dave, and I had decided we would pack up and leave our spouses. We met in a hotel and were ready to begin our new lives. Did Dave stay with me? No. Dave left me alone that night. I crawled back to Gabe and confessed everything. Was I enough for Dave? Gabe? No. Dave went back to his wife. Gabe wanted to work on things, but my own guilt devoured me like a starving wolf. At this point, I was at my lowest---grasping for quicksand to save myself. Gabe and I divorced, and I was back on my own.
Little by little, man after man, I was deflated by liars and cheaters. I would go through bouts of starvation to be thinner. I would run constantly at the YMCA because I hated to be home-----alone----left with my thoughts of depreciation. I recalled that I had once been a high spirited teenager that could take on the world. Drinking became a vice. Diet pills were the daily. Would you believe me if I told you I got liposuction because I thought that would change how a man thought of me?
Enter----my precious baby into the world. ***LENS CHANGE*** Had I CREATED this life within my body? Had I carried and cared for this precious being so she could be introduced to all the wonders this world has? As I fed and bathed this porcelain princess, I began understanding my purpose. I am to be strong for HER. I am to love MYSELF so that I can show her how to LOVE HERSELF. I am ENOUGH for HER.....
I moved back in with my parents. ****LENS CHANGE*** My parents, through all my breakups and snot-filled crying sessions, constantly showed me support and unconditional love. They knew I was a mess and loved me despite my flaws. If they could love me---maybe I was ENOUGH......
I got married- again. ****LENS CHANGE*** This man, Eric, has heard all my confessions, and stuck by me. I admitted my obsession with my weight and appearance, and there are times I still struggle. We both admit, that it's ok to struggle. There is always pain during growth. Eric sees me naked figuratively and physically and envelopes me with his whole being. I am flawed, but....I AM ALSO ENOUGH.
A boudoir shoot was always a goal I had wanted to do despite not being a "model" figure. I felt that if I could be comfortable enough for someone to photograph me while in lingerie or next to nude, I'd have the confidence I had so yearned for and forgotten that I had buried deep within me.
Tracy offered me a boudoir shoot. I was happy to enter into this new world. I showed up, had hair and make up done, and began posing for shots. I felt sexy, empowered, and as if nothing could stop me. As Tracy snapped the pictures, she would show me. I was FLOORED that I was the woman in those photos! This woman in the pictures was bold, enticing, and sexy as sin! ****LENS CHANGE***
Prior to these "lens changes" I was living blind. I had looked at myself as a blur and didn't even realize it. Lens changes occur throughout our life in order to help us see ourselves in the best way we can. A baby? A marriage? A boudoir shoot? A new job? Each person has different prescriptions and are constantly changing lenses. Know this---- after seeing myself as lovable, confident, and beautiful, I was much happier and successful. I know, now, that I am enough. Period.
Liz & christopher
peter & sarah
mary & tim