I’ve had eczema since I was 16 (or at least that’s when it first showed up). I discovered it one week when my arm went from it’s normal shade of tannish to one much like that of a tomato, covered in rashes. We thought I was having an allergic reaction, only to learn that eczema was the problem.
Since then, I haven’t thought much about it until recent years. If there is one single physical trait I get most get complimented on in my adulthood, it’s my skin. Ironically, my skin seems to have some kind of a rash on it at any given moment (yep, ladies, beneath those J.Crew button downs and leggings, my skin is nowhere near as smooth and clear as my face!).
I find it funny that this is the case, but I’ve come to realize what a gift this irony is. If my best trait were, say, my legs, I would probably get a big head and be consumed with the vanity I’m so prone to. But rather, my best trait is my skin—skin that has been flawed from the beginning (apparently people with eczema are born missing an essential skin protein). No matter how many people tell me my complexion is beautiful, I remain humble because I know what’s hiding under my carefully selected clothing.
So, while I often want to literally scratch my skin off, I admit that I’m thankful for this burden in my life. If nothing else, it prevents me from becoming prideful in my appearance, and is a daily reminder that my beauty should not and cannot come from what’s on the outside. After all, lasting beauty comes from who we are rather than what we look like.
What burdens in life have served (or continue to serve) as a reminder of what really matters or what real beauty is about?
Image via Modern Hepburn