When I look at younger women or teenage girls so often I just want to tell them “Be happy, love yourself a little more” I say young girls but many times this also includes women too. Why are we so hard on ourselves. Why does our happiness so often tie into how we look or better yet how we don`t look. No one is more critical than we are of ourselves. I think back to when I was young and I wish I could have been kinder to me. I wish I would have loved myself because of who I was not what I looked like, or whether I was popular. I was so critical and I hated so much about the outward me. I wasn`t ugly but I was not that girl everyone thought was beautiful……definitely not with my eyes. I mean my nose had a weird little bump on it and my chin was far too pointy. My hair was just a blah brown and fine at that. Every hairstyle I wanted required my hair to be what naturally it was not. I either spent what felt like forever curling or straightening it. ( I have slightly wavy hair) My boobs were not big enough and to top it off, I was short. Reaching the maximum height of 5`2. (I have since shrunk to 5`1) ha! I was a tiny girl too. Naturally slim. Although back then I didn`t appreciate it. I weighed all of 104 lbs when I got married, and I attained it after the birth of both my children. I never dieted ….not back then. Now at almost 54 years I have become much rounder …..weighing in at 150 lbs . I look back and I wonder why I didn’t enjoy and appreciate my naturally slim self then. Nowadays what I wouldn’t give to weigh even a smidgen less. But now that I do need to watch my weight (How I hate that aspect of menopause) I am still not very good at dieting. All I wanted was to be anything but who I was. The funny part…..Whether thin or chubby, inside we still feel the same. Our weight, our hairstyle, the whiteness of our teeth cannot make us happy. Happiness comes from inside. It comes from self acceptance and self love. We are truly happy when we understand and believe we deserve to be happy. How we look cannot make us happy, what size we wear will not do it. No material object makes a soul happy. No person can make us happy…..if we are not first happy with ourselves. Today I am happy, I can honestly say that. I`m older and fatter and I have a lot of health conditions that will never go away. There are days I cant do what I would like because its not a good day for me…….I have too much pain. But I am happy. I have had to give up much but life really is what you make it. I know no matter how I feel there is always someone suffering far more. Everyone can say this no matter their situation because…..it will always be true. I figured it out and I am so glad that I did. I hope every person does, I hope younger women will figure this out faster than I did. Life is for living, don’t let all these outward projections determine your worth. We are all deserving of happiness. If you are chubby or fat or too skinny put on a swimsuit and go swimming if it makes you feel good. If your not the prettiest so what ……wear what makes you smile and love every minute of it. Live…live. One day we all get older, our hair turns grey, we get wrinkles and rounder or in some cases thinner. Physical beauty is fleeting. But a beautiful soul is the gift you get to share always. A heart full of compassion , kindness and love is the treasure. Be kind to yourself, know your worth , laugh , smile. Live in the moment. That is the key to a life really lived. Caring about others, loving them; loving yourself. Now that is happiness.