Inspired by change, challenge and creativity



“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh


Am I beautiful?  I think now I can say that I am.  Oh not in a conceited, ‘love me, look at me everyone’ kind of way.  No just for myself.  I would not be judged a beauty in today’s world if we looked at outward beauty only.  But I am not consumed with being or thinking myself beautiful.  No instead I like and love myself…that is beauty to me.



And it has been a long time coming to accept myself as a beautiful person inside and out.  When I started high school I was 5 feet tall, and weighed about a 100 lbs soaking wet with naturally curly frizzy hair that did its own thing.  I wore tortoise-shell glasses (all the rage) which of course made me a ‘four-eyes’….or in other words an easy target for bully-types.  And I had not blossomed yet, so there were no big stares from the boys.



DSCN4441We were and still are bombarded with messages of being beautiful, and trying to achieve an image of beauty that is outside ourselves.  Add to that I was not outgoing, but instead a shy, introverted girl who was a dreamer in a sea of 3800 students.  So I was content to keep myself to myself…not letting many people in.



Now some 40 years later, and many experiences under my belt, I am just beginning to accept me for who I am…and I am learning about who I am again.  I think I was always trying to play a role in an effort to be liked or accepted never quite understanding that keeping these masks on would do more harm.



And although it is scary to strip off the masks, that is what I have done in the past 10 years.  And it was not always easy being alone with myself.  I had been learning in the last few years to be more accepting of others and not to judge them, but I had not given myself the same courtesy.




It wasn’t until I started listening to the messages coming from within, that I saw just how judgmental I was with myself.  Being with those feelings and messages, has helped me to realize that I too deserve a break.  I am only human.  I am still learning, and will be for a long time to come.



I think the biggest lesson was when I could finally stop beating myself up for things I did or didn’t do, and finally accepted some self-compassion.  The self-sabotage ended, and the messages were ones of self-healing.  If I was trying to change a habit or incorporate a new healthier one, I no longer berated myself when I slid a little down the slippery slope.  Instead I just got back up and started again.  And it has become easier starting fresh each day.



The biggest thing I have done for myself has been to finally say, “I AM ENOUGH”, and really mean it.  Warts and all….imperfections, bad habits, fits of temper…you name it, it is me….beautiful, wonderful me.  I am really grateful for myself as I am.  And as I feel I want to change things within myself, I do.  Mostly to feel better, and be a better person…to be happier.  And isn’t that what it is all about.  Being happy in our own skins!



DSCN8317We are all on our own paths….we can only be where we are, and who we are right in this moment.  So let’s celebrate that.  Let’s celebrate all the wonders that make up our unique selves.  I’ll start….





Here’s to this 58 yr old, 5 foot tall woman who doesn’t look her age….who is kinder and gentler with herself and others….who is having more fun, practicing healthier habits (as I must now)…who is still the introvert and the dreamer….a creative being who loves to tell stories and share them.  She is my hero….I love her and I like her a lot….she is my best friend and fierce protector.  She is beautiful and enough just as she is right now!



Special Note:   The flowers shown here are pink lilacs.  In The Language of Flowers, lilacs represent beauty and love, and pink represents admiration and appreciation.  A perfect flower to herald the message of self-love and acceptance.







I leave you with more thoughts about acceptance and being enough.  Feel free to download this photo and share.


All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

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  1. July 9, 2015    

    “I saw just how judgmental I was with myself. Being with those feelings and messages, has helped me to realize that I too deserve a break. I am only human. I am still learning, and will be for a long time to come….”
    How wonderful you expressed…all these… it makes me so happy, so I’ll do like you… I’ll start to celebrate it!! the wonder that lies inside us…
    You’re right! so thankful….

    • July 10, 2015    

      Big hugs to you Alexa! Giving ourselves a break, taking care of ourselves are ways to celebrate ourselves….so here’s to you Alexa! You deserve it!

  2. July 9, 2015    

    Don’t you wonder why it takes so many of of this long to get where you are so beautifully stated today, Donna?! Maybe that’s why we live as long as we do, because that’s how long it takes. I wonder. But what a beautiful tribute to yourself…loving yourself and growing up to be who you are. It’s an inspiration to us all, to follow in your footsteps and to keep on keeping on in this thing called self-love! “Love your neighbor as yourself” always starts with yourself…even if we hardly ever heard sermons about that growing up!

    • July 10, 2015    

      Yes it does start with ourselves Ginnie and maybe that is why we have a hard time loving our neighbors when we haven’t really loved ourselves. I think we are all on our own journey, and the wisdom to understand so much takes a long time….life or what we think life should be gets in our way. It starts with acceptance of who we are and loving ourselves because of it….then the journey really begins I think….I am just beginning but oh what a beginning.

      • July 10, 2015    

        Donna, This is exactly what I’ve been thinking about. I’ve come to think that self-acceptance is one of the key developmental tasks for this stage of life and that, once we have achieved a basic level of self-acceptance, we are less defensive and more willing and able to also accept others for who they are.

        • July 10, 2015    

          I agree Jean as I don’t think we are ready for so many reasons earlier in our lives….it’s a fascinating topic I would love to discuss in a sociology classroom. 🙂

  3. July 9, 2015    

    Awe and admiration.
    I am (finally) coming to see the sense in accepting and loving myself. Not there yet. A looong way to go. The negative voices are much louder and somehow more believable that the others.

    • July 10, 2015    

      Soosie just seeing the sense of it is a beautiful beginning my friend….one day you will find those negative voices are barely there (mine still pop up)….sending big hugs to you!

  4. July 9, 2015    

    So pleased to read this post. And while reading, the scent of lilacs comes wafting through my screen:)

    • July 10, 2015    

      Thanks Elena and isn’t the scent just intoxicating!

  5. July 9, 2015    

    I echo what Ginnie said. It does seem to take a bit too long to come to the understanding of self worth. Very well written, Donna.

    • July 10, 2015    

      Thanks Donna…that means a lot to me.

  6. July 10, 2015    

    Donna – I resonate with judgemental – it is a constant battle! I like your saying “I am enough” – its so much better and more straight forward than many self-healing mantras

    • July 10, 2015    

      That’s why I like it Laura…I started this journey a year ago with an author, Brene Brown, who taught me to finally say, “I am enough” and believe it. And you are enough my friend!

  7. July 10, 2015    

    Thanks for your bravery and generosity in sharing these insights. I have a long way to go when it comes to self acceptance let alone celebration. Is it your experience that being retired — having the time and space to think and feel — contributed to where you are today?

    • July 10, 2015    

      Yes Debra it was key for me to start healing….I had to get out of a toxic place where I worked because my profession just had turned into a negative for me…..I am still just beginning this journey but definitely time to think, feel and heal are essential.

  8. July 10, 2015    

    Well, Donna, you’ve gone a long way and it must be satisfying for you to feel in this way. To be accepted, to be enough, to be grateful for yourself as you are. Strength and peace radiate from those words. I berate myself for all possible things and should give it a break as well, thank you for sharing your inspiring personal story.

    I love that opening quote as there is so much truth in it. I guess it’s much too common that people look for acceptance from others but are not able to accept themselves… and that causes pain.

    • July 10, 2015    

      Oh Petra you are an amazing person and wise as yes we do try to seek acceptance outside ourselves for so long…the validation and the pain when it doesn’t come. Give yourself a big hug my friend and know you are a beautiful, wonderful person who has so much to give to the world….you are ENOUGH!

      • July 11, 2015    

        Donna, thank you so much for your warm words. Have a nice day. 🙂

  9. July 11, 2015    

    Oh Donna, how I can relate.
    Learning to love ourselves….to be kind and nurturing and accepting to ourselves;
    as much as we are to the rest who need this from us.
    Why do we always put ourselves in such a negative light.
    I needed this today. Need it often. Thank you for the
    beautiful share,

    • July 11, 2015    

      Oh my friend I am so happy that this helped…..we are taught to put others first but how can we help them if we are drained and negative….sending much love and light your way!

  10. July 15, 2015    

    I love this post. It certainly resonates with me as, I’m sure, it does with so many of us. If only we were kinder to ourselves when we were younger. By the way, I am 5 feet tall, weighed about 100 pounds soaking wet (in high school…) and have frizzy wavy hair….we would have been friends.

    • July 15, 2015    

      Thank you so much as it means a lot to know that my story resonates with others too…and you made me laugh as i read we are kindred spirits who have found each other as blogging sisters in this virtual world! Welcome!

Favorite Quote This Week:

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” ~ Aristotle


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