You were beautifully and wonderfully made. 

Regardless of what you’ve been through, how your body has changed, how your clothing doesn’t fit properly anymore, how wigs and scarves have become the norm… you ARE beautiful.

I was going to write a different article, but my heart just won’t let me.

Perhaps it’s because of what I’ve gone through personally during the past week, or perhaps it’s because there’s someone out there who needs to read this story.

Driving back from Sun City last week, I asked my client and the driver to pull over on the side of the road. Along with a friend of mine, I ran across the road desperately looking for a skeletal dog we’d spotted.

We called and whistled, but she wasn’t responding. We asked some people who were standing nearby and one of them pointed towards a thick of dry grass.

As I walked towards the direction in which they were pointing, a timid head peered out. She was cautious and wary, but eventually edged her way forward at the smell of the burger in my hand.

‘Bones’ as she’s affectionately referred to now, weighed 18.6kg. For an adult Boerbull, she was in a horrific state.

The size of her head was disproportionate to her body. She was emaciated, with even her spinal column and coccyx glaringly visible, callouses on every single protruding bone, covered in ticks, broken toes and bleeding.

Why am I telling you this dreadful story? Why let you relive the pain that we went through?

I’m sharing this because, even though Bones has only managed to put on 3kg in a week, she is still one of the most beautiful dogs I have ever seen.

Many people didn’t stop for her. Many were too scared or repulsed by how she looked, but to my friend and I, Bones was beautiful. Bones’ circumstances were dire and she wouldn’t have survived much longer, but in our eyes we saw only a beautiful, albeit wounded, animal.

Others didn’t see the same thing. Others poked fun at her. Ignored her. But that was their blemished outlook.

The magical thing was that, even though life had most certainly treated her unfairly, tossed her aside and left her suffering and desperate, she was still beautiful.

Nothing can take away from the fact that she was born inherently beautiful.

Circumstances don’t change that. Only perception. Be it yours or theirs. That’s where the beauty lies.

We do not see things as they are. We see things as WE are.

Of course red lipstick helps, but at our essence it’s how we see ourselves that counts.

We may be stripped of our femininity, be broken by life, bruised and beaten, but… please read this carefully… you were beautifully and wonderfully made.

I’d love to keep chatting with you. Tweet me on @PetraLaranjo, Facebook: Petra Laranjo Brand and Image or pop onto my site

Here’s to enjoying the journey, living with light and purpose.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Written by Petra Laranjo Hourquebie.