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  • Dina Cohen

The Genuine Beauty of Bravery

"The blueprint society has dictated for me is microscopic in the face of my limitless dreams."

- client in recovery

Recovery involves many stages. It's like a dark room that slowly, slowly gets filled with light. At first it's a tiny glow that may seem to just highlight the darkness, but little by little, the room begins to brighten. At a certain point, the real you begins to emerge from the darkness. Your voice may be timid and hesitant at first, but then it begins to get louder and stronger, until it ultimately overpowers the disordered voices in your head. Being recovered doesn't mean being joyous all the time, but it does mean you no longer live in the shadows. It means truly knowing yourself and feeling strong inside, and it means making decisions accordingly.

Somewhere along this journey, you will recognize that society's rulebook about beauty and what we should do to achieve it is a) an oppressive money trap, b) a lie that your eating disorder feeds upon, and c) seriously getting in the way of living a meaningful life. It is a realization that may anger you. This is painful but it has a silver lining, because anger can be excellent fuel for sending you off in the direction of your dreams. Do what it is that YOU were meant to do! And you are not meant to be a clone of anyone else, not in looks and not in spirit.

It may take some time until the first glimmers of these thoughts transform into something big enough to light up the room, but if you're sensing some sparks, you're getting places.

And speaking of society's definition of beauty: you cannot compare a sparkly outside with a glowing inside. They are two different entities.

Conquering your fears?

Breaking the cycle of trauma?

Respecting your authentic self?

Developing what's inside...and sharing those gifts with the world?

Now that's beautiful.

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