Do you like your face?

Lisa Lehmann

Posted on November 01 2011

spring1972cThis would be the first of many years of cruel jokes, mean spirited attacks and painful words directed at the small birthmark ever so carefully placed on my face, next to my nostril. The color of chocolate milk. Flush with my skin. Distinctly mine. Placed by God, detested by me. The first thing people notice. The last thing they remember. Ones face. It is a unique entity. Totally yours. Unlike any others. Capable of expressing the heart and mirroring the soul. You can mask it, but you cannot change it. It was handed down to you...a gift as you will. A picture of those who came before. No small task. Do you like your face? From birth, my face was defective. Blemished. Marked. I didn't realize it of course until I was about four years old. There I was skipping through "Stop and Shop" with my mom, singing a silly song in my head, imagining a fantastic world I wished to live in, but then I heard her. My keen sense of hearing is a gift and curse. Sounds from across a room resonate clear within my head... "Mommy," she said, " that little girl has a spot on her face." Crash. Burn. Sink. My parents lovingly reassured me that this was not a defect but a beauty mark. It made me unique and special. I thought it made my ugly and different. I began to hate my face. I learned to walk in such a way that you wouldn't see that side of my face. Turning my head "just so". I found numerous excuses to leave a room so I would not have to be introduced to someone new. I was insecure and embarrassed. me Maybe it was pure vanity. I tend to think I just wanted to be LIKE everyone else. I did not want to be special. I didn't want to give them something to point out. "oh, you remember Lisa, she's that girl with the birthmark on her face". I wanted to blend. The years of childhood are not playful and painless. Don't be disillusioned. They CAN be full of hurt and disgust. Sarcasm and pain. Taunts and teases. Why are children so cruel? My self esteem laid in peril. Maybe that's when my parents noticed. When they realized this was a very big deal for me. They heard my plea. A plastic surgeon was visited, the plans were made for removal. {relief} {joy} I remember it as if it were yesterday. I was in high school. The smell of the out-patient room, alcohol scented linens, floor cleaner, sterile. The cloth they placed over my face that I strained to see through. The sound of their voices discussing each part of the procedure. And the idealistic thought that this would change everything....forever. Little did I know how deep the wounds had cut. No vitamin E would eliminate those scars. Not until many years later of unearthing. But my face. Whole. Unmarked. Void of the typical teenage plague of acne. Smooth. Mine. I didn't realize those features were coveted by others. I was still wearing the shroud of self consciousness. I embraced that veil for many years until one day...not more than 4 years ago...a stranger, a woman asked me a question. "What do you use on your skin, it is truly radiant!" She will never know what she did for me. Door unlocked. Heart open. I rushed to my room to look in a mirror as if for the very first time. My eyes seemingly clear from the fog of disillusionment. My face. I smiled. I looked at the scar I still bear and smiled again. MY face. Uniquely gifted to me. Crafted. Designed. He makes no mistakes. Something changed in me that day. Funny, how the words of one woman could erase the cuts of many. My face is not perfect...but it is perfectly mine. I look at it differently now. It is changing. I am aging. I know that will not be easy, but I will not loathe it. I take care of my skin now. I use "real" product...day and night. I love my face. With my eyes I see the faces of MY children. When I press my cheek against theirs, I know we share something. Our faces. A unique entity. Totally yours. Unlike any others. Capable of expressing the heart and mirroring the soul. Do you like your face? You should. Because you, my friend, are amazingly beautiful. And? You are loved. xoxo, lisa

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