Beauty is Pain ~ Ashley’s Health Diary, Entry #28 ~ by Ashley Boynes

The  saying goes, “pain is beauty and beauty is pain…” or, another adaptation that I’ve found even more poignant: “The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”

I agree. While we could talk about the superficial, painful things that we do for beauty such as eyebrow plucking, ear piercing, brutal diets, laser peels, wearing corsets, high heels, and – ouch! – waxing, I would like to address these quotes on a much deeper level.

You see, I think that for some people, pain is beauty. Why, you ask? As the years have passed and I’ve been dealt one bad health card after another, I’ve found myself growing into a person who, surprisingly, I love more. To me, that is beauty. As I mature, and, as I seemingly gain more health diagnoses, I have become a stronger, more loving, and all-around better person. Dealing with pain has made me who I am  – and  it has made me learn who I TRULY am, and, that’s something that many people never learn about themselves.

Just as addicts have to hit “rock bottom” to repair their broken body and spirits, I believe that those of us living with chronic conditions and pain have to hit our own version of “rock bottom” so that we can climb back up and into the sunshine, stronger than ever. At this moment, we’ll stop being imprisoned by our pain and become determined to live a beautiful life in spite of it. We’ll carry with us some scars – both literally and figuratively – and we’ll have a burden to bear, but, once we accept our illnesses, conditions, and disabilities as a part of the grand story of our lives, we can come back even better.

Even if not physically stronger than before, once you learn to cope with the hand you’ve been dealt, your soul will be stronger than ever. Just yesterday, I told my Grandma that my health problems have made me better. I’ve become stronger, more caring, and more compassionate. I appreciate small victories and accomplishments that the normal person wouldn’t be grateful for. I feel for others going through health problems or personal crises in a way that only a fellow “soldier” could relate to. Yes, my health has stolen away some  aspects of my outer beauty, but, it’s replaced it with boundless inner beauty that I am thankful for every day.

I do believe that we only get handed burdens we can bear. I am thankful that I am strong enough to cope with them in a manner which allows me to continue marching on, helping others, and spreading awareness. While there are days that I wonder “what could have been” had I not been stricken with health issues (and that saddens me), I do realize that there must be a grander plan, and that I’m out on this journey for a reason.

While I’m human and have bad days – grumpy, dark, whiny, or mopey days – I am more positive and more normal than not. I think that smiling in the face of pain both physical and emotional IS beauty.

What about you? What has your pain taught you? Can you find any beauty in it? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please, leave a comment. Thanks for reading!

Stay well,

Ashley Boynes

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4 thoughts on “Beauty is Pain ~ Ashley’s Health Diary, Entry #28 ~ by Ashley Boynes

  1. I sometimes think this for myself. And other times I think there can be a “too much.” It does depend. With pain and illness there is never a “white flag” or a safe word people dealing with chronic conditions can use.

    I too feel I am more compassionate and kinder because of my health. But I am also more shy, more afraid of other people and their judgement, and I haven’t had a romantic relationship since my ex broke up with me for being sick… so what illness gives us in lessons and “beauty” – it also takes away. It is a double edged sword.

    Beautiful post.
    x
    Melissa

  2. Ive read many of your blogs and feel that I actually know you. You seem to be a truly beautiful young woman inside and out. It would be incredible to meet you someday. Maybe you should consider doing motivational speeches. Thanks again for yet another wonderful blog!

  3. Hi Ashley,

    I feel this same way. I know that some of my outer beauty has been replaced with inner beauty because being chronically ill has made me a more compassionate and caring human being. I fight every day to stop the stigmas associated with rheumatic diseases and other illnesses. While I would never wish the pain we’ve suffered on others, I believe that having illness makes you a stronger and more interesting human being. It is all how you carry yourself, and I take more pride when someone says “you don’t act sick” then when they tell me “you don’t look sick.”

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