The Selfie Challenge

Trying to Find the Center of Myself (a.k.a. being self-centered)

abmi-eyeconI only rarely publish an image of myself on the Facebook Page.  Oh I may sneak some body part in a photo and not tell you it’s my hand or foot. On occasion I am drawn to pair pictures of myself with words. There seems to be a common denominator in the theme.

Woman looking inside herself – searching for her voice – just wanting to be loved.

This is probably the most uncomfortable post I’ve written. Posting images of myself seems so damned self-absored. But who I am I kidding? I am absorbed in myself. I’m questing and questioning all the fucking time.

The posters are in order of appearance, from newest to oldest. Like any other artist, I cringe looking at the earlier stuff.  What was I thinking with some of those fonts?! The newest of the lot is me turning the world upside down.  I think I scared myself with that one! Evidently putting myself out there got uncomfortable (or sensible). Vulnerability kicked in. Self-awareness became self-consciousness. I refer to those moment of acute self-consciousness as “In the Garden” or “Adam and Eve” moments.  They had been naked, open, and free in the Garden of Eden until Eve ate the Apple from the tree of knowledge… and in an instant shame set in. Today I decided “what the hell”?  I hope some of you relate; if “selfies” don’t do it for you, then move along.  There’s nothing much to see here. 😉 But if you stay. And if any of it strikes a chord within you, then please accept my invitation:

I’d like you to pair the right words or a favorite quote with a selfie and share it with us.  Be creative.  You don’t even have to show us your face. Let’s be intimate and try real “in-to-me-see”. I hope you’ll share with us because it helps us see more clearly into ourselves. I know you. You have lots to say and this is a safe place for you to be heard.

I’m serious.  I want your own self-portraits with words on them or under them (if you aren’t a poster maker) here. You can upload them to the comments section under this post. I won’t use them for any other purpose, but just remember, it is the internet and you never know where they might end up. Don’t post something you don’t have the copyright to or would regret finding on Pinterest or elsewhere. Any hey…no naughty bits – okay?


~the mess

one mess at a time.2

pause and be happy

don't matter.001

new normal.001 2





rainbow girl.001

depth of her spirit   nZCpXO1319262000

  151 comments for “The Selfie Challenge

  1. Steph
    October 11, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    I lost my husband in August, to suicide. As if I wasn’t enough of a mess. I am trying to figure out who I am again, as a woman and a mother, and I am learning to live with a pain that will always be within me. There are some good days starting to mingle among the bad, and sometimes I feel guilty for that.

    “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed.” Psalm 34:18

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      October 11, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      I’m sorry to hear this Steph. We’ve recently been touched by the suicide of a beautiful 19 year girl who was close to our family. There just aren’t words the devastation. My heart is with you. I wrote this post a year or two ago and it came to mind when I read your words about your feelings of guilt as the light creeps back in…

      • Steph
        October 12, 2013 at 8:32 pm

        Miss Mess! I am a faithful follower of yours on FB and seen that post from your blog just yesterday. That is what brought me to your blog for the first time. Those words found cracks and crevices in my soul I didn’t know existed! So many think they “understand” what I am going through, because they have too lost a loved one. What so many don’t understand is that the suicide part of it adds a whole other level of what if’s and why’s and other questions that will never possibly be answered! You have touched me so many times since I started following your page, that by far took #1 of my fave posts from you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

        • A Beautiful Mess Inside
          October 14, 2013 at 1:38 am

          Thank you Steph. I just had a long conversation with my 19 year old granddaughter via text today about the suicide of her best friend 3 months ago. She is college, so it’s not a very grief friendly place. I’m doing what I can to make sure she knows that I will always give her grief a space and I won’t try to hide it, fade it, or fix it for her. Thanks for sharing. I appreciate you.

    • Marsha
      October 11, 2013 at 11:52 pm

      Hey there precious Woman~ dearest Steph!
      Your post really touched the soul of me and I’m overwhelmed/ covered with the grief of loosing a son (37 years old) SO very suddenly. He was on target to change the world, BUT…for some reason was “accidentally” found gone/dead by myself on July 2nd. My life has no boundaries now, no dimensions!! Sometimes it feels like I’m waling thro life with a blindfold on… OR am playing “Pin the Tale on the DONKEY” game at a birthday party!! WHAT TO DO???? HOW to go onward?????
      Would LOVE to talk w/ you… email/ communicate about this loosing of a most precious/vital/ meaningFULL part of our lives!!
      Call me/ email me and we can talk this over!

      Blessings/ hugs and love to you Steph~
      Marsha (

      • A Beautiful Mess Inside
        October 14, 2013 at 1:40 am

        Hi Marsha… I’m glad you reach out. I still remember reading your post about your son’s death. It was so shocking and so sad to read. I’m glad to see a post from you here today. And I am happy to see you reaching out.

        Big love,

  2. Debbie
    October 9, 2013 at 6:42 am

    What not why……hating auto fill in Ohio!

  3. October 8, 2013 at 12:38 am

    And I like this picture better for my life-quote. Sorry!

    • Debbie
      October 9, 2013 at 6:41 am

      That’s it girl, walk away…….and become that butterfly. The things that sometimes seem like the things that will crush us are very often whY gives us our wings. Don’t ever forget that. Overcome!

      • October 10, 2013 at 2:58 am

        Thank you :) I feel like we’re gonna make it, no matter how crazy the situation.

  4. October 8, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I’m a single Mom, 22, bipolar, and helping my Mom take care of her disabled mother. Tonight I was hit with the news that my son and I have to move within two weeks. I can’t afford to live here let alone moving into a new home. But I have a wonderful circle of support, beautiful moments, a belief in the magic of the universe, and hope for a better tomorrow. As always, my favorite quote is the following:

    “As the caterpillar thought the world was ending she became a beautiful butterfly.”

  5. Judie Hawkins Cleary
    October 8, 2013 at 12:06 am

    I am really Messier than my Mess has been for seems like ever……very difficult to stay UP all the time which isn’t real anyway…my husband is getting stronger after a summer of Chemo…he’s scheduled for a 10 hr surgery Oct 30…..It’s like watching grass to grow. ..Judie
    “Her hands and heart are full and empty…her smile is makeup. Encourgement for her very ill love.”

  6. Debbie
    October 7, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    That was supposed to say WTF……SEE WHAT I MEAN! MESS!

  7. Debbie
    October 7, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Saying ETC to another Messy Day

  8. Lesa
    October 7, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    No selfies here, just affirmation! In the last 10 years I divorced my husband, declared bankruptcy, suffered a nervous breakdown, very nearly had to foreclose on my house, and (like Dawn B.) lost my son because he no longer wants to be part of my life. I still wallow in despair at times, but because I realize I, too, am a Beautiful Mess I can see some blue sky thru the clouds. It helps so much to know many of us are in this clusterf— called Life together, with the same insecurities, despair and depression – and still holding our own!

    • October 14, 2013 at 12:25 am

      I feel you girl, ditto on much of the above. The slate is now clean for a new beginning!

  9. TBK
    October 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    I’m not dressed for the party, just raw and rugged from an amazing day that gave me a great opportunity to renew from this thing we call life. This photo is a place and time that I felt good about myself and to myself. Both the feelings of the day and the opportunity I allowed of the photo were a rare occasion. But that was then, and this is now. This photo and the motto are a reminder of how good it feels. Its how I hope to continue and i’ll look at it whenever I feel suffocated.
    And by the way – Thanks Gayle for helping me learn that being good to yourself helps you feel good about yourself, despite the rubbish that life throws at you! Not sure when I lost sight of that – but i really needed to recognize that again!

    • Kathy
      October 21, 2013 at 7:21 am

      Beautiful! Thanks for the reminder………… breathe.

  10. Lorna
    October 7, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I would much rather have regrets about not doing what people said, than regretting not doing what my heart led me to and wondering what life had been like if I’d just been myself. ~ Brittany Renee

    sorry, i don’t know how to post a pic on here…

    • Lorna
      October 7, 2013 at 10:23 am

      i just figured it out….lol

  11. Dawn Bleskie
    October 7, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Since losing my daughter (not by death), but because she no longer wanted to be part of our life. I realized I couldn’t wallow in my own pity and had to pick myself back up and live life to the fullest. I am only human and I am an individual and I deserve to be happy. It has been a beautiful year of finding myself again, focusing on me (being selfish)to go after my dream of bodybuilding. Next year will be my time to shine and say “I was here, look at me, I did it” for me and no one else. Because I am worth it.

    • October 14, 2013 at 12:23 am

      I also lost my daughter not to death recently. It is hard and humbling and it hurts beyond measure. Giving to myself did not come naturally and you are inspiring. Yoga has helped me and my heart is still whole, but I share your pain.

      Thank you for sharing this, I loved it.


  12. Donna Marie
    October 7, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I made two pics, after realizing that maybe the 1st one wasn’t positive enough, I mean I am a Mess after all.
    Please use your discretion if you feel the 1st one needs removed, by all means do so. It’s sometimes hard to find that silver lining as of late. Namaste.

  13. Donna marie
    October 7, 2013 at 8:52 am

    I just lost my Daddy suddenly & unexpectedly also, Theresa, in May. So i know what you mean. The world keeps spinning around anyway, when inside of me, it has stopped. It didn’t just stop, it screeched! suddenly to a halt. And has yet failed to begin moving again for me.
    I am posting today because I am a beautiful, messed up, chaotic wreck of brilliance…and this is wonderful therapy. <3

    • October 8, 2013 at 12:36 am

      You are a brave woman.

  14. October 7, 2013 at 8:25 am

    Behind her smile is pain, tears, depression, trauma, strength, courage, persistence, beauty. I am who I am not because of what I have been through…I am who I am in spite of that!

    Love and light! sivaquoi

  15. October 7, 2013 at 8:00 am

    copyright 1-19-2013
    Why am i the one always stuck in the mists of others shadows,
    A reflection not worthy to be seen by the world..
    Why am i the one that hears the flutes of temptation gives in my all, only to get caught upon by fruitless egos..
    Why am i the one that chooses to be loyal & honest, only later finds herself recklessly distraught by dishonesty..
    Why am i the one choosen to be a warrior to this land when I havent the tears to cry anymore…
    I am a warrior who has the strength to carry forward the burdens of a past , that marks each stepping stone wisely, with the grace of an adorable mind..
    I am a warrior for my wounds come from within;
    sought out to be told to the world, through a story written among the stars..
    I am a warrior, for i am choosen to make a difference in this world..

    I hope this works and offers some some inspiration..I wrote this when I was down about my life and the choses ive made..& this is my beautiful mess…Thank you..~ Bluemoon ~

    • Kathy
      October 21, 2013 at 7:17 am

      Thank you!

  16. October 7, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Wow! Just wow! you have nailed it for me. I so do not like selfies. I have had more taken in the past year than probably ever. I have been told (“made”) ashamed of who/what I am. I am getting there…to the point where I am being ok where I am at.

    • October 7, 2013 at 8:12 am

      my pic didn’t show up *sad face*

  17. Brenda
    October 7, 2013 at 5:26 am

    That was awesome! I know my life hasn’t been easy but I can smile knowing I’m here in spite of all who have tried to bring me down. God has seen fit to bless me with an awesome man and family.

  18. Theresa
    September 12, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    During my deepest moments of sorrow, I smile in public. Many have commented that they wish they were as “lucky” as me, as I am always so happy…and I make them so happy. None of them know that my Dad just died suddenly, my Grandma died shortly thereafter, and my immediate family spent the last three months just trying to survive – emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

    Posting this scares me and exposes me…but I want “many” to know…if I can smile, so can you. Stop poking me…

    “And I would have to pinch her
    Just to see that she was real
    Just to watch the smile fade away
    See the pain she’d feel…”
    ~ Happiest Girl – Depeche Mode

    I post this because I am a Beautiful Mess. And I want to give back.

    This is my moment of courage. Please don’t hurt me.

    With love,

    Happy girl, fat girl, you don’t really see me girl…I love my life, losses and all. I am blessed even in my pain.

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 12, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      You had me at giving back! If anybody hurts you for this post… I will kick their ass. I am sitting here crying. I’m pretty sure I love love you! Thank you for risking being vulnerable. You are brave indeed! xo, g

    • Jacquis
      October 7, 2013 at 6:03 am

      Thank you for sharing xxx

  19. September 12, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    It has taken me a while today to figure this one out. To start off with, I didn’t have a picture or a quote, just a realization that I constantly think of myself as SAD! This is truly a revelation for me today, and I have decided to stop thinking this way and start forcing myself to see me as a happy me. Time to stop the sad train and get on board with a better frame of mind. My head knows I don’t have to let current circumstances dictate my mood or feelings for my day, but it’s really easy to let that happen in your heart isn’t it? The picture I decided to use is from a very happy trip earlier this summer we made to Paris. I thoroughly enjoyed our time there and want to go back quite often. Hence the quote, er, definition of saudade. Very often when I have traveled over my lifetime, the places I visit capture my heart….apparently forever! Thanks to all of you who have been contributing to this, you have all touched my heart in the things you are sharing. And Mess, I’m so glad I found you quite a while ago on Facebook. You have helped me get through rough days so many times I’ve lost count of how many. Thank you for making me think today too. I don’t want to live my life thinking I’m suppose to be a sad woman any longer.

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 12, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      Oh my goodness. My favorite place on earth. I have an endless numbers of shots of Scare Coeur all from my camera. I’ve been on the the steps on New Years Eve. I chose the le Tour Eiffel for my 50th birthday celebration. The most expressive word I’ve ever heard is Saudade. I even made a poster of it a while ago. You have touched my heart Angela and I relate to your sadness. Are we sisters with different mothers?

      I have to remember that happy is a mood – not a a destination. And my heart has been captured by Paris, Berlin, and Yellowstone Natural Park. I get what you are saying.

      Keep your eyes peeled for the Wall Calendar I am creating for 2014. Sacre Coeur is making a very special appearance. xo, gayle

      • September 12, 2013 at 9:47 pm

        Love your poster!! That is exactly how I’m feeling about Paris. And yes, I think we are those sisters with different mother’s that you speak of. 😀 It makes my heart glad that you understand so well.

        Sacre Coeur was so beautiful, but one of my favorite things resides in the same arrondissement as it: The fabric district! I sew, and I had to have some French fabric to come home with. It was very interesting to see their way of doing things too. I am still just in the hugging and petting stage with the fabric, but one day I will make me some things. One day. In the meantime, I will be watching for that Calendar dear, can’t wait!

  20. Diane
    September 12, 2013 at 10:44 am

    I love what you are doing here Thank you, I only know that I hold onto all the Good that I have been blessed with and Perserver Through the trials and pain and know I am never alone

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 12, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      Thank you Diane. This by far the best idea I’ve had on this blog. The depth of a beautiful messes inside blows me away. We are amazing!!

  21. Stacey Senne
    September 12, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Far from perfect, but so happy to be me! My smile may hide a thousands concerns, but it is there because that is what my children rely on and my children are my life. XOXOXO

    • Stacey Senne
      September 12, 2013 at 9:55 am

      Sorry about the sideways pic! Should of had my kids upload it for me 😉

  22. Michelle
    September 12, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I’ constantly torn between I don’t need anyone …. and please fall in love with me……

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 12, 2013 at 9:37 pm

      27 years with The Man and I relate to your words. I wonder how many of us can raise our hands and tell you “I totally get it”!

  23. annie girl
    September 12, 2013 at 9:03 am

    i’m not in the picture but it’s a picture i took in one of my favorite places, where i get to spend time with some of my favorite people… i made this back in april – to look at it again makes me realize how raw all those feelings are and reminds me i’m still working on that to-do list…

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 12, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      OMG Annie Girl I totally get this! I just wrote Moon a text about my need to do the same thing with someone who was an important part of my life who disappeared without a word. What I realized tonight (even before I read your post) is that I am going to have to do number 3 first – I have no shot at number 1 or 2 until I take care of number 3. I’m sending you lots
      of love. g

      • annie girl
        September 13, 2013 at 7:19 pm

        Thank you <3 yes – they may not be in the right order… I know #2 will never happen; not in a million years…

        "At the end of the day, all you need is hope and strength. Hope that it will get better and strength to hold on until it does."

  24. Christine Miller
    September 12, 2013 at 8:31 am

    We hide more pain than anyone will ever know…

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      I see the story there. I don’t know what it is, but I have a feeling you, me, and a bottle of wine could tell some stories and shed some tears.

  25. Faith
    September 12, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Behind my smile is suffering beyond words but I keep moving forward for my beautiful girls!

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 12, 2013 at 10:03 pm

      Your suffering… oh dear. I see a story needing to be told and a voice need to be heard. I wonder if letting words spill on paper would help free you from your chains. And bless you for moving forward for your beautiful girls… just remember you too are a beautiful “girl.” I sending you a warm hug.

  26. Kami kira
    September 12, 2013 at 8:30 am

    In a few days I embark on the biggest life changing journey I have ever dared myself to do. I have been very lost and very broken for many years. I’ve been lied to and hurt and treated poorly for trying to do the right thing. I have given up so many things in my life, this time I’m fighting every negative bone in me to run away. I’m leaving for thailand (where I was born) to not only become a scuba instructor, but to rediscover myself. I have lived a strange life with being half (I’m half German and half thai, raised Jewish and buddhist) and living in areas where I’ve had to fight to define myself when I don’t even know if I’m comfortable in my own skin. I have fought and taught acceptance to others but have never found acceptance in me. I’m leaving behind a boy friend that I, for the first time, want to marry and have a family with, and the man who pushed me to do this and supported me. I’m leaving my step family behind and my family behind… And i wish i could say friends… My friends made me cancel my going away party… My favorite quote, which I have come to realize is apart of my heart and soul:
    “humans are cowards in the face of happiness. It takes true courage to hold onto it. “

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 12, 2013 at 10:15 am

      That is a fu*king awesome quote!!! I’m going to look for attribution for it. That needs to be on A Beautiful Mess Inside’s Facebook page. And I have someone I’d like to send it to (several someones actually – but one stands out above the rest). Will I dare to tell my truth to them? I’m wondering? Thanks for sharing your story. And oh my… how I love to SCUBA dive.

      • Kami kira
        September 12, 2013 at 10:49 am

        Your welcome :)
        It’s from the book Kamikaze Girls. The movie and book changed my life for some reason. It’s not truly inspirational but it touched me and that quote just reminds me that I’m never alone, that there are others like me who are afraid of making choices that truly make us happy. :)

    • Marsha
      September 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      Kami Kira~ please include me (Add me / Friend me) if you keep a Blog going and/or a FaceBk page. I’d love to journey with you from here. Asia is where I wanna be after growing up in the Philippines. I’m not visibly ‘half’ but most of my insides are anything but “White”!
      Blessings to you on this amazing journey!

      Thought of this print as I read your wonderful posting.(Didn’t crop it but I’ve LOVED it forever!)
      Remember NOT to look back as you fly forward!! You’ve got it made!

      • Marsha
        September 14, 2013 at 1:43 am

        The print didn’t come thro, but it’s from Mary Engelbreit and says
        “Don’t Look Back” … “Your Life” is headed the way that YOU, Kami, are going! The other way says “NOT an Option”!! So, know that I am seeing THIS is your destiny, your PATH to the place that YOU need to be!!
        I’m feeling that peaceful serenity as you Scuba dive in a country where YOU have roots that go deeply!
        Blessings galore to you dearest One!

  27. Cindy Hippenstall
    September 12, 2013 at 8:26 am

    The older I get…the easier life gets. Don’t sweat the small stuff. :)

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 14, 2013 at 12:01 am

      Oh girl… I need your attitude. Older keeps bringing wisdom, but wisdom doesn’t come easy for me.

  28. Rae
    September 12, 2013 at 8:23 am

    My heart will never change even with an ever changing world. .

  29. Melanie
    September 12, 2013 at 6:32 am

    Without my kittens, I would never have got through my recent breakdown x

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 12, 2013 at 7:51 am

      I hear you. The Boogie Woogie Beagle Boys have saved me on more than one occasion. I hope your breakdown leads to a breakthrough… they often do. xo ,g

  30. Ellen
    September 11, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Indulging in Arts and crafts keeps my heart happy, and serves as a release valve for the crazy.

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 12, 2013 at 8:08 am

      They say our creative self is the child within. I’m happy to hear you have a happy heart. We beautiful messes inside need to remember about our happy hearts.

  31. Denise
    September 11, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I have to remember to put the oxygen mask on myself first before I am able to help others….

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 12, 2013 at 8:07 am

      Valuable lesson. I wonder how many therapists have used that metaphor? It stands the test of time. Honestly, my oxygen mask is dangling right this minute and I think I too tired to put it on anyone else at the moment either! I’m summoning the strength to reach…

  32. Debbie
    September 11, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I have learned how to control my hair however the inside will always be a mess. Some days more than others but your page has helped in more ways than you can imagine. Thank you for all that you do for us messy messes!

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 12, 2013 at 8:05 am

      You made me laugh! Check out the graphic I posted under “Rachel’s” comment – it for you too!! I adore you already.

  33. Sue
    September 11, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Love you and continue to learn thru you. <3

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 12, 2013 at 8:03 am

      I love the idea that our eyes reflect the STRENGTH of our soul. We can be in pain or even tortured and strong at the same time. You do have a very intense and lovely eye.

  34. Robin Berman
    September 11, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Monsters are real, ghosts are real too.
    They live inside us and sometimes they win.
    ~ Stephen King
    The photo is of me….my most often times tortured and doubting soul. I too am a ‘Beautiful Mess’.

    • Robin Berman
      September 11, 2013 at 11:21 am

      I forgot to crop the photo I sent….OPPS! See…. I’m a sister “Mess”. Perfect in my imperfection…forever doubting and forever clawing at the unrealistic mountain of illusionary perfectionism.

      • A Beautiful Mess Inside
        September 12, 2013 at 8:00 am

        I think you are my emotional twin. I could have written every word you just said… down to the unrealistic mountain of illusionary perfectionism. Would you mind if I used the Stephen King quote on a selfie? It is really speaking to me today. Let me know what you think Robin. xo, gayle

  35. Jennifer Edwards
    September 11, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Finally finding myself after 40 years. I’m liking what I see.

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 12, 2013 at 7:57 am

      Yay! I see sunny and I don’t mean the sun’s reflection on your arm either. :-)

  36. Jodie
    September 11, 2013 at 10:54 am


    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 12, 2013 at 7:56 am

      They are beautiful as are you. To me, your eyes look either Jade Green or Aquamarine. What color do you call them? Mesmerizing either way. I’m sad to think that I learned to lie with my eyes when I was a young girl. My mother always thought she could see the truth in my eyes and would make me look her in the eye if she thought I was lying. Sadly… what I learned from that at the ripe old age of 12 was how to lie looking her dead in the eye. Hmmm pondering that one today. I want clean windowpanes…

      • Jodie
        September 12, 2013 at 9:36 am

        My eyes are green … But they change colour with my mood … Going very intense green when I feel angry .. Not very often tho … We have to look inside ourselves to be able to clear the fog that has glazed our view … Only then can you be happy with yourself and the world around you xx

  37. Misty
    September 10, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Love love love the site.

  38. Gina Graves
    September 10, 2013 at 1:53 am

    Why couldn’t you love me, really love me. Respect me,Protect me, support me ? Why wasn’t who you pretended to be, not the real you. Why did you bully me,isolate me, try to control me ? Why did your money or things mean more than me ? Why did you not love my daughter , or see her beauty as a reflection of mine ? Why was nothing I ever did good enough or right ? Why did you tell lies about me to anyone that would listen ? Why did all this go on for years ? Why did I ever believe it would change ? Why ? Because I let it! I am stronger than you could ever imagine, so much so that I forgive you, and I am letting you go. In your mind I imagine you will think of all the wonderful things I am walking away from that you provide, but that is so far from my reality,that the nothing you think I have without you is exactly what I had with you in this relationship ! You can cause no more pain because I take back the power over me that t entrusted to you because you an used it one to many times.

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 10, 2013 at 7:50 am

      I’m sending you a warm hug. I know the torture of all those “why’s” . As a matter of fact I recently add to the “She Series” with one about why. Here is it. Just for you. And I adore the picture! Pure love and beauty.

  39. gypzy*soul
    September 10, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Facing yourself in the mirror. Loving the child within. Acceptance. Dusting yourself off and starting all over again; forgiving. xx
    Thank you ABMI (Miss.Gayle) xx

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 10, 2013 at 7:40 am

      Proud of you. And indeed… sometimes we do just have to dust ourselves off and start all over again. xo, g

  40. Melinda Willis Wagner
    September 10, 2013 at 12:18 am

    I know I don’t look happy here but I am, I just don’t smile. I have terrible dental problems and my health is failing fast. The reason for my picture and I had to tell you that you have helped give me the courage, the strength and belief in myself to do a video through my FB to join a contest in hopes of getting the help I so desperately need with my teeth.(It was so hard to do, people have to “look” and listen then vote…just terrifying) Thank you..from the bottom of my heart for reminding me daily..”the mess” is normal.. and I’m okay. I’ve been through hell and I’m ready to come back.You help everyday! <3 Much Love, Melinda

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 10, 2013 at 12:27 am

      I’m honored to have been an inspiration to you Melinda. Please keep us posted about the contest. Your step forward was brave, but I have to admit… I want you to WIN!!!

      • Melinda Willis Wagner
        September 10, 2013 at 12:49 am

        I hope you know how far reaching your arms really are. I’ve survived a bad accident, beat cancer, My youngest son past away at 17 a few yrs. ago, and life has been hard at times to learn to live again. Having someone like you help us through is much appreciated. My son liked the saying “Take pride in the things you have gone through, and have faith in those to come.”(a wrestler:)) You help me greatly! Look forward to all you do!!

        • A Beautiful Mess Inside
          September 10, 2013 at 7:43 am

          What a beautiful image… “far reaching arms.” I’m honored Melinda. Thank you. And I’m so sorry to hear about your son’s death. You have certainly dealt with lots and lots of mess. But it sounds like, against all odds, you are still determined to find some beauty in this crazy life. I love your son’s saying. Thanks for touching my heart this morning.

  41. cathy ann
    September 10, 2013 at 12:09 am

    For the first time in 20 yrs I am alive!

  42. liz
    September 9, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    My scars are hidden by courage

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 10, 2013 at 12:19 am

      I too have some scares and courage was learned in the face of those scars. I try to see them as beauty marks.

  43. Elaine
    September 9, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    All she wanted was to sit together and talk for while or take a walk on the beach hand-in-hand and just be….when the tears came again, she decided to do these things alone and wait for him to catch up; leaving the rest to destiny.

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 9:17 pm

      Oh the stories those eyes have to tell. I feel the tears coming just reading what you’ve written. Indeed… sometimes we must just wait (and hope) they catch up.

    • Sandy
      September 11, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      Hoping he will catch up

  44. Kira
    September 9, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    It took a while to understand the beauty of just letting go.

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 9:14 pm

      Fabulous shot Kira. Can you teach me how to let go? I’m still in need of learning that lesson. :-/

  45. September 9, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    We are made of stardust and we are here for a reason, the earth needs all of us to lift her vibration, we are here to love ourselves and others just as fervently and deeply as we can. I am an artist and I know I have been broken – that’s how the light gets out. (Leonard Cohen)

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      Look at all that lovely jade Barbara. Those cracks work both ways don’t they… the light gets out and the light get in. Thank goodness we are all cracked in one way or another.

  46. Carabeth
    September 9, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I make lupus, Anxiety, and panic look good…..if only I could truly believe that statement.

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      You do make them look good. As for believing it, maybe start with just a bit of loving kindness Carabeth… you’ve been dealt a tough hand. And from what (little) I know about Lupus, learning to be gentle and kind to yourself is mandatory or the suffering will just be greater. xo, gayle

  47. September 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I’ve had plenty of ups and downs, well, a lot of downs, but, life has never ceased to be an adventure!

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 9:08 pm

      You are rocking the shades lady! Now I’m wondering where you are headed in that pic. 😉

  48. NBPinPR
    September 9, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    So small and innocent was I when I told my childhood good-bye. He tried hard to break me. Even though his filthy stain leaves it’s residue on my soul forever, Living Well is my Best Revenge. I have taken the negative and used it for the positive. I am Beautiful, Compassionate and Worthy.

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      Yes you are! I can see the happy “revenge” in this picture. I wish people wouldn’t spill their shit on us. You are right – it does leave residue behind. Sending you a big hug.

  49. Rachel
    September 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    A hurricane lives inside. Swirling, whipping, lashing rain. My soul bent like a tree, roots dug deep, clinging to my foundation. I’m weary, I’m sad. Mad. Determined. The gales lighten. I stand taller gasping for air in the hurricane around me. Such irony.

    The respite of the eye has passed as I brace for the second assault. My roots stretch and cling to the soggy soil. I cower, shake, doubled over, braced. This storm won’t rip me out of the ground and toss me into the ocean.

    The storm passes. My soul peeks out from behind my tattered branches. I look to the skies for a sign. Listen for birds. See a smile. Know I have the strength to regenerate myself. Know I can provide my beloved chicks the shelter with which I’ve been entrusted.

    Storm muscles. Each storm hurts, beats me down yet on the flip side builds my strength. I can be supple, trusting. I can be deeply rooted. I can bend and grow. Each lesson, each storm fortifies my soul as I begin to see the seed of benefit from weathering the storms.

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 9:05 pm

      Your lovely words made me think a poster I made for the “She Series” a few weeks ago. My name is Gayle and sometimes I call myself “Gayle Force” or “Gayle Force Winds” . What a great pairing of words and photo!

  50. Diane James
    September 9, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    I’ve been on a journey to find the true me and I am falling in love with myself a little more each day.

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      Amazing selfie! Didn’t Oscar Wilde say “to love oneself is the beginning of a life long romance” ? 😉

  51. Linda
    September 9, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    I feel that I am hiding behind my mess, my fears and the walls that I have built. There are cracks but I feel the full me is not accepted by others.

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      For me, self-acceptance is the key. I’ve got to accept me just like I am (and acceptance doesn’t always mean like.) If I don’t accept me, I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of feeling accepted by others. I’m a wall builder from way back. The problem with walls is they end up trapping us rather than keeping us safe. I hope you find a sledgehammer to knock down some of that wall. Thanks for sharing you here.

  52. Barbara
    September 9, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    I am different, I am unique. I am goofy-nerdy me and I love it.

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      You are beautiful goofy-nerd! I have a special place in my hearts for nerds. I have big ol’ nerdy side.

  53. Tammy L. Caudle
    September 9, 2013 at 11:12 am

    I am different, but I am like everybody else.. a human being.

  54. September 9, 2013 at 10:44 am

    “There are thoughts which are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the posture of the body, the soul is on its knees.”

    — Victor Hugo

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      Thank quote is beautiful. I think my soul has been on it’s knees for a while now. And there is something really beautiful about your hand reaching out. The shot evoked a sadness in me, but again it’s beautiful.

  55. Amanda
    September 9, 2013 at 7:19 am

    My tattooed feet, my daily motivation.

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 7:58 am

      I love the way you had the tats designed. And yes… I too am going to get through this one way or another. I’ll look at your feet to remind me. I’m don’t have any ink…yet. But there is a dragonfly in my mind that want to sit on my shoulder. Still pondering. Thank you!

      • Amanda
        September 9, 2013 at 8:22 am

        Thank you. :) I have several others. They can be addictive. The pain is a great release for me personally and I love the idea of carrying something important to me, beautifully etched on my skin.

  56. Shari
    September 9, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Be still and know that I am God.
    Be still and know.
    Be still.


    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 7:56 am

      Perfection. I really love love love this one. Just “be”… and breathe.

    • Kathy
      October 21, 2013 at 7:28 am

      Perfect! Thank you

  57. Mel
    September 9, 2013 at 6:22 am

    Thank you for this …….. Meant a lot to read it :-)

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 7:55 am

      I giggled when I read the words on the poster. I know how you feel. I continue to strive for and fail on a regular basis to sustain acceptance and serenity!

      • Mel
        September 9, 2013 at 3:20 pm

        Oh me too!!!! This is a new road/path I am on. Just glad I have a few great people to help me!!

    • Paddy
      September 13, 2013 at 8:17 am

      I can sooo relate to that!

  58. September 9, 2013 at 6:07 am

    I love your site!!!

  59. Sonya
    September 9, 2013 at 5:59 am

    I’m sexy, strong and beautiful because he made me that way. Missing my husband everyday.

  60. Judy K
    September 9, 2013 at 5:06 am

    A smile can hide a lot of pain, but it can still make the world a better place.

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 7:53 am

      True on both accounts. You have a warm smile. Mine has hidden pain and chaos… but sometimes I wonder who am I kidding?

  61. Jean W.
    September 9, 2013 at 3:42 am

    I don’t want to care about what others’ opinions of me are.

  62. Jennifer
    September 9, 2013 at 2:16 am

    Love the honesty on this site…

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 7:50 am

      I love your use of color. Haunting. I’m taking many deep breaths these days myself.

  63. MYJ
    September 9, 2013 at 2:13 am

    She’s like the quiet dead of night. She hides behind the glow of stars. In every corner she finds her shadows filling up all the empty spaces. Her echos come in rhythms just like the drumming of her heart. Like a flower her petals fall beneath the heaviness of the night. You feel her close like flames of light..but her hands so cold. Don’t lose sight of her or deny of her love..for like the dusk at dawns break then she will go. MYJ-*A Quiet_Chaos*

  64. Sandy
    September 9, 2013 at 1:34 am

    Me at 5 and early days into my journey of discovering self. Painful, fearful, joyful, loving, every emotion possible and ohh so beautiful. Hello other gorgeous messes

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 7:48 am

      Hello Sandy and your beautiful mini-mess. This is so touching. Thanks for sharing her with us!

  65. Tania Rose
    September 9, 2013 at 1:10 am

    I wear my heart on my sleeve ♥

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 1:26 am

      Did you come equipped with that at birth or did it come later? I almost looks like a white tattoo.

  66. Mike
    September 9, 2013 at 1:01 am

    You bear the Image of God, and, as such, you are strong, capable, beautiful and blessed.

  67. Nicole
    September 9, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Your post spoke to me in more ways than one today.

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 1:25 am

      Hi Nicole… I’ve had a fortress or two myself. Thanks for peaking out over the top of the wall and letting us see you. xo, ~the mess

  68. leighann harmon
    September 9, 2013 at 12:26 am

    “I am not replaceable”

    • A Beautiful Mess Inside
      September 9, 2013 at 1:24 am

      Absolutely never! And I know the feeling. Those words were on one of my first ever posters! Thank you for paving the way!

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