My 9 Year Old Role Model
Elana was like my real life doll.
Every day I would dress her up according to the camp theme of the day. She would proudly allow me to do her hair, makeup, and dress her in the matching costumes I got for us before camp started.
Camp was the first time I met someone like Elana, someone who lives life with such a passion and love of everyone, literally.
I met Elana when she was 9 years old.
A beautiful girl with an old soul, who has always known that true beauty comes from the inside. Elana recognized from a young age, that the same qualities and physical attributes that make us different, also contribute to our beauty. Elana was born with a heart disease, as well as other physical challenges but nevertheless has always faced life with such vigor and passion, and is the definition of a true warrior. There has never been any comparison, jealousy, or self judgement when she tells me “you look so pretty today,” because she knows that another person’s looks is unrelated to hers.
Anyone who knows Elana will tell you that she genuinely loves people.
It hit me one day that the reason she was able to love everyone so deeply was because she truly loves herself. When Elana was little I would wonder how she could genuinely love everyone. Was it because she didn’t notice peoples faults? Or did she choose to look the other way? What was it that made her so full of love for everyone? After a little while I realized that it wasn’t that Elana didn’t notice people’s faults, it was that she chose to see and focus on their positive qualities and love them for who they are.
We’re all beautiful and full of amazing attributes which may or may not be of the more conventional beauty.
But you know what? It doesn’t matter, because not only is beauty in the eyes of the beholder: but most importantly, when you know your worth, strength and power, that’s beautiful, and it fills up the world with positivity and empowerment. That inner beauty radiates onto everything you do, just like Elana radiates her inner love and beauty to all those are who blessed to know her.
P.S. As always I'd love to hear your feedback!
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