If you’re reading this, then most likely you’ve read the article about Cathy Schrader and her journey to regain confidence in the Sunday Gazette-Mail. (If you haven’t, check it out on wvgazette.com/life.)
The most valuable part of this experience was seeing Cathy light up through the different stages of this process. It was so difficult to get her to smile even though I could tell she was excited and joyful as we went to get her hair done, shopped for clothes and makeup to help her get ready for her first speaking gig since her transformation. She wasn’t used to smiling, though. I think she thought that it brought attention to herself, and she didn’t want that. But she still smiled with her eyes, even thought she was still trying to hide. The light that shines through her baby blues, it’s hard not to notice them, or the fact that she’s happy.
During this transformation, she said several times that she thought it was time to invest in herself and that it had been a long time since she had done that. But, even now, when she was investing in herself, it was for the betterment of others. She wanted people to take her seriously so that she could get the word out about her small business where she makes “Comfort in Christ Bears” for those who need a reminder of hope, her work with the Girl Scouts, and the mission trips with her church to Honduras to help families in other countries. Even when she’s investing in herself, she is investing in others.
That is why confidence and outwardly projecting that confidence are so important. With confidence, we can do all of these things. We can support our families, communities, churches, schools, and in a larger form – our world. Often times, people think that being “stylish” or “put together” or even “being worried about one’s appearance” is superficial. Quite the contrary. Confidence is what allows people all over the world to make a difference every day. When we care about ourselves and love ourselves, we can then care and love others. We can not give that which we do not have. If we do not have love within, we have nothing to give.
I want to thank Cathy for being a blessing to me and for reminding me of all of this. Cathy texted me this message after getting her new look, “I have prayed for years to be free from this bondage of weight. I was thinking I had to lose all the weight first. I looked in the mirror this morning and felt absolute peace. I am finally confident just as I am.” When I received this, I smiled and then began to tear up. I realized that this experience was given to me because I needed to be reminded that we are all beautiful and “powerful beyond measure.”
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson
The goal of the WV Style Team is to help readers find a way to express themselves through personal style and help them feel better about themselves. Buying expensive clothes won’t give you happiness, but finding something that fits your shape and makes you feel confident can help you conquer your day. We hope that what we provide on wvstyleteam.com gives you ways to save money, express your style, connect with your confidence, and feel fabulous.
Recognize your strength, power, and beauty. Get out there. Be magnificent.
Here are some behind-the-scenes photos from Cathy’s transformation.