Seeing Who You Really Are

My life has been full of reflection the last couple of months and it is an amazing process to go through. Knowing that life, while great can get even better is such a fun place to be. I dream now knowing that what I dream will become a reality. While I see my life as one thing, I see myself often as something else. While my husband reminds me often of his feelings towards me, I don’t really hear him. I have that little voice in my head say things like, he is just saying that because he is thinks that is what he is suppose to say to me. But since I have been going through this time of reflection I realized that I need to validate all of his words, and if he tells me I am beautiful, I need to believe him

And on top of that, today I was called by a client and she told me she saw my picture in a local magazine and she told me I was “beautiful”. This time I heard, I mean really heard what she said and from a place of gratitude I thanked her.

When I see pictures of myself I am often disappointed as I think to myself, “that is not what I look like”. But what has happened in the last few weeks is I am been willing to have my photo taken and there are photos that I actually like of myself. Ones that reflect who I am on the inside and the outside. Here are two of my favorites.

Above: My older two boys after their first Varsity football win for their school. This picture means so much to me as my oldest son, on the left is smiling (and he never smiles showing his great teeth…..even for his Senior photos, he is a serious kid) and on the right is my middle son who is not smiling (and he always smiles)

Above: My handsome hubby and I at a company party.

So what this is teaching me is a few things that I know other women struggle with as well:

  • To sometimes get away from behind the camera and have some photos taken of myself is a good thing! Maybe you will see the real you in the photos.
  • That I really should not be so hard on myself and my body image. My husband reminds me often of how attractive he finds me. After 21 years of marriage and being together since I was 16, that is a miracle! I have friends with great bodies with horrible body images of themselves. CRAZY! We all need to get over it and love ourselves right now in the body we have.
  • I learn about life through song lyrics, here is one that speaks very loudly to me.

\”Just the Way You Are\”



  • That when you really love the person who you are having the photo taken with, love will also translate onto the photo.
  • That giving up control is a good thing. It is ok for others to lead you for awhile.
  • It is ok to be flawed, in fact rejoice in it. I am a bad speller….so bad that I have people in my life that point it out to me. Guess what….my name is Melissa and I am a bad speller, get over it. Because I can’t spell does not mean I am dumb. Because I can’t spell does not mean that my voice should not be heard.
  • That I am now ready and taking action on losing this weight that I have had since my first year of law school, 20 years ago. Taking the time to now feel and release what I had pushed down 20 years ago. I have cried and felt more in the last 2 months than I had in the last 20 years…..and it is a good thing.
  • I feel like I have been a caterpillar in a cocoon for the last 20 years and I am now ready to come out of my cocoon and be the butterfly that I know I am….and that others remind me of….but I have not really heard. But first….I must love myself.
  • Oh….that I must really love my new animal print shirt!

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity



MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at .

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