This past Monday was a holiday in Canada. Eager to capitalize on some extra rest time, my husband and I skipped the alarm and decided to sleep in. At the glorious hour of 8 am I began to stir from my slumber, first gaining awareness of my body and the physical world around me, and then rolling over onto my right side to face my husband. As my eyes fluttered open I was met by his admiring, waiting gaze. He was simply lying there, face turned towards me staring. He was watching me sleep. I was somewhat startled but not really surprised by this event. He does this kind of thing from time to time. “Oh, hey.” I muttered with sleepy breath. “You’re so beautiful.” He whispered in return. The look he gave me in that moment told me that despite the fact that I was likely just laying on my back with my mouth wide open, blissfully snorting (I do not snore, I snort), he truly meant what he was saying. He had the glassy but completely captivated look of a person appreciating someone that they love more than anything in the world.

This look and the resulting feeling is something that I think everyone in the world – EVERY SINGLE PERSON ALIVE – deserves to have at least once in their lifetime. It is powerful. It is transformative. Platinum love songs, best selling romance novels and the entirety of Matthew McConaughey’s early career are constructed around it. My own small town girl fantasies were centred on experiencing a moment just like this. It is so etched into my mind that when I awoke up at 8 am last Monday morning I was able to step outside myself and visualize the scene.

I envisioned the sunlight, softly diffused through the blinds, wrapping my face and hair in a delicate glow. My red locks are cascading over the pillow case with the white duvet illuminating my natural, fair skin. Shifting positions, I release a sigh of contentment, arising from my rest looking fresh and dewy. My beauty enters the room with the dawning of the morning and he cannot help but admire what is before him. Of course he’s in love with me. I’ve been kissed by fairies and blessed by angels while I slumbered. I am flawless. I am perfect. I imagine I look exactly the way he makes me feel.



I took this photo mere moments after I got out of bed that morning because I wanted to capture both the wonder and absurdity of the occasion. Wonder, because my spouse, who I have been married to for over 10 years, finds this incredible specimen beside him in bed and can do nothing but marvel at how beautiful I am. Absurdity because I truly and honestly thought that I looked like a heavenly being summoned from his dreams. Once the fantasy (and ego?) soaked cobwebs cleared from my brain, I had an incredible moment. A moment where all I could do was feel so grateful for this person who loves me despite the reality of the spectacle before him, while simultaneously laugh at myself for being so ridiculous. It was absolutely wonderful.

We live in a world of perfect placement and filters; a world where you no longer need to be a high paid photographer with thousands of dollars of equipment to achieve magnificence in pixels. With the phone in your hand and a few minutes on a free editing app, you can become whatever you want. You can erase imperfections, add brilliance and ensure you always look your absolute best. I want be transparent here and say that I’m not out to chastise those who like to look their best on the ‘gram. I’m certainly not impervious to the lure of lighting and filters that *ahem* refine my best attributes. I have hired photographers, edited photos and taken far too much time to get that perfect angle in a video. I am also one hundred percent guilty of hitting the “post” button and repeatedly refreshing to get that hit of heart shaped dopamine. Believe me, there is zero judgement here.

The realization that I had that lazy morning was that no amount of followers, likes or comments could ever replace the esteem boosting purity of that one look from someone you care about. It’s not like I didn’t already logically know this, but in that moment when expectation and reality intersected, I felt it. That morning I woke up with bad breath and a rat’s nest of hair, blanketed in a duvet that is no longer the white it used to be and I literally felt like I was the single most important human on the planet. The beauty of that moment was not in the aesthetic of it, but rather in the realness of it and I don’t think it gets much better than that.

I started this up by saying that I think every single human on the planet deserves to feel this way at least once in their lifetime. I truly believe this. And it’s not just about what I believe. Social science research proves it. We need deep, meaningful connections with other people to feel valued and worthy. This means having someone who has seen you at your literal worst yet they still believe that the sun rises and sets with you. This person does not have to be a romantic partner. It can be a parent, a friend, a child, or even a pet (I have no idea if scientific evidence supports this last one, I just know people LOVE their fur babies). When we can look into the eyes of another living being and know, just by the expression in their eyes, that we deserve love, we can begin to nurture the value that lies in each and everyone of us. It’s hard not to marvel at the wonder of it. It is so simple, so easy and in the complicated world we live in, it might just be what we could all use right now. Just remember, it is not likely to come in a manufactured moment like in a book or movie. You might just be at your worst and there it will be, staring directly at you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s