This is one of many wonderful pieces of advice that I have gathered from my Abuela over my almost-nineteen years of life. I've received dozens of little tidbits of wisdom from her (most of which sound absolutely ridiculous out of context) but this one is undoubtedly my favorite.
Let me tell you why.
Both Abuela and I are firm believers in the idea that the world would be much happier if people spent more time dancing. Dancing alone in the kitchen, dancing in the rain, dancing with each other, just dancing. But never, ever with ugly men.
Now when I say "ugly men," I don't mean men who are physically unattractive (though I am certain that that is at least in part what Abuela meant). I mean people who are ugly on the inside, those who are manipulative and dishonest and cruel. I truly believe that every human being at their core is good. We were made in the image of God, after all. An "ugly man" is any person who does not live up to the goodness that he has within him and walks in a life of disrespect to others.
Women, so often, settle. On less that what they deserve, on people who use them, both in romantic relationships and in friendships. We desire so greatly to be loved by someone that anyone who shows us any sort of affection automatically wins our hearts. We fling ourselves at men freely and without withholding, and all this does is wreck us.
Men do this too though. They desire approval and respect, only to be constantly talked down to by those that they only want to make happy.
Human beings are wonderful, beautiful, brilliant creatures, so precious to our Father. But we don't get that. And that is why we so often find ourselves dancing with ugly men.
I am unable to count the number of people with whom I have interacted who have been hurt in one way or another by an "ugly man." Too many have been led on, strung along, used, abused, beaten down, rejected, broken, tossed aside, and treated like they're not the precious gold I know they're made of. The actions of parents, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, have ruined them and led them to believe that they are undesirable and unworthy of love.
Ladies and gentlemen, listen to me. The only Man that matters is the one who paid infinity for you. He thinks that you are worth the most priceless thing in the universe and He freely gave it so that you may see:
You are brilliant.
You are powerful.
You are talented.
You are breathtaking in every sense of the word, and He is the ultimate authority on that subject.
This goes for everyone. Men, women, boys girls, whoever you are, wherever you are from, I need you to hear me on this. You are worth so much more than the one who treated you like you were nothing led you to believe. Please understand how wonderful you are.
I ask you now - all of you - to stop dancing with "ugly men." Stop pouring into relationships that are draining you, stop feeding into lies and self loathing, stop doing life with people who put you down, talk negatively about and to you, and treat you like less than infinity. You deserve respect if only because you are a human being.
But don't you dare stop dancing. Dance with the dreamers and the edifiers, the ones who see your beauty and love to describe it to you. Build a support system of dance partners who rejoice in your successes and stroke your hair when you weep. By all means, do not settle. You shouldn't have to.
Life is too short to spend it with those who do not see how amazing you are.
But life is too beautiful not to dance through with people who do.