The Jacket That Started a Revolution

Everything was falling apart. Seemingly overnight we lost almost all of our money, everything gone. What little was left would be finding its way elsewhere soon. Worse than that, it was becoming apparent to me that our financial problems were the least of our worries and in fact, were only symptoms of much bigger problems hiding in plain sight.

I had made it my life’s goal to be the fixer – the glue that held it all together. But at this point, it felt like all I was doing was going around after everyone and sweeping up their messes. I told myself I was doing it to help – but really I think the sweeping was an attempt to protect the life and the lie we were projecting to the world. More importantly, it was protecting the lie I was telling myself.

There are no problems here… move along, we’re all very happy and have this under control. Everything is fine… we are blessed.

The tragedy, and what I didn’t understand, was that in living this way I had lost myself. The symptoms of this were outwardly noticeable. I had gained weight, was sleeping erratically, and eating terribly. I was tired and irritable.  With the financial trouble, I couldn’t justify spending much on new clothes, but nothing really looked that great anyway so I kind of stopped trying, opting for sweats and gym shorts as the morning go to most days.

A friend – one of my mentors, invited me to a Cabi show she was hosting.  Knowing I didn’t have much money to spend, the invitation was to come and hang out for the afternoon.

“You need a break,” she said.

Yes, I needed a break.

The show was a flurry of well-designed articles being flung to and fro with recipients waiting with high expectations to see what would look best, what would match nicely with what they already had, etc. The whole scene was a lot of fun.

In the midst of it all, I put on a red jacket. It was made of a soft denim with a buckle belt that cinched around the waist. I had not yet started my weight loss journey and was still battling unwanted pounds. The jacket’s flattering cut and adjoining belt helped hide all of that nicely. I am not a superficial person, or even materialistic – but when I looked in the mirror that day while wearing that jacket, I began to see myself a little differently. I felt like I looked good – and that wasn’t a feeling I’d had in a long time.  

In that brief moment, that split second, I began to remember who I was. I began to remember (and believe) I was beautiful.

Beauty has very little to do with attractiveness and almost everything to do with how you love and what you believe to be true about yourself. With the right adornments, anyone can become attractive, but beauty is an essence – you know it when you see it.

Each of us is made for beauty – we are made to feel beautiful. Sometimes the clothing we wear helps us to remember that truth.

My friend offered to give me one of her ½ price items that day, and I left with the order slip in hand for that jacket.  It was a catalyst to host my own show where I could receive ½ price items based on show sales. I used this mechanism to build my wardrobe over the next several years while I also began rebuilding my life. The time since has seen a revolution in me – a new mindset, a new set of priorities, a new body, and a rediscovering of who I am, who I was created to be.

I have been hosting shows twice a year ever since. I found not only was this a great tool to help stretch my clothing budget, but it also became a great way to help enforce my desire to live life intentionally.  Buying clothes this way has essentially eliminated my need to do much outside shopping. I don’t need to spend the day at the mall trying to find something (anything) that looks good – I already have what I need to look amazing for just about any situation right in my closet.

I don’t sell Cabi btw, I just wear it because it works for my life…


You can see the line  at www.betsymclellend.cabionline.com.

Here’s to the revolution – let’s make it great!