How do You Know You are Beautiful?
Even I am beautiful
Who is beautiful?
The world has an ever changing perspective on what constitutes beauty. I, myself, have never felt beautiful. Although I see beautiful people all around me, I never took that identity on for myself.
I remember in middle school, being taunted and teased, for looking nerdy, being weird, acting strangely. As I grew, the teasing didn't stop, but I developed a hard outer shell, to protect myself. I never let anyone get too close to me. Just in case.
Over the years, I have learned that our beauty doesn't come from the outside at all. We are beautiful because we are all a reflection of the divine nature of God. Beautiful and ugly, we are all a part of the Creator. We are a reflection of diving love, beauty and perfection too great for words to measure.
I have come to think of God as something similar to a disco ball. We are each a small piece of that reflection. Not a single one of us is any more important, more beautiful or more impressive. We are all a part of something larger than ourselves. Our individuality, our uniqueness, our difference is exactly what makes each one of us beautiful.
" Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."
1 Peter 3:3-4
You are beautiful, in every single way
Your beauty comes from inside
What makes a person beautiful is not the shape of their body. It is not the clothing, the hair, jewelry, or makeup that makes someone beautiful.
Our body is a bag of skin, which houses our bones, flesh, and blood. Our beauty doesn't come from the outside. It doesn't matter what color our eyes are, or our hair, or our skin. The body is a vehicle for the soul, which is where our beauty comes from. Deep within, beyond the outward appearance, lives who we really are. Our beauty shines from deep inside. This bag of bones is slowly aging, decaying and rotting. Our beauty is eternal.
"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!""
A beautiful heart
Another aspect that makes a person beautiful is the heart. When we serve others, when we hug someone who is mourning, when we empathize with a hurting friend, then we become beautiful. When we share encouraging words, or thoughtful gestures, then we are truly beautiful.
It doesn't matter what you look like. People will forget what you say. People will forget how you look. People will remember how you make them feel. And when you make people feel good, then they see you as beautiful. When you are reaching outside of yourself, then you become beautiful.
What makes you beautiful?
How do you know when you are beautiful inside and out?
I know I am beautiful, as long as I don’t look in the mirror. The mirror reflects years of pain, anger, and abuse. The mirror reflects the mother of eight children. The mirror reflects all the flaws my ego insists I work to eradicate. When I look in the mirror, I see all the ways I am "Less Than..." Less than perfect. Less than attractive. Less than young, thin, pretty. Less than everyone else. The mirror shows me an image I do not wish to see, and so, I do not look there, any more than absolutely necessary.
I am a Yoga instructor and massage therapist. A mother. A teacher of God. A writer. When I live my life, sharing love with those around me, then I know I am beautiful inside and out. I have gifts and talents, and when I share those gifts with the people I encounter, then I radiate the beautiful reflection of God himself. It is when I share my gifts that I feel truly beautiful. When a student finishes a yoga class, and feels good for the first time in weeks, I can feel in their hug, that I am beautiful. When a client gets off the massage table, finally free from pain, stress, or anxiety, then I feel beautiful. When a reader comments on an article or book I have written, explaining how it helped or changed their life, gave them a fresh perspective, or just made them laugh, then I know I am truly beautiful, inside, where it really matters.
I see my beauty reflected in the eyes of my children. Their mirrors do not reflect my inferiority. Rather, they see me as mommy, the one who listens, loves, and laughs with them. The one who accepts them, exactly as they are, regardless of circumstances. In the accepting mirrors of their eyes, I know that I am truly beautiful.
I see my beauty in the beauty of the creation. I know that I am a part of that universal power, and I am beautiful, because I AM. I am a part of the wind that blows, the rain that refreshes, the birdsong that greets the dawn. I am a living, breathing part of the very nature of God himself, and that is beautiful.
I see my beauty in the gratitude of my clients. Some are lonely. Some hurt. Some are afraid. They are all requesting love. In the mechanics of massage, as my hand strokes, rubs, kneads and touches, my love is shared. My beauty shines as a gift to those I serve. Those people see me as beautiful, and when I see them, I know I am beautiful inside and out.
We radiate beauty when we offer love, kindness and forgiveness to those around us. Our beauty doesn't come from the clothes we wear, or the way we fix our hair. Our beauty comes from a deep and abiding grace, much greater than ourselves. We can share that light with those around us, and help people discover their own gift of beauty.
Each day offers a chance to share love, forgiveness and kindness with the people we encounter. As we share those gifts, and remember our connection to each and every being, then we are truly beautiful, and we remind them of the eternal nature of their own beauty.