As I began planning to write this blog post, the question occurred to me, “How in the world is this blog post going to help anyone?” A blog post about powerful beauty traits that we all possess? Really? Who needs this?
But see? That’s my doubt, creeping in already, telling me that the things I have to share will make no difference to anyone. And you know, maybe that’s true. Maybe this is not the blog post to shatter all others, to revolutionize the minds of women everywhere. Maybe it will just help one person to read through these simple ideas of mine and feel less alone, maybe a bit more comforted, empowered, beautiful. Maybe that person is just me. Maybe it’s you. Either way, that makes the writing worth it.
So back to the point. How many of us have moments where we look in the mirror and cannot, for the life of us, find one thing that we think is beautiful. I have those days. Ugh, what was I thinking with this haircut? And when was the last time I got any sleep? What’s up with those dark circles? Good grief. Some days, we are just not very nice to that poor girl in the mirror.
Maybe today is that day for you. Maybe you have that day more often than not. Or maybe you do see the amazing and beautiful qualities that you possess (and oh, there are so many!), but someone you love has trouble seeing theirs, or someone they know has trouble. Or maybe there may come a day in the future when the girl in the mirror is not looking her best to you. Whatever the case, there will come a time to be reminded of these traits that ALL of us possess on any given day, and to harness the power to pour these beautiful traits over all who cross our paths.
Wait, did I just start a list of powerful beauty traits with IMPERFECTIONS? Absolutely. Everyone has imperfections, and they are what make us uniquely beautiful. What we see as imperfections we should recognize as the things that make us special.
Let’s take one of my own personal favorite “imperfections”. I have the most random hair. It’s very thick, and there’s a ton of it, but it’s neither straight nor wavy. I’ve got this sort of half wave, half frizz, with a little bit of curl wrapped up in there for good measure. It causes me hours of blow drying and straightening, only to end up with it in a ponytail by lunchtime. But this is what I feel forced to do, because I refuse to let my hair dry on its own. I refuse to embrace the natural beauty of my hair, seeing it instead as an imperfection.
Here’s the thing though. There are inevitably days when the mornings get chaotic, or something comes up, and I’m forced to skip the blow dryer, and let my hair dry naturally. And it is ALWAYS on those days that my husband will at some point say to me, “Wow. Your hair looks really pretty today.” I usually roll my eyes at him, and dismiss his complement. But why? My hair is unique to me, and my husband is wonderful enough to recognize that and point it out to me. I need to see myself more like he sees me. I need to see my imperfections as special features that make me “me”. You should do the same.
None of us lives in a vacuum. We all know at least one other person. Dare I say we all love someone. I would like to pose that it is often these other people in our lives who make us beautiful. That’s not to say that we need to rely on others for our worth, or for our value or beauty. Rather, let’s consider the possibility that a portion of our beauty comes from the way we relate to those around us, from the connections we form with other people. The way we love others is what makes us lovable, precious, and beautiful in return.
Take a moment now to close your eyes and think about someone special in your life. WAIT! Forget that. Don’t close your eyes or you won’t be able to keep reading. Just stop and think of someone special. Your favorite person. Your baby boy. Your best friend. Your sister. Whoever it is, think about that person, maybe about the last time you were with her, the last time you saw her face, a special moment you had with her. How beautiful is that connection you have with her? How thankful are you for her? Does your face automatically break into a smile at the thought of her? Does your heart fill up? Shoulders relax a bit? That connection is beautiful. And it makes the two of you beautiful too. I love that about the people I love.
I thought this should be the last trait of the blog post because I want it to be the one you really take away with you today. Kindness. The ability to be kind. It may not be something that comes easy to us. It may not be something we can offer to everyone we meet, or even to many, but might I be so bold as to say that we all have one person who receives our kindness. We all have someone for whom it comes naturally to show kindness. That kindness might be the most beautiful thing about us.
Can you think of that person now? How does it feel to pour kindness over him? Are you aware of how beautiful you are when your kindness overflows onto others? Do you feel it? Are you willing to let it flow more regularly?
I would love for this to be the “take away” for this blog post. We are so beautiful when we are showing kindness, whether people deserve it or not, whether they receive it or not. Women like Mother Teresa, perhaps not seen as beautiful in a worldly sense, but who could be deemed one of the most beautiful women ever known. Women like Princess Diana. Sure she was stunning on the outside, but her inner beauty was unmatched. Kindness poured from women like this. Beauty flowed from their hearts.
This is the beauty we all possess. This is powerful beauty. Contagious beauty. Let’s spread an epidemic of this kind of beauty today and everyday.