|Photo credit rante i on Flickr|
People are not told enough, in no uncertain terms, that they are beautiful. Of course we all know that advertising, bad habits of comparing ourselves to others, and comments we hear from people about other people can pile up into a scary under-the-bed monster that comes out every so often just to remind us that beauty is still far from our grasp. Like a tiny purple flower growing on the peak of the world's highest mountain. We are required to pursue it while knowing full well that by the time we reach it's former home, frost bite will have long since destroyed it beyond all recognition.
And what are we armed with? Cliche phrases like, "True beauty comes from within.", and "But you are fearfully and wonderfully made!" Both of these are so true, that the actual realization of it in a glorious moment of understanding almost hurts. But how do you transfer that understanding to a dear friend as she lingers before the mirror a few moments longer, scrutinizing her every curve? Or to your sweet little cousin who simply won't be convinced that her freckles are lovely? Or even to yourself when you have a slight lapse into vanity and forget?
I don't mean to imply that this is solely a girl's conundrum. Plenty of guys struggle with what they look like as well.
Too tall, too short, too fat, too thin, too lanky. Wrong nose, wrong complexion, wrong eyebrows.
Don't even get me started on hair. I was "blessed" with curly hair that not one hair dresser on the planet knows what to do with. They just want to brush it. Then I have to turn sideways to get out the door.
The truth is that there aren't enough words to say that can convince a wounded spirit that she is beautiful. She (or he) has to be shown. We have grown up in a world where ugly is among the most fearful things we feel we could possibly be.
No. We have to show each other that beautiful is not something to be achieved by suddenly morphing into [insert gorgeous celebrity here]. It comes from embracing the person God made you to be.
A bottle of hair dye can be so much fun, and a new diet can be healthy.
But they are not what make you beautiful.
You aren't beautiful because you're taller than that one girl, or shorter than that other one.
Not because your hair outshines all the other hair in the land with it's glossiness.
Or because you have the perfect hourglass figure.
You are beautiful because you listen.
Because you sing.
Because you play.
Because you love.
Because you are you. The only you ever.
I want to encourage everyone not to deprive the world of themselves just because they are not a carbon copy of [again with the gorgeous pop star]. You were never meant to be anyone besides you.
I feel inclined here to quote a favorite band of mine called The Danielsons, who simply stated, "Be just who you're made to be, Poppa is so mighty pleased with thee." We are the Creator's creation. And He is well pleased with us. Who cares what society says about our ears or our waistlines or our hair? Of course we should take care of ourselves, but it is not society that gets to tell us what we are.
|Photo credit markwy on Flickr|
It's when you are tucking a little one in at night and sing to him after a long day.
It's a cup of coffee in your hands on the porch in the morning, just soaking in the sunrise.
It's those times in life when you get it right.
And those times when you get it horribly wrong, but you learn... and you get a second chance to get up and have another go.
We are beautiful because our lives are beautiful.
We are beautiful because God loves us.
Sarah Whitlock is married to her first kiss, Joseph, and is a Wielder of the Quill of Endearing Humor. More of her writings are available at Under the Olive Branch.