Beauty has nothing to do with the way we look.
Yep, I said it. Oh sure, magazines, ad agencies, movies and TV would like us to believe otherwise. Our society thrives on the idea that beauty isn’t only skin deep.
I had this monumental, mind-blowing realization a couple of nights ago as I was just about to doze off to sleep. My whole life my insecurity and low self-esteem rested in my being different and was largely because I had a limp. If I ever wrote a book, I think it should be called “My Life With a Pimp Limp” because so much of how I’ve felt about myself, so many of my problems really circle back to a simple limp. I’ve known this for a long time. The thing that I didn’t realize though was that the reason I allowed it to affect me so greatly was because I only equated beauty and attractiveness with physical characteristics. I only thought I would be beautiful if I didn’t have a limp. If I had perfect skin. If I had bigger boobs or a perfectly flat stomach. One by one, I tried to fix all those with whatever I could. To fit into this mold I thought would make me “beautiful” to others.
But you know what beauty is? Beauty is the way you make others feel around you. Beauty is the way you make people laugh. Beauty is knowing you are more than your flaws. Beauty is being able to pick yourself up after an obstacle, a heartbreak, a rough patch and move forward. Beauty is the change you can make in the world; the things you can contribute to your fellow man or woman.
The list could go on and on but the thing all of these have in common is that none of them have anything to do with how we look. It’s hard to break out of the idea that beauty is what our face or body looks like, how white our teeth are, how tan our skin is. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of daily reminders. Reminders that we are worth so much more than how we look.
I read a quote once that sums this up quite perfectly (in fact, it hangs in my room right now as I type this): “There is an inner beauty about a woman who believes in herself, who knows she is capable of anything that she puts her mind to. There is a beauty in the strength and determination of a woman who follows her own path, who isn’t thrown off by obstacles along the way. There is a beauty about a woman whose confidence comes from experiences; who knows she can fall, pick herself up, and move on.”
Superficial beauty fades as we age but what doesn’t fade is how much we love, our capacity to learn, grow, and be all that we were meant to. What will never disappear is the impact we all have the ability to leave on this world. That is a true “beautiful” thing!