Beauty Within, Without, or Not at All

I believe I may have mentioned earlier that I have been really working hard on finishing up some projects in my home. It is truly coming together, and I’m so excited about how I feel when I open my door, walk into my home, and just feel … aaaahhhhhh … I’m truly home. Not only is this transformation the result of trying to create a beautiful home, but it is also an internal transformation … a realization of who I am and what makes me happy — what “speaks” to my soul.

I’m in my late 40’s and it has taken some time for me to figure out what truly is me, what truly makes me happy, what truly speaks to my soul. There have been several times in my life when I thought I had figured it out.  However, what “spoke” to me at 20, isn’t what speaks to me at 48. Too much life has happened in the meantime.

I’m reminded of the analogy of us starting out as lumps of coal, and through life, God creates a diamond … something that He saw in us from the very beginning, but that we aren’t able to see in ourselves. At least for many, it takes a long time, for others, they never see their full glorious worth. How incredibly sad that is.

So, today, for my Brag Monday, I’ve created a free printable to help remind us that we have to carry the beauty within to see the beauty outwardly. I particularly hope that it will inspire you to remember how beautiful you are … and that you will believe it!

I love this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I created the printable using a peacock graphic (with many thanks) by the Graphics Fairy. As always, feel free to click on the printable and right-click to save to your computer. It is for personal use and you may not mass-produce or use in any commercial way. Please feel free to send people my way so that they may download their own copy.

Au Revoir mes amies … have a wonderful week!!

Lorraine

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder, Or Is It?

I hope you had a great day yesterday. I certainly did. I spent time with my daughter (who is recovering from an appendectomy) and helped her “Feng Shui” her living room (which I had been dying to do, but biting my tongue until she asked!). It was wonderful to feel needed by her and to help her out. She is my first child and never asks for my help (she feels like she should be able to do everything herself … hmmm I wonder where she got that – says another first child?).

I also had a great visit with a newer friend of mine. I’m not going to name any names, because she may very well read this, and while I know she’ll forgive the content, my lips are sealed as to her identity! :o)

Anyway, in the course of our conversation, we started talking about our looks, and I commented on how beautiful I thought she was. She wasn’t having it. She started pointing out what was wrong with her face, why it wasn’t beautiful (and I have to mention her subject matter was backed up by a National Geographic documentary on beauty – so she felt she had science on her side). It didn’t matter what I said, she knew when she looked in the mirror that because her eyebrows weren’t symetrical, she was majorly flawed, and she couldn’t see beyond that. I felt like we were talking about two different people. I thought she had beautifully arched eyebrows, and I have always believed myself to be a pretty observant person, but I honestly could only tell that one eyebrow was a little more arched than the other. I thought it was charming. She wasn’t having it.

Okay, this has just made me remember that when I try on glasses, the eye technician always tells me that I have one eyebrow higher than the other, and you can only really tell when I have my glasses on, because that’s when you notice it. HA! I have science (aren’t the eyeglass technicians scientifically trained, or am I stretching things here?) on my side. She never mentioned anything about my eyebrows, and so we are equally flawed, but she didn’t even notice … now why couldn’t she accept that I couldn’t notice hers?!

Okay, it sounds like I’m picking on her. And, I promise I’m not. But it really made me start to think about what I see in the mirror, versus what everyone else sees. How different are the images we see in the mirror from the visual images that everyone around us sees when they look at us?

I have to wonder if it’s like when you listen to a tape of your voice, and you think “Yuck! Do I sound like that?”

I know that I have a great disconnect between how I perceive my looks and how the others around me perceive me. My husband is always telling me how beautiful I am. But, I have to admit that I assume that he is biased because he loves me. At the same time, I also have to admit to myself that my husband couldn’t lie to save his soul. So, while I know this about him, why can I not believe that his visual perception of me is accurate based upon his ability to truly see me, not based upon his feelings alone?

I think that is something that probably most women (and I know that I’m assuming here) have a difficulty with. At least in America it seems to be a problem. We look in the mirror and we see our flaws. We see the lines that experience has given us, we see the imperfect bodies that children or gravity have given us. We see the experiences that life has brought to us, and we see them as negative instead of seeing the beauty that all of those things have wrought in our lives and that we now carry as badges of bravery and wisdom. Life’s impressions on our bodies shouldn’t be seen as anything less than beautiful, because they have made us into the people we are today. And I don’t believe that science can accurately measure that type of beauty.

So, in keeping with this theme. My Freebie Friday printable has a fabulous quote on it that I hope will inspire you to be a little kinder to yourself when you look in the mirror. It is by Anais Nin, who was a wonderful french writer who mostly wrote memoirs before it was even really a genre, or popular genre, of writing. Of course I had to throw a little french in here, bien sur!!

If you cannot find the beauty that life has given you on the outside, then maybe you need to dust some of the cobwebs out inside of you and start to see (with gratitude) all of the good that has come from the experiences that have marked your body. I promise it will help. I feel better about myself just writing this post! So, that is my challenge to you. Look at yourself in the mirror, and be kind! When you see a flaw, think of the good that brought that flaw into your life. Even if you have to work hard to do so, it is worth the effort. A feeling of gratitude and love will always create peace in our lives. And, the peace we feel radiates from inside ourselves and sheds itself to others around us. That is true inner beauty, that cannot be measured by science and cannot be contained within us. It radiates from inside ourselves and shines so brightly that we truly radiate a kind of beauty that is visual to the eyes of all who behold it.

Bonsoir mes amies. Have a wonderful weekend, and be kind to yourselves!

Bisou Bisou! (Kiss Kiss)

**As always, you are welcome click on the above picture to get the original size (8 1/2 by 11), then rick click and save to download and copy this to your computer or print out for personal use. You are not allowed to mass produce or use for any commercial gain. You are always welcome to direct people to my blog to get their own free copy.