When do you feel beautiful? Notice I said FEEL and not LOOK. I’m not interested in when your selfie gets the most likes or when your “eyebrows are on fleek” or any of that crap. I’m interested in the good the stuff, the soul-wrenching stuff. The moments when you feel most yourself, and you feel most beautiful.
I’ll give you a few examples. I feel beautiful right when I wake up in the morning. When my eyelids are still sleepy and my hair’s a mess and my naked face is sprinkled with too many freckles to count. I feel beautiful when I pour my morning glass of tea and it fogs up my glasses and I remember I still have my retainers in. When I look in the mirror and see nothing but my little old self is when I feel most beautiful.
I feel beautiful right after I finish a workout. The last step of my run, the final hip shake in Zumba (try it, it’s fun), or when I finally reach savasana in my yoga practice. I feel strong, powerful, and resilient. Oh, and beautiful.
One more because this one’s important. I feel beautiful when I’m surrounded by the people who love me. My family, my friends, my boyfriend. Oh and my little kitty, Sadie Marie. But when we’re sitting around the table for Family Pizza Night, laughing our heads off, I realize that I feel happy. Not only happy, but loved. And not only loved, but beautiful.
So you get the point. I gave you those three examples just to get the wheels spinning in your own head, but know that your reasons may be completely different than mine. But personally, I have found one common theme in all of those moments and it’s this: It’s not about what I LOOK like, it’s about how I FEEL. When I wake up right in the morning and look like a 12 year old, I’m probably not looking my best. But boy do I feel that way. After I finish a long run in the Arizona heat, I would probably be described as “hot” or “sweaty” or “cheeks as red as a tomato”. “Beautiful” may not be in that description, but it sure is in mine. And when I’m with the people I love, MY people, I don’t really give a crap what I look like. I could be in my pajamas with zit cream on my face and they would love me just the same as if I were wearing some expensive dress with a MK purse to match. My point is that beauty really doesn’t have anything to do with your outward appearance, but your feelings about your appearance.
Which is where our society comes in. Our culture benefits off of us feeling insecure about ourselves. Every product promises to give us clearer skin or more voluminous hair or will help us LOSE TEN POUNDS IN TWO WEEKS. You know what I have say to all of that? BULLSHIT. You can have clear skin and voluminous hair and be the most fit person in the room, but does that guarantee you will actually FEEL beautiful about yourself? Absolutely not. Actually, because of the competitive society we live in, it’s quite the contrary. There’s always a new product coming out, something more to improve on. Your skin could be EVEN CLEARER, and your hair MORE VOLUMINOUS, and now its TWENTY POUNDS instead of ten. So we then find ourselves stuck on this hamster wheel of never feeling good enough and never feeling beautiful. And THAT is an exhausting way to live.
So let me propose something to you. Instead of searching out PRODUCTS to make us LOOK more beautiful, why don’t we seek out EXPERIENCES that make us FEEL beautiful. Forget about the perfect hair and perfect skin and perfect body, WHATEVER THE HECK “PERFECT” even is and go out and DO SOMETHING. Do something that makes you feel like you. Go on a hike. Go for coffee with a friend. Go to church and be reminded of your true beauty, the beauty given to you by the Father himself. Spend time in nature, ride a bike, write or read or create or DO ANYTHING that lights a fire in your soul and makes you happy you are alive. Because I promise you, THAT is when you will feel most beautiful.
Whenever my self-esteem starts to drop or I start to feel like I’m not good enough, instead of focusing on my outward appearance, I take a check on how I’m doing inside. Am I feeling lonely? Underappreciated? Misunderstood? Checking in with myself usually tells me WHY I’m feeling the way I am. More likely than not, it’s not about my body or my hair or whatever I’m nitpicking that day. We’re just so used to taking out our emotions on our physical appearance that it feels like the natural thing to do sometimes. But I always make a point to really sit down and do an inventory of what’s going on inside.
There’s a quote that really sums up this whole blog post, and one that I read several times a week.
“Document the moments you feel most in love with yourself – what you’re wearing, who you’re around, what you’re doing. Recreate and repeat.” -Warsan Shire
While this quote is something important to think about, it’s something even more important to do. Actually get up and document those moments. Take a picture when you’re with the ones you love and you feel on top of the world. That shirt that may be really simple but makes you feel confident? Put it in the front of your closet and wear it every day of the week if you want. Write about the feeling when you reached the peak of the mountain, or felt liberated going out without makeup, or did something that really made you feel like YOU. Like the quote says, RECREATE and REPEAT. Because when you really focus on making your life and experiences beautiful, you, in turn, will feel exactly the same.
Happy Sunday, my little beauties!
Oh and one last quote from Emma Watson because this girl speaks the truth. Can you say beauty and brains?!?
“Feeling beautiful has nothing to do with what you look like. I promise.”
Okay I’m really done now BYEEEEE ❤