Beauty; the real stuff comes from within

Cover of "Real Beauty"

Cover of Real Beauty

There are many phases in our lives; we start off with the newness of life.  Moving onto our twenties where we know we can conquer the world, into the 30’s where we get a glimpse of our own limitations.  Finally into the 40’s (and so on) where we learn we no longer fear those limitations and grow in spite of and around them.  And like the trunk of a tree that must grow around whatever imperfection it comes across on its journey, those “limitations” or “imperfections” (if you will) play an important role in the beauty of the wood, how it curves and caresses the knot (or imperfection), creating layers in such a way; so unique to only that one tree.  To see this beauty, however, you must slice open the trunk and see, or know, the inside; for it’s the formation and number of rings that are truly magnificent and beautiful.

We worry so much about the aging process and how our beauty will diminish in time.  But, what if beauty never truly diminishes, what if it only gets better?  The “youthful” appearance of our unscarred youth may fade over time, but our knowledge and acceptance of our own mortal fate actually glows through the thinning skin; thus creating a solace and a place for others to seek refuge in our shade and knowledge.

Beauty; how do You define it?

It has been over a year since my separation from my husband (a marriage of over 20 years), and in that time I’ve lost 60 pounds and dropped 6 dress sizes.  People that see me say, “You look terrific!”  Did I look that terrible in a size 18?  As much as I adore compliments, what is so different for me (other than the weight) now than before?  I’m still the ‘fashionista’, make-up is still done just so.  My laugh is still said to be ‘infectious’.  So, why is it that when a person loses weight, we are so ingrained to say, “You look terrific!?”

You hear them say that it’s not what you are on the outside; it’s who you are on the inside that counts.  Really?  I have a friend who is ridiculed about her skin by her ‘so called’ friends.  I personally think she is gorgeous with a wonderful, outgoing personality and knows how to speak to people and put them at ease.  She is a person that when you speak with her, any flaws she may have simply disappear.  She’s beautiful and it glows from within and onto everyone she meets.  And I’d like to add that it would take a person who is lacking a significant amount of self confidence to be brazen enough to ever criticize (let alone ridicule) her physical appearance, or any other’s, be it privately or publicly.

We women have our breasts augmented, faces lifted, eyes lifted and our lips plumped.  We have our derrieres lifted; plumped, tucked (you name it). We even have our fat sucked out of the various areas of our bodies.  Men; you’re not excluded from this game of ‘nip and tuck’.  You too are in line for the same round of insanity.  So when is enough, enough?

Whatever happened to aging gracefully and simply being healthy? On occasion, I watch the Real Housewives of (fill in the blank); all those women have had so much done that the surgeries alone had to have caused them mental harm.  I mean, seriously!  Is this what we as a society are reduced to; purchased beauty to cover up our horrifyingly cruel personalities?

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the occasional nip and tuck.  But anymore, it has become the latest of a long line of addictions.  And with this new found “purchased” beauty, we seemed to have forgotten all about manners and doing the right thing.  I mean let’s face it, the art of just ‘being nice’ appears to have been lost (for a time anyway…until we all come to our senses).

I’m not sure if this is a result of all the Reality T.V. out there, but it does seem that in their quest for ‘perfection’, people have forgotten how to treat one another.  (Perhaps their skin has been pulled so tight; they’ve caused a form of self induced dementia)  Regardless of the reasons, sooner or later, age does creep up and your true beauty inevitably does show (no amount of nipping or tucking can hide years of bitterness).

The following quote says it all to me; “To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent–that is to triumph over old age.”– Thomas Bailey Aldric

I would like to add that to keep the heart unwrinkled; to keep it youthful is to stay hopeful, kind, cheerful and reverent.  I’ve been witness to some extraordinary hope and courage lately.  Such as seeing your own body scarred by operations of the past, or of a disease that has overgrown all that you know to be feminine and to continue “hopeful, kindly, cheerful and reverent”; courage is what I’ve witnessed.  Beauty (true beauty) is what I see.

There is much that can happen in our lives altering our appearance, but it is how we view those imperfections, look past them allowing our true beauty, amplified by our courage, to glow through.

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