This morning, I had a brief discussion with a colleague that got me thinking.
“Its easy to feel beautiful at home, or around friends and family – because they know who you are”, she said. “But as I got older, I was told to be intelligent; to burn hearts with brilliance and engulf souls with compassion”. “I was told to wear ‘tappy’ shoes and pants, so my movements were never restricted.”
“It was then, that being beautiful stopped. I realized I was not beautiful or relevant anymore”.
“It stopped because being beautiful became about fashion, make-up and style. About dancing in heels until my feet ached. It became about having 10 000 followers and 10 000 ‘likes’.”Being beautiful stopped, because being beautiful meant I had to hear it from somebody else.”
This week, I also read about Anne Hathaway, recounting to Elle magazine, “this fame thing, F****ed me up for a really long time”. “People would say – you just have to be beautiful, you just have to be yourself, and I was like, but I don’t know who or what that is yet. “Do I need validation from anyone?”
Beauty is such a complicated concept, because we all have different ideas of what it should look and feel like – yet we all want to feel beautiful.
I said to my colleague, there is no seeker among those who search for beauty, who has not matured on the way. The moment you start to re-define what it means to be beautiful, you start to change within and without.
Yeah sure, we all get those fleeting moments of inner peace and stillness –
Of momentary bliss when we adorn that dress we love so much, or when we wear that make-up which personifies us as some kind of immediate, flawless Goddess.
But feeling beautiful is actually about self love and acceptance.
It is about a work in progress that is slowly, yet inevitably moving towards perfection.
It is about a spiritual understanding of beauty, where we are all deemed as unfinished works of art – waiting and striving to be completed.
It is about saying, I might not look like you, but isn’t humanity a fine art of skilled penmanship, where every single dot is equally important for the entire picture?
Often when we feel our most beautiful, we are loving and embracing certain things about ourselves – the ‘perfect’, unblemished and infallible. But this easy.
What is far more difficult is to love ourselves with all our imperfections and defects. The lesson here is, remember, there is no wisdom without unconditional love. Unless we learn to love ourselves wholly and completely, irrespective of surface value, we can neither truly love nor truly know God. We were all created in His image, and yet we were each created different and unique. No two people are alike. No hearts beat to the same rhythm.
I spoke earlier about self-love.
A life without self-love is of no account. Self love is what we all have inside of us, clouded and sheltered by our insecurities and our need for acceptance. There is only one type of dirt that cannot be cleansed with pure water, and that is the stain of hatred and bigotry contaminating the soul. You can purify your body through abstinence and fasting, but only love will purify your heart.
Learn to love yourself.
The quest to be beautiful will always be an unattainable ideal, one that will continue to define and re-defined itself – ever so dependent on the spirit of the age or popular culture.
No, we are not that fluid.
The truth is, we are all perfect, capable of immense and unconditional love.
But we came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. We didn’t come here to be beautiful. We already are. We came here to be gorgeously human – flawed and fabulous.
Therefore on choosing beauty, here’s what I would like to share.
‘Beautiful is the woman who keeps her head up and is proud of her body, just as it is. Beautiful is the man who has to hide his gay lover from his judgmental parents, but who loves, regardless of what the world will think. Beautiful are the women who buy the jeans that fit them, not the ones they hope will fit one day; the people who wear what they want because they like it. Beautiful are the people who choose love. Beautiful are the people who allow their bodies to be their temples and canvases, and who create their outer beings to reflect their inner. Beautiful are the people who hurt and feel insecure and make mistakes—but rise above, and find confidence and admit when they’re wrong.
Beautiful is you and me.
Beautiful is everyday. Beautiful is the struggle and the triumph, and beautiful is the understanding how necessary the struggle was.
Remember that the next time you feel hopeless. Beautiful is loving yourself enough to know you’re worth more than feeling inadequate’.
You cannot create a monster and then condemn it. Hate its ugly features, its terrible gait.
For personally, when I look into the mirror, I do not see myself, but all of you, who made me <3
Images: Wolf Studies Kenya.