Worth More Than Gold
Flawless skin, Fleeky brows, lashes that make a girl say, “Wow!”
Fabulous hair, sparkly jewels and don’t forget the perfect shoes.
Detox diets, work out routines, trendy clothes on the fashion scene.
All the above have little effect, if what is inside is not intact.
Beauty begins deep within; having little to do with make up, hair and skin.
Beauty is becoming what you behold, beauty within is worth more than gold.
The Secret To My Beauty
The secret to my beauty is that my beauty was a secret. I was 28 years old before I realized I was beautiful. When I look at photos of me as a little girl now, I no longer see the odd creature I thought I was then. If perception is reality then both my perception and reality were extremely warped. Beauty can be hidden, tucked away in the attic of the mind. Much like items in attics, sometimes you do not discover beauty until you are looking for something else.
What We Hear And How We See
I once overheard my mom say that I was a funny looking baby. She remarked about my big eyes, big head and truck like nose. That translated into my psyche that I was her ugliest child. She never said those words, but that is what I rehearsed for years in my mind. To be fair to my mom, she was joking with a friend. My mom is the first to point out her own beauty flaws. She was sharing her perspective and her perception affected my self-image. Instead of seeing the photo of a cute baby I saw something more like the image below.
What We See And How We Think
My mom thinks I am beautiful now and if shown a photo of me as a baby would probably admit I was adorable then. However, the way she saw me then aided in the process of my beauty being concealed. Even now as I type this I am challenged by the cuteness of that little monkey. If I had to choose I would probably celebrate its beauty over my own. It has always been easier for me to celebrate the beauty I see in others over celebrating myself.
Beautiful or Nice?
I grew up with the notion that people who were beautiful were not nice and people who were nice were not beautiful. So I worked on being nice because I already knew beauty was not my strength. I met my husband at the age of 16 and he celebrated every feature that had been previously made fun of. My eyes, head, nose and even my broad forehead. It is perplexing when someone you meet loves something you spent your whole life loathing. It is easy to believe their compliments are insincere. More than him appreciating my outward beauty, to him my kindness and sensitivity did not make me weak.
Hidden in Plain Sight
Past boyfriends seemed to reinforce the negative chatter in my head, “You are too nice, smart, or skinny… Your head, eyes and lips are way too big.” I am sure they never said those things verbatim, but again, that is how I heard it in my mind. They probably simply noticed my features and because I felt so invisible I interpreted them as insults. My husband observed my inward beauty, which was all I thought I had to offer. Having someone celebrate those inward qualities helped me begin to accept myself. Beauty still remained buried like a dusty box on a shelf. I could not see it even though it was hidden in plain sight.
Beauty Secret Revealed
Fast forward into the future, as a married mom of 3, I embraced a natural look; it was something I always desired and easy to maintain. I did not wear make up or fancy clothes. I had long locs and when asked, “What is it like having a permanent hairstyle?” I would reply, “It is amazing, daily I get to wake up beautiful,” even though I did not really know the meaning being those words. One day I saw a photo of myself and my husband overheard me say, “Wow, she is pretty!” It was then that I realized my beauty was a secret I had hidden from myself. He said, “Babe, that is you. That is the same girl I met in high school.” For years he saw something in me I could not see for myself, an outward beauty that had always resonated from within.
Creature or Creation?
I no longer see a creature when I see an old image of myself. I see a glimpse of God’s creation that He carefully fashioned to reveal a facet of Himself. How do you see yourself as a creature or God’s creation? Are you willing to explore the attic of your thoughts? It has been 12 years now since my beauty exploration began. Daily I discover something new that leaves me intrigued. I am learning to give myself permission to be a girl and just have fun. Over the next few days I plan to share insights I have observed along the way. I would love for you to join me as my journey to 40 continues.
What shaped your self-image as a child? How old were you when you discovered your beauty? Has beauty become more challenging or easy as you age?