My mother used to tell me growing up, “Outer beauty lies beneath the skin.” Give your belly a little ache, and you’ll feel great. It doesn’t matter how you look. All you want is to feel better. ”
I didn’t pay much attention at the time to my mother’s words or understand them. It’s easy to think “here she goes again” when you’re young. But as I get older, many of the things my mother said come back to me, and I find myself repeating them. You can say it, I have become my mother.
On a deeper note, however, I was recently forced to answer the question “What makes me feel beautiful?” It got me thinking about inner beauty.
Our culture is conditioned to see beauty only from the outside, despite the fact many people don’t have the same beauty standards as supermodels. Although we often talk about inner beauty, do we really consider it a criteria for beauty? This is a rhetorical question.
What is inner beauty? This is what I discovered after doing a lot of research.
Self-esteem, attitude and sense of purpose. (Eva Ritvo M.D. Psychology Today
Flexibility, confidence, and a radiant smile that focuses on what you do have, not what you don’t (Vivian Diller Ph.D. ,Psychology Today).
Your unique light is your greatest asset and your unique definition. It is your unique light. And, most importantly, it is already within you. It is sometimes called your “hara” – your heart or spirit. It is your blueprint. It encompasses all of your unique qualities as a whole – your personality and physiology, as well as your presence. Every aspect of you exists for an intentional purpose and they all come together to create a clear picture that serves a purpose. (Sarah Whittaker – Self Growth.com)
The latter, by Sarah Whittaker, is my personal favorite. It’s all-encompassing and it defines inner beauty. It is your signature, and no two people will have the exact same one. My problem with the others is my self-esteem, senses of purpose, and radiant smile are not always constant. There are days when I feel shaky, don’t want to smile and question my purpose. Do these days make my inner beauty less beautiful? What do you think?
It is also my belief that the things we dislike about ourselves are what makes us beautiful. I hated the fact that I was an introvert. It is something I struggle with, and people sometimes see it as weakness. This part of me has been my focus, and I am working to embrace it. I’ve come to understand that my quietness allows me to see and gain a better understanding of others, which has been a great asset. Because they know that what they share will not go anywhere, people trust me. People are also curious about what I am thinking because they don’t know my thoughts.
My fellow introverts will find it very helpful to know that Quiet is a book by Susan Cain about the subject. I highly recommend it.
I already mentioned that I needed to answer the question “What makes you feel beautiful?” Here’s what I wrote:
Harmony is what makes me feel the most beautiful. These are just a few things that help me get to that space. They are not in any order of priority. When:
I help others, especially when I coach.
I find another piece of “Faith Puzzle”; that is, Oprah calls it her “aha moment” in relation to figuring me out.
My children, Daniel and Ashley, are always in my thoughts. These are the greatest gifts I’ve ever received.
Reflecting on my life, I realize how God has been kind to me. This is the greatest gift of love I have ever received. He is the best, but He has my back.
I am writing! My inner thoughts.
Listening to a CD while driving (especially James Patterson Alex Cross books).
On a sunny day, you can walk along the Colonial Park towpath. Just being among nature.
Spending time with family and friends.
It’s now your turn!
What is inner beauty?
What makes you feel beautiful?
Are you adamant that inner beauty can be used to determine true beauty?