Real Beauty

IMG_0356I saw the link to the video numerous times. It popped up on my Facebook newsfeed and all over Twitter. “You are more beautiful than you think” was the caption that glared back at me.

I hesitated for weeks to even click. Something inside stopped me from clicking on that link. Something that was hurt. I didn’t want to see another video of what someone else thought was real beauty. Being in marketing I have become somewhat prone to the view of “natural beauty” that the media had concocted.

As a member of the “SWL Family” (So Worth Loving, a lifestyle brand devoted to and committed to building value into others and believing you are so worth loving) I sometimes feel like I struggle more now because I constantly think about ensuring that my thoughts live up to the standard I am asking others to live up to.

So a weeks ago I the following words appeared on the SWL blog here:

I stood in front of the mirror and inspect every inch of my body; the curves and lines where working out has defined my stomach and my arms.  I consider muscles in my legs, which carried me through my first half marathon or the gentle slope of my hips where years of hard work have paid off. I look at my hands that write words of encouragement or my eyes, big and teal green, which give away every emotion I have…

Today, as I sat on my couch, getting ready for another day I finally clicked on that link.

As I watched as women and men, described themselves vastly different than what others saw them as, I began to cry. We are so easily blinded by our imperfections. Our scars, our extra curves, our too straight hips, our narrow lips…whatever it is that we see as not quite perfect. It hurt to think that I probably would have done the same thing, most of us would … we so often fail to see our beauty…

Our beauty, whether man or women, comes from not only what we physically look like, the way that God delicately and with great detail, crafted us but our stories, our circumstances, the people who have come in and out of our lives, the way we speak to others, our thoughts, our hearts…

Real beauty is an accumulation of all of these things.

As I watched this video I had to apologise to myself. I had to apologise for picking apart that which I don’t love, that which I look at with disgust and that which I take for granted. Instead of the strong arms, the big eyes, the loving heart, I, like many others, simply tear apart each detail. Don’t get me wrong…I’m pretty confident and have been blessed with amazing family who have instilled in me value, worth and understanding that my identity is in Christ, but I also have pretty awful days too…

So, today…and likely every day…as I continue to make myself stronger and healthier physically I hope, as is the goal of SWL and campaigns like Dove Real Beauty, that I change my thought life to be consistent with the truth.

For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well.

My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately andcuriously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery].

Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them. -Psalm 139:13-16

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind[by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. -Romans 12:2

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