Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bigger Picture Moment: The Secret Of Beautiful

Welcome to Bigger Picture Moments, a weekly writing event sponsored by Bigger Picture Blogs. We welcome you to join us in finding the Bigger Picture amidst the hectic, everyday craziness in your week.
I've been thinking a lot lately about image -- perceptions of self and how true they may or may not be.  See, I've never considered myself to be classically beautiful, and it's troubled me.  I've pined for beauty.  Longed for it and studied it, but in the end, had no idea how to achieve it.  Although I understand that beauty is neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things, I've still managed to worry, fret, and fuss until I decide I'm hideous.  Memories surface of awkward years and private embarrassments, and they're hard for me to let loose.  The way those years of painful self-consciousness formed how I see myself, even as an adult, is nonsensical.  But those things are over now, and it's long past time for me to recognize Who I Am.  So I've been looking inside myself and coming to some conclusions.  I've realized some truths.

Truth Number One: I Am Beautiful

It doesn't matter that my cheeks are round, my skin is pink, my hair is messy.  There are gray hairs shining through the simple brown, blemishes on my imperfect skin, brows that haven't been plucked in weeks.  I have crooked teeth, crooked, untrimmed bangs, a crooked back.  My belly is soft, my legs are white, my toenails are unpainted.  And all of that is okay.  More than okay.  Because behind my smile -- another crooked part of me -- there is joy. 

Truth Number Two: Joy Is Beauty

There are things about myself I can't change.  The pink skin, for example.  There are things about myself I could change if I had enough willpower.  The soft belly, for example.  There are things about myself I don't want to change because they make me happy.  The white legs, for example.  But no matter what I look like, no matter how my body ages and changes in ways that surprise or disappoint me, the one thing I can hold tight to, is my happiness.  Nobody can change that about me, unless I let them.  And I don't plan on letting them.  The joy in my smile -- crooked as it is -- makes me more lovely than any brooding beauty.  I am happy, and I will be happy, and I can be happy.  It's my choice, and my decision.

I choose to claim beauty, by cultivating my joy. 

What makes you feel beautiful?  An emotion?  A place?  A memory?  A relationship?  Whatever it is, cling to it and nourish it.  YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.  Believe it.

Hyacynth at Undercover Mother is hosting Bigger Picture Moments this week; link up and share your moment with us! All are welcome! And come back next week, when I'll be hosting!


  1. I really needed this remind, thank you.

  2. I always thought you were beautiful!! And pined for your quiet confidence. Glad to see you found it in yourself!

  3. We were just talking about our self images yesterday at Bible study. I fully believe that when we get down on ourselves for our outward "imperfections" we're really just romping around in the devil's playground. I stray there too often, too.
    I so agree with you, Sarah, that no one can steal your joy. And that beauty comes from a deep flowing joy that is rooted in more than the outer appearance.

    But, I must say it, on the outside just as on the in, you are lovely. Absolutely beautiful. Fearfully and wonderfully made. No question about it.

  4. True beauty does come from the inside. It permeates every cell of your body. What I'm starting to realize with age, and I would like to think I'm not old, even though when I was young I thought people my age were old, is that I'm beginning to have confidence and to like who I am and what I look like doesn't matter so much. And I truly believe that' what makes someone beautiful.

  5. I agree, both YOU and the post are beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing, I always need this reminder...

  6. i so agree with the other comments. this post and you. beautiful.
    i especially like #2.
    Joy in a person is the most beautiful, and that culitivating joy is in fact cultivating beauty. love it.

  7. i really appreciate this. (and i wish as cute a picture existed of me!)

    motherhood has made me feel beautiful from the inside in a lot of ways. i mean, yeah, i don't get a shower many days, my clothes are out of style, and i wish i were high school thin, but birthing and breastfeeding have transformed the way i see my body--from some sort of work-in-progress that can't measure up to and ideal, to something powerful and life-sustaining, and yes, beautiful.

    lovely meditation:)

  8. Isn't it funny how other people don't see the same things we see? I for one think you ARE beautiful. I love your smile and your cheeks. This coming from someone who also has chubby cheeks, a crooked smile, a soft tummy, and white legs.

    Thanks for the honesty and the reminder <3

  9. Oh Sarah, you are unbelievably beautiful--inside and out, in conventional ways and in unconventional ways. Beautiful. I'm glad you're starting to see that about yourself!

  10. So well said. I, like many of your other readers, needed this. Thank you for your words.

    And seriously, I've thought you were beautiful since I first met you (on here, of course!). You've been blessed with physical beauty as well as a beauty that radiates through all of your posts.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?