Are You Beautiful on the Inside?

smarter than pretty

There was once a time that if I heard any of the following: “spirituality, inner peace, vegan, money doesn’t buy happiness…” I’d nod my head while rolling my eyes thinking, “Enough of this new-age hippie stuff”. I guess like most lessons in life, you don’t really absorb wisdom until you’re ready to learn. Often this new openness occurs when a life-changing event happens: a sickness, a loss, a breakup… or sometimes maturity is enough of a catalyst.

I’ve dabbled in health and wellness when it’s been convenient. I admit it really hasn’t been until my most recent hardship, a devastating heartbreak, that pushed me to get serious about getting healthier – both physically and spiritually.

I’ve started to realize that a whole lot of us, including myself, spend a heck of a lot of time, energy and money on making sure we appear impeccable on the outside. We decorate ourselves with designer clothes, diligently craft ourselves to appear of a certain stature and status, and do things against our better judgement to fit in with people who don’t even matter in our lives. We create illusions of ourselves to appear more important and special to others, but leave the inside neglected and in some cases, rotting. Of course this isn’t the case for everyone. Nor is there anything wrong with putting effort in to your clothes or appearance. The question is, do you spend enough time beautifying the inside as you do the outside?

I don’t think a lot of us do. And when your inside is filled with insecurity, fear, a feeling of inferiority, anger and other negative stuff – it eventually leaks out and has the potential to really hurt another. Your inner health effects your body, which effects your mind, which effects your actions, which effect the energy you put out, which effect the people around you. When you don’t work on nurturing your body and soul so that you are healthy on the inside, you ultimately end up hurting not just yourself, but the people who love you.

2012 is going to be a big year of change and growth for many of us. At least, I know it will be for me. I am going to explore treating myself better. Not with the typical way I used to do it, by indulging in a lavish pair of shoes or a handbag (don’t get me wrong, I’ll still pick up a pair of Louboutins here or there). But I will make it a point to put thought and focus on beautifying what’s inside, not just my exterior. I will do this by feeding my body food that gives me the nutrients that I need, by being gentle with my heart, acting with kindness and compassion, exercising patience (which is a virtue I do not currently have), taking care of my body, and remembering to breathe. With this mindfulness, I set to attract people in my life who share similar values and most importantly, integrity and character. I think applying discipline to creating new habits that will serve me, will also build my own character. Because at the end, isn’t that really what matters? I think Eleanor Roosevelt was on to something when she said: “Only a man’s character is the real criterion of worth.”

Here’s to a new year of becoming better, healthier individuals internally, so that we can be beautiful… both inside and out.

4 Comments

  • Reply January 17, 2012

    Amy

    I think it is great that you are using heartache to grow as a person. As painful as it is, if you can learn from it and grow then it doesn’t have to be all bad. Good luck with your goals.

  • Reply January 18, 2012

    Linda Moberg

    You are so right about how many women try to “put on a face” that others will find attractive, the right clothes so they fit in, the right people to hang with because they can help you or it looks good to be seen with them. I, for the most part, feel I dress for myself, yes I wear make-up, but wear what I feel looks good on me not what others expect me to wear for whatever station in life they want me to adhere to. I must admit that for years I wouldn’t leave the house without make-up on, but now I am getting back to it, but because I want to feel better about me and not how people percieve me as being. I still wear what I want, although I do take into account how my hubby will like it or my kids, even though they are grown. But at 61 yrs old I try to look good for me, not the people who think they are better than me, I could care less about their “station” in life. People are people, some have more money than others but in the end it isn’t how much you had as for who you were as a person. I have worked with people from all kinds of places and I liked some of them and others not so much. My feeling is try to do the best for you, make yourself happy about the way you dress, wearing make-up or not, many women don’t and are just as beautiful without it, taking care of “you” is the answer to how beautiful you are, how you feel about yourself on the inside. If you are confident in yourself and your self image others will see it too. You may buy your clothes at the thrift store, although some of those are pretty high priced, or WalMart or Nieman Marcus, it doesn’t matter! It is you and you have to feel right about the way you look at yourself. You can buy anywhere and look nice, you can wear make-up or not and look nice. Self confidence is the key, that is what is going to get you to be loved as a person and respected, not the clothing, the fancy restaurant, the big car, etc, YOU are the key. Now start yourself up in this new year and see how far you can go without trying to be what you think others want you to be and you will go far.

  • Amy
    Reply January 31, 2012

    Amy

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for reading and for sharing your wise thoughts. =)

  • Reply January 31, 2012

    Linda

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us. Your words truly strike a cord within me.
    I recently discovered (accidentally) that for the past 7+ years, my husband of 29 1/2 years has been infatuated/”in love” with a running partner, a woman 18 years his junior (12 years younger than me).
    I agree with the saying that ‘our self esteem can only be damaged with our permission’,but I feel that when we love someone fully/unconditionally, be it right or wrong, we give them that great power when we believe they love us fully as well…
    It was hard to learn that my husband was giving his best to someone else, my marriage has been a sham and he was living a lie. But, I tell you truly, I find that it is also a huge relief, because the truth has truly freed me from seeing myself through his mirror, (which I believed always found me lacking). I am now reminded that I only need to see myself through God’s eyes.
    It is really hard at times, but, I have chosen to forgive my husband (and the woman for her part in hurting me, our family and (ultimately my husband). I don’t know what it means for our marriage or the future, only that we have a future, and whether together or apart, forgiveness, like love, is a choice.
    By forgiveness, I mean that I have chosen to not to be a victim, because I need all the strength I can muster to heal and work on myself while keeping open to all the possibilities as God’s plan is revealed to me.
    I have always believed that a person’s character was what really counts. The lasting part of the essence of our humanity such as honesty, kindness, our sense of fairness, finding humor in the everyday things, charity, loyalty, compassion..all these were treasures we could count on. and could not be taken from us. Unfortunately, the world (and now I have learned, my life partner) hold looks, money,and temporary pleasures and freedom from responsibilities in greater regard.
    I choose to love myself. I am worthy of unconditional love, for WHO I am, not for what I can do or what I look like,
    Thank you again, for your words, and for listening to my story.

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